Greta Thunberg and addressing the G4

Greetings and Salutations.

The other day, in the Civil Discourse group on Facebook, the following comment was posted, decrying Ms. Thunberg’s speech to the G4 questioning the wisdom of having her address that collection of world leaders. This is the original Post:

In my opinion, I find it exploitative to use children, especially those that are diagnosed with psychological disorders, as poster children for political agendas. She is far from a climate scientist and strictly uses subjectivity to isolate anyone unwilling to profess unwavering submission to the extreme catastrophic levels of climate hysteria espoused by climate extremists.

This rhetoric does nothing more than polarize those who want to engage in civil discourse and feed into left wing apocalyptic paranoia.

This post created some healthy discussion, but I am going to address only OUR interaction on this topic. In reply to his post, I added this post…

Your comment lacks merit. Ms. Thunberg, being on the autism spectrum, is not disordered or disabled. Being a highly functioning, autistic person, she is very intelligent and well-spoken (as many of us on the spectrum are). if there is a disability of any sort it is her unwillingness to refrain from speaking the truth without fear.

Yes, she feels strongly about this, but why is that wrong? SHE is the generation that is going to reap the worst of the effects of the damage to the environment that we, the older generations have, and are, doing. Are you happy or comfortable with the fact that your kids/nephews/nieces are going to live in a world of violent storms, killing heat, and severe food and clean water shortages? Would YOU speak out to try and mitigate these changes?

You seem to be a climate denier, though, so, perhaps the answer is “no, I do not think that this will happen”. I am sure that will be a great comfort to your descendants as they struggle to stay alive in the decades to come.

You can deny it all you want…but it IS happening, and to do nothing to help mitigate the damage and slow the changes is unwise

Which generated The following post by the OP, and myself. I have interleaved my responses to his points, to simplify keeping track of what was going on. I found it interesting to consider his points, and continue the dialogue a bit longer. I have to wonder how many people agree with the points of view, both pro and con laid out in this essay

You said that it is not a psychological disorder, yet followed up in your next comment that your brain is “wired in a different way.”, due to having a similar or the same condition. That is not to dismiss the relevance of individuals on the spectrum or that they are lesser, simply that it should be noted that a minor with well documented psychological issues including Asperger’s and OCD was selected to speak at a G4 summit meeting to aggressively speak about a highly complex topic in which she has NOTHING objective to contribute. Gaining a seat at this level requires large donors to get to that chair. If you don’t realize that it requires more than passion to obtain that seat at a summit meeting, look into the details of the process to get there.

1) this point has two parts, and I shall address them separately.
…..a) the attitude of the psychological community about Asperger’s and high-functioning Autism is in a state of evolution. It is hardly a psychological disorder, but, at most a developmental disorder. yes…it does affect the reality of the folks whose brains are wired that way…but, it is hardly like Clinical Depression, being Manic-Depressive, or Schizophrenia. This article lays out the reality of how such a wiring difference affects one’s life.

Your comments could easily be taken to imply that a person who is a highly-functioning autistic is, though, similarly damaged and unreliable. However, note, on the list that high intelligence is a typical aspect of being an Aspie.
…..b) I find your opinion that she had nothing to contribute to be sketchy. The fact is that she is a very articulate spokesperson who, as is the case with Aspies, has no filters that would keep her from speaking the hard truth to the powers that be in her audience. Aspies find lying or tact nearly impossible, and do not take it well when others engage in it…. She was, I believe, invited to speak to the subject because of her understanding of it – which is apparently rather better than most of the people discussing climate change, and, the fact that she is a strong activist trying to get us, the older generations who have done such a great job of putting the world on a path that could easily lead to a Great Extinction event for humans, to wake up, and take some action to change this path while it is still possible.
In addition, there is the fact that at most of the G* summits, at least one of the speakers has been an activist and advocate against any number of examples of mankind’s inhumanity to mankind.

2. Her feeling strongly, has nothing to do with actual science. This discussion, especially at this level requires actual scientists with decades of experience to have a relevant point.

2) Reading her speech shows that she does have a deep understanding of the issues, and, throughout the speech she never presents herself as the “expert”. Rather, she pushes the audience who is hearing her to look at the science and the results and conclusions of the climatologists who have been studying this problem for decades. here is a transcript of Ms. Thunberg’s speech

The hypothesis (absolutely not a fact, calling it a fact is about as ignorant to actual science as it gets) that we are going to experience “violent storms, killing heat and severe food and clean water shortages” due to the intervention of humanity on the environment is scientifically disingenuous and “lacks in merit” more than Trumps assertion that everyone loves him. An elementary briefing on the history of climate and global emissions, combined with the understanding of technological advances in the interest of the environment should lead you to have faith in the redemption of humanities scars, rather than the ignorant religion of apocalyptic fear.

3) I will give you that I should have used the term “hypothesis”, but, my description of the world to come is backed up by analysis provided by climatologists. We are also already seeing the beginnings of these effects.
Here is one article about the effects of climate change

And, here is another link, from NASA.

As for the effects of humanity on the climate… We are seeing an exponential climb in greenhouse gasses, a trend that started just after the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

(Note, the source of this data is NASA’s climate research group)

These gasses (methane, CO2, etc) do a great job of keeping heat in the atmosphere. What happens to that heat? It is absorbed by the oceans, and the atmosphere. The oceans have warmed enough that we are seeing massive die-offs coral; marine animals moving far north of their usual haunts; and, a drop in health of many of those marine animals. Also, the storms we have seen recently have been much stronger than usual, as they are driven by the heat in the water…the more heat available the stronger the storms can become
Here is a link to a discussion of the effects of ocean warming.

The increased heat in the oceans and air is also causing the ice caps to melt. I know that many folks point to the apparent regrowth of them, however, that is not a good indicator of what is happening. The thick sheets of ice are melting away, and the winter Ice being formed now is relatively thin…and usually disappears in the next warm spell. This, by the by, will affect access to fresh water, both from the flooding caused by the ocean levels rising, and, because the increased hydro-static pressure from this water increase will tend to push salt water into what are now fresh-water aquifers, contaminating them and making them undrinkable without serious amounts of energy intensive processing.

4. I plan on combating the final phases with CIVIL DISCOURSE which should lead communities and consumers to make more responsible decisions in their their daily behaviors, such as greatly reducing their meat consumption, driving less, driving more fuel efficient vehicles, using less and recycling more, all of which are becoming significantly more mainstream.

4) Your faith in the ability of people to change their ways, based on arguments and civil discourse is touching, and a tad ironic. I have lived a long time, and I have seen many attempts at this course of action…and they have all, to a great extent, failed. My brother in law refers to this as the “Liberal/Progressive fallacy.” He and I agree that in the real world, one can explain, in rational terms and with rational discussion until one’s face is blue, why a particular course of action is unwise…and a significant percentage of people will still follow that path. We have a couple of excellent examples you refer to in your remarks.
…..a) Take the current administration. It is a documented fact that in the three years that El Cheeto has been in office, he has out and out lied over 13,000 times. Yet, some 40% or so of the voters believe that he is a good, Christian Man, and he only speaks pearls of truthful wisdom. In spite of a vast number of people pointing out how his trade policies are killing American Farmers (both figuratively and literally – Suicide rates among farmers are at their highest point in recorded history in this country), many of these farmers still worship the ground he walks on, and apparently believe his policies will somehow change American trade on the international market for the better…all while they are within days of losing their farms, and are only being kept alive by the socialist subsidies of the Welfare payments they are getting.
…..b) The issue of driving…Look at the buying habits of the American public over the past 30 years. When, in the 80s and 90s, we were seeing oil shortages and skyrocketing fuel prices, there was a slow shifting of purchases to more efficient cars and away from large trucks. Then, suddenly, it seemed as if the fuel crisis was over! Did people continue to buy hybrid cars, or smaller, more efficient cars? Of course not…in spite of all the advertising and PSAs urging them to remember that crude oil is a limited resource, people went back to buying huge, heavy, low mileage trucks to drive the three miles from their house to the grocery store, and back.

So…as a matter of would YOU address these two points with people who are bought into that mindset? It might well be more difficult than one would think.

5. “Climate denier”…. I don’t “deny” the climate, nor the impact humanity has on it. 😂 I also do not endorse the extreme and absurd assertion that we are at a pivotal, irreversible, cataclysmic point. Then again, I don’t follow any singular ideology, so it’s easy to develop my own views based on my own research without falling for propaganda.

5) Your first sentence is at odds with your previous posts. To quote from your original post: “…profess unwavering submission to the extreme catastrophic levels of climate hysteria espoused by climate extremists.

This rhetoric does nothing more than polarize those who want to engage in civil discourse and feed into left wing apocalyptic paranoia.”

This extremist language may have been used for effect, but it is the rhetoric of the hard-core climate change deniers. So, you might well understand WHY I would say you sound like one of that group.

What brings you to believe that the idea of being at or past irreversible changes to the environment are “extreme and absurd”. The recent report issued by the UN seems to disagree with your point of view here.

Finally…I was amused by your closing sentence to these comments: “I don’t follow any singular ideology,so it’s easy to develop my own views based on my own research without falling for propaganda.” Why, you may ask, do I find this statement ironically amusing? Because you are doing EXACTLY what Ms. Thunberg is doing, and you are basing your strongly held opinions on your research. To state the obvious, this does undercut your criticism of Ms. Thunberg that you opened with above. I also have to ask this: How does your research compare with the work of the tens of thousands of climatologists, who have spent their career studying and analyzing the changes in the Earth? How much time have you spent on this research? How well do you understand the conclusions that a vast majority of the scientists have come to? And, finally…are you saying that your research is the equal of the body of data and analysis that these professionals have generated?

Note that these are rhetorical questions, presented more to stimulate thought, than to extract an answer.

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave

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