by David Blackmon
Climate change activist Greta Thunberg made news recently when she was arrested during a protest at a coal mining site near Lutzerath, Germany. The news did not come so much from her arrest by German police dressed up in riot gear, but by the obvious staging of the event with the full cooperation of the policemen and the press covering the event.
Ms. Thunberg and the officers no doubt assumed video of all the obvious staging and repeated takes from different angles would not leak, but leak it did, revealing the phoniness of it all. Such staging of major “news” events is not really anything new, but it is revelatory of Thunberg’s real role as a crisis actor for the climate alarmist movement.
It is a role she appears to have been raised by her parents to fulfill, but her staging choices raise some questions about her sincerity to the supposed cause.
Put simply: Ms. Thunberg seems to aim her protests at the wrong targets.
For example, why is it that the Thunberg campaign to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide has never traveled to China? China is, after all, the world’s biggest carbon emitter by far.
Oxford Analytics recently published a chart, based on data compiled by the International Energy Agency, showing that, in 2022, China generated more electricity by burning coal alone than the U.S. generated from all energy sources.
So, if Greta wants to protest coal — which emits more CO2 than any other source of power generation — why not do it in the country that uses vastly more coal than any other?
Why pick on Germany, which is in the midst of a severe, if self-inflicted, energy crisis and has no choice but to burn more coal to keep its citizens from freezing in the dark this winter? Doing so seems somewhat callous, even cruel.
It’s a compelling question, but no one in the climate narrative-friendly press seems interested in asking it.
When an independent journalist with Rebel News did confront Thunberg with that very question on the streets of Davos a few days after her fake arrest, another reporter following Greta’s entourage could be heard in the background calling him an “idiot.”
Such is the kind of fawning loyalty to which Thunberg has grown accustomed from her media friends.
To be fair to Greta, her odd reluctance to chastise the Chinese government falls right into lockstep with the general attitude displayed by the jet-setting elites who attend these climate-focused global conferences like the WEF and last November’s UN-sponsored COP 27 conference held in Egypt. Unlike China, the governments of the western world have actually made progress towards cutting their carbon emissions over the last quarter century, even if they’ve chosen to devalue their currencies to fund trillions in green subsidies in the process.
China, meanwhile, has not only continued to consume an ever-rising volume of coal for power generation, but it currently also plans to build at least 300 additional coal-fired plants at home and abroad in the years to come. Where the western world obsesses on a goal of becoming “Net Zero by 2050” in carbon emissions, the global collective has chosen to place no real obligations on China to make any real changes in its emissions profile until well after that deadline has come and gone.
In fact, the virtual absence of any utterance of the word “China” during its week of ruminations on climate change was one of the most striking aspects of the WEF conference. It is almost as if the subject is now taboo in the circles of the global elite.
It’s a classic case of an effort to ignore the proverbial elephant occupying the sofa in the living room. When it comes to carbon emissions, China is unambiguously that elephant that everyone in the west tries to walk and talk around.
Greta Thunberg is just the crisis actor these western elites have used as a poster child. Greta is no longer a child, though: She is 20 years old now, and should know better.
This crisis theater is too costly and destructive to continue.
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David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.
Photo “Greta Thunberg” by Raph_PH. CC BY 2.0.