Greta Thunberg's War on Prosperity

AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

Swedish Doom Pixie Greta Thunberg is at it again, this time leading a protest during which access to several oil tankers in Malmo Harbor was blocked for five days. Her message remains as it has been: We must surrender our modern technological lifestyle. The Doom Pixie has spoken!

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Ms Thunberg was with members of Ta tillbaka framtiden, or Take Back the Future, when she was led away by officers on Monday.

The campaigner has been arrested several times before for her activism including in Germany, and in Oslo where she was protesting over an onshore wind farm.

Tweeting on Saturday, she said: “The climate crisis is a matter of life and death for countless people. We choose to physically stop fossil fuel infrastructure. We are reclaiming the future.”

She’s protesting wind turbines? Seems she is now. It seems she’s against anything that supports our modern lifestyle, by which I mean anything that has any potential to provide energy, whether cheap or otherwise. Of course, her own lifestyle would seem to be pretty comfortable. And that is the great irony that is Greta Thunberg — her war on working-class folks.

Well, shorn of all the fact-lite bluster about ‘saving the planet’, that’s exactly what Greta Thunberg’s latest eco-stunt adds up to. The pint-sized prophetess of doom is back in the headlines. This time for getting arrested in Malmo harbour in Sweden, where she and other members of the End is Nigh cult have been holding a sit-down protest to stop oil tankers from leaving and delivering their life-giving cargo to the good people of Sweden and beyond.

The photographs from this temper tantrum disguised as a political protest tell a fascinating tale of the classism and narcissism in green politics. In the middle of the road are the smug-looking youths. One has green hair. Others sport beanie hats. None has ever driven a truck, clearly. Their banners speak of defending Earth from man’s evil burning of the toxic sludge of oil. And in the background are the supposed agents of this evil – the truckers; working men idly standing by their tankers while the world’s media get shots of Greta looking sad for Gaia.

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Greta’s really proud of her illegal action and tweeted out a bunch of photos.

But here’s the problem with all of Thunberg’s prognostication: She’s wrong. The goal of Greta and her fellow climate activists isn’t to “save the Earth.” The Earth isn’t in any danger from us tiny little humans. Our presence on the planet has been (so far) very brief.

Most folks find geological time scales difficult to wrap their minds around because the spans of time are so vast. Suffice it to say that humans could detonate every nuclear weapon in the inventories of all the nations on the planet, and if aliens visited fifty million years later, they’d likely find a green and growing planet with very little sign of humanity left – and fifty million years is an eye-blink in geologic time.

Why does this matter? Because through most of Earth’s history, it’s been warmer than it is now. Sometimes a lot warmer.

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A Smithsonian Institution project has tried to reconstruct temperatures for the Phanerozoic Eon, or roughly the last half a billion years. Preliminary results released in 2019 showed warm temperatures dominating most of that time, with global temperatures repeatedly rising above 80°F and even 90°F—much too warm for ice sheets or perennial sea ice. About 250 million years ago, around the equator of the supercontinent Pangea, it was even too hot for peat swamps!

Until about forty-five million years ago, the Earth was too warm for polar ice caps to form. During the Cretaceous Hot Greenhouse and the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, it’s certain there were no oil tankers, or SUVs, or coal-burning power plants, or even wind farms. And there were no world-ending consequences from those warm temperatures. There was only the Earth and the variation of temperature cycles through deep time, influenced by factors like plate tectonics, ocean currents, and solar output, all of which utterly dwarf human activity. We humans do have an impact on climate; everything impacts something to one degree or another. But our impact is tiny on these time scales, and cries of activists aside, it’s not worth destroying our modern economy over.  But destruction of the modern economy is precisely what the Doom Pixie wants: Not environmentalism, but the destruction of capitalism.

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Well, at least she finally graduated high school.

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