Greta Thunberg is a Karen

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3 July 2020

Greta Thunberg is a polarizing figure. As she herself puts it, she sees the world in black and white. Her collection of speeches translated into Norwegian, Streik for Klimaet, are fairly black and white: greenhouse gas emissions bad, therefore stop them now. One wonders how she can expel so much carbon dioxide talking and not realize the irony. Thunberg is fairly disappointing in her chosen rhetorical devices. She appeals to her special position as a youth on the Autism spectrum with OCD, etc. as if these disabilities give her voice added weight. I guess in this minority-obsessed political world she has to find a way to identify herself as someone more special than just another white woman.

Thunberg also deploys the idea of immediacy in her speeches. The Paris Accords must be full implemented now or her generation will have no future. One can easily imagine the politicians who peddle global warming to amass more power for themselves snickering that she actually bought what they were selling. Hook. Line. And sinker. If the only variable one is looking at is greenhouse gas emissions, and minimizing them is the only goal, then destroying the economies of the world to accomplish seems the easiest way. It's always easy for the rich to complain about cheap goods, isn't it? How will the poor afford things if shut down international shipping? They won't be able to live at nearly the same standard. None of us will. But Thunberg seems to be saying let them eat cake like another out-of-touch woman a couple centuries earlier.

But beyond her appeal to her special authority and her appeal to the immediacy of her stated problem, Thunberg presents her solution in an equally simplified manner. She claims that everyone knows the solution and that it's an easy settled matter. This backhanded belittling of her opponents' positions is effective political rhetoric, but is it honest? Not really. Intelligent people have been calling bullshit on the global warming hysteria for years - since before even Thunberg was born! Government funding of peer reviewed publications advocating more government power while not funding less sensational science has created a perfect echo chamber for "concensus". In pretending that no opinion exists outside this echo chamber orthodoxy, Thunberg is either naïve or dishonest. But she doesn't stop at soft belittlement; she goes on to say that those who disagree are behaving like children.

Reading Thunberg's repeated intonations to do what she says now, because there's right and wrong and she knows the rules, I had a realization: Greta Thunberg is just another Karen. She's standing there in the sidewalk, blocking your path, and telling you that you're threatening her life because you're using a form of transportation she doesn't like. Best ignore the Karen.

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This file last modified on the 4th of July 2020 by Bradley James Wogsland.

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