On Greta Thunberg and Climate Change

an oak sapling on its way to be planted

One of my oak saplings I grew from an acorn on its way to be planted at its final destination.  Tree planting is a fast, easy, simple and low cost way to help our environment.

Firstly, I welcome that Greta Thunberg has encouraged children around the world to protest and make what is being done to our planet an issue in the minds of adults and decision makers.

I do not think Greta Thunberg is being manipulated by adults, and it is normal and healthy that someone with aspergers will become hyper-focussed upon interests that matter to them, which for Thunberg is climate change.  Neither is it a great shock that young people have massive passion, idealism and expectations of immediate results.

I have long regarded climate change as mostly a natural situation, rather than one that is caused by humans.  A simple look at history shows that climate moves in short and long cycles, that these changes in our climate is nothing special.  And, everyone, including Thunberg, has missed the real cause of adding methane and carbon dioxide into the environment, which is farming.  Burning forests and intensive farming to feed the stomachs of humanity puts carbon dioxide and methane into the environment, and charities such as World Wildlife Fund and Green Peace are criminal in their silence of the real causes of such gases getting into the atmosphere, because it impacts research grants and donations.

Since methane has a short life, it is possible to have fast results by eating less meat, changing farming practices.  However, such proposals to eat less meat is politically and socially unpopular, so our climate change scientists and charities prefer misdirection to blame fossil fuels instead, so nothing is done about farming.  And, changing farming processes is a challenging issue, because rich nations telling poor farmers in developing nations to starve to death to meet climate change goals is not appropriate.

People have no need to be clever and complicated in pulling carbon dioxide out of the environment.  The answer is simple, and a toddler can do it: conserve existing trees; plant more trees.  Its so easy, a plant pot, an acorn, some soil, occasional watering, and you get a tree.  Nothing to it.  Nobody needs expensive efforts to manipulate the weather and nature costing billions of dollars, which do more harm than benefit.

Greta Thunberg and others obsession with climate change also obscures the real challenges that impact our environment, the destruction of air, soil and water; the lack of respect and empathy people have for other living things that we share our planet with, as we push them out of their habitats to extinction.

The children have told us adults to do something about our planet, and we are listening.  However, let us not get carried away by putting children on a pedestal to be worshipped, offering them the Noble Peace Prize for their heartfelt concerns for their future and planet.  Lets offer them solutions, and educate them about the reality that the challenges are complex, and answers will take many decades to unfold to bring about the changes that these children demand immediate gratfication and answers for.

5 thoughts on “On Greta Thunberg and Climate Change

  1. I agree farming is a huge issue. I was vegetarian for 9 years because of it. I think it’s strange how much people get offended when we talk about cutting back on meat. I’ve even come across some hyperbole that suggests that we should eat our dead instead of raise meat, meanwhile fols are horrified by the idea of turning to insects for protein (despite numerous cultures eating insects as the norm). I have no problem with the latter, I like crunch things.
    There are quite a few movements, though, that do focus on the farming and meat industry. In 2016 there was a huge push for meatless Mondays, which made an impact on the meat industry. And in my tiny little vilage in North Yorkshire, I’ve been noticing more and more vegans and vegetarians coming into the pub. I commonly hear from them that they feel its their environmental responsibility to eat less meat.
    While on a larger, more public scale, the fossil fuel industry seems to be villainised (which I don’t think is a bad thing), the idea that the farming/meat industry has problematic environmental impact is spreading.

    • It is good to hear despite the silence from the leading charities and experts on climate change that people are beginning to become aware of the serious impact of farming and meat eating on the environment.

      How is your course going?

  2. That climate changes naturally is a fact that no one denies. The problem, however, is the fact that the present change in the earth’s climate is being accelerated by human activity, as has been demonstrated rather incontrovertibly over the last half-century, We’ve been slow to act on that problem, and a series of small individual actions isn’t going to solve the problem at our rate. Perhaps we might have gotten somewhere with ethical consumerism 20 years ago, but we are far past that threshold. What people like Greta Thunberg should take into account is the simple fact that the lion’s share of the emissions that are causing the greenhouse gases that are accelerating the change in our planet’s climate can be traced to 100 large private companies worldwide. We can change our lifestyles all we want, but they won’t change theirs, because in the system they operate under that would cut into their profits. With that knowledge in mind, the solution becomes clear. We have to not only punish those companies for doing the most harm to the planet, but dismantle the system of the private ownership of capital and the means of production and of production for profit rather than the common good. The common working man should not have to fit the bill for the mess he is not responsible for creating.

    • I think that humanity has already passed the point of no return, and it would take decades for even a change today to impact the systems in nature.

      Any company, individual or movement is sustained by the individuals supporting it. If we the individuals continue to support the system and all those big corporations, they will never be persuaded to change. The power to change things remain in the hands of the individual, the CEO and politician do not have that ability to make much change without us all making it happen.

      • We do not have time to persuade the system to change, nor for ethical consumerism. The individual is only able to affect so much change on behalf of the Earth, and the lifestyle changes that are expected of us, though we can make them, will not come close to repairing the damage done to the climate, because the average person isn’t the one causing all the damage, rather it’s the productive forces being held in the command of a few people. Only sweeping, radical, collective action aimed at dismantling the current order of things will be effective at dragging us out of this mess.

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