Greta Thunberg’s Meaning Crisis

Greta Thunberg’s Meaning Crisis September 20, 2019

Today marked the beginning of a week-long Global Climate Strike. Per the official website, this international youth-galvanized effort is being orchestrated “to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels and climate justice for everyone.” The reader may be forgiven for wondering whose sin is to be punished by the meting out of said justice, and precisely how much penance is required to satisfy it. As you scroll down, a video thumbnail presents itself with the hope of further clarification. Abruptly, you are staring into the moon-like, waifish face of this movement’s anointed prophet: Greta Thunberg.

In slightly halting but clear English, the teen addresses the camera that “we are all in the same boat” when it comes to the climate crisis, and everyone should be concerned. Everyone should do something. For her and her like-minded young friends, “something” is taking the form of skipping school to take the streets with signs. What do they want? “Justice!” When do they want it? “Now!” It feels like the stuff of which satire is made. But Thunberg is in deadly earnest.

The pint-sized sensation has been the toast of the American nation in recent weeks, making various press appearances ahead of her testimony to Congress. She arrived from her native Sweden on a zero-emissions boat. Her awkwardly blunt description of the “smell” of New York City upon arrival has become one of her biggest applause lines. As journalists and talk-show hosts yield her the floor, almost every other response she gives to their questions elicits fevered audience cheers. Sarah Silverman tweeted out that “If Jesus came back, it would look like this, and y’all wouldn’t even see it.” (Ironic, given her previous comic opinings about what she’d like to do to baby Jesus. Twitter justice was swift, terrible, and rather wonderful.)

Some responses have been less than favorable, however. On FOX News, Buck Sexton expressed deep skepticism about having a 16-year-old testify to Congress about a non-existent “crisis.” This provoked an instant backlash from the other hosts, who scolded Sexton not to “pick on a kid.” Other cautionary voices have experienced similar censure. While Thunberg has drawn the sort of trolling that should rightly be quashed, few people seem willing to address her unhealthily frenzied catapult into the limelight. They are especially unwilling to address how it might be troublingly informed by her self-admitted struggles with depression and Asperger’s syndrome.

Of course, Thunberg regards her Asperger’s tunnel vision as an asset. It’s the thing that set her apart from other peers who were raised on the same stream of kiddie climate propaganda about polar bears and plastic bags: While their attention wandered to something else, hers was seized, held, and laser-focused. Slowly, a new center to her world began to take shape. A new mechanism around which she could construct her reality. A sense-making mechanism.

One fateful day, she made her first activist gesture, skipping her special-needs classes for a solitary strike. The rest is history.

Her Twitter feed is a carefully curated potpourri of inspirational thoughts and posed photos. But one tweet thread from last month stands out as particularly poignant. Greta writes, “Before I started school striking I had no energy, no friends and I didn’t speak to anyone. I just sat alone at home, with an eating disorder. All of that is gone now, since I have found a meaning, in a world that sometimes seems shallow and meaningless to so many people.”

“All of that is gone now, since I have found a meaning.” In a single tweet, Greta Thunberg has summed up a crisis that hangs over all other crises of her generation’s day, real or imagined—a crisis of meaning.

A memoir co-written by Greta’s family offers the public’s most intimate window into her world. It paints a picture of loving but indulgent parents, raising two sisters whose combined mood swings, paranoia, OCD and autistic fixations imposed almost tyrannical demands. (Greta has successfully moved both father and mother to a vegan diet. She has also famously badgered her mother, a professional opera soprano, into giving up flight travel.) Absent from discussion of the memoir, or other profiles of the family: any mention of religion.

Yet Thunberg’s speech is saturated with religious grammar. Her actions are those of a believer committed to a sacred cause. She invites us to join her while there is still time. “The money is there,” she urges. All it takes is “the social will, the good will” to make change happen. “If we can save the banks, then we can save the world.” She’s been to the mountain and returned with new sight. Her hero’s journey can yet be ours, if only we will listen. The meaning she has found, she now holds out to the world.

And the world is answering, in the form of countless children like Greta who have also gone through the waters of public school baptism and been born again as leftist ideologues. Children who perhaps had also found themselves sitting at home alone, with no energy, no friends, and no meaning.

It is, of course, not the children’s fault that they have been thus deprived. It is not Greta Thunberg’s fault that adults who would regard a Bible as an alien artifact have trained her up in their holy Scriptures of choice. Gone now are the sacraments of the Body and the Blood, those arcane symbols of a barbaric bronze age. Here now are the new tokens, the new rituals, the new signs of the new elect.

People tell her to have hope, she says. “But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to hope. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”

The cause of Christ once bade men come and die. But the cause of “climate justice” cannot bear the weight of one young girl’s soul.

In a much-shared video clip, Greta takes a microphone and says a few words in front of a crowd. The crowd erupts as she hands it off. It triggers a series of facial tics, her eyes darting, her mouth working and pulling awkwardly at the corners. Another video finds her giving an interview to a fawning woman from The Intercept, the audience hanging on every word. Again, the little spasm passes over mouth, nose, eyes.

For some orphans of the meaning crisis, a refuge may yet be found. But for Greta Thunberg, it is too late. The god of 2019 has provided its lamb.

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  • Milo C

    I hope she continues to inspire people to action.

  • Maya Bohnhoff

    “kiddie climate propaganda?” Really? The article seems to suggest that Greta Thunberg has been made a surrogate or counterfeit Christ, an unwitting victim whose Aspergers makes her somehow deficient in the capacity to think and act wisely, and that her cause is irrelevant or non-scriptural, having nothing to do with faith.

    I don’t believe any of those suggestions are accurate. When she issues a direct call to action to work collaboratively for the good of the planet and the creatures and people that live on it, she’s in good company. Christ repeatedly and in emphatic words called mankind to action.

    His words, He said, were what cleansed the soul, what gave life. But not by merely hearing the word, only by acting on it. He did not say were were saved by ritual, or mere belief, or even His own sacrifice, but by doing the will of God. He spells this will out time after time in the Gospel: in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), in His preamble and epilogue to the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10) and, most notably, in His final “sermon” to His disciples before He goes to the cross (John 15). In the book of Matthew (Chapter 25), He also gives a metaphorical picture of the spiritual cost of failing to do the will of God—specifically, failing to love and care for those who need love and care.

    Every one of these entreaties is a call to action: Love God; love your fellow human beings; love each other, but love with the understanding that this calls for action that demonstrates that love. Without active love, faith dies. Would you suggest that that love should not also encompass this world that God bestowed upon us as a stewardship?

    If the words of Christ about doing are not enough, then consider that the holy books of all Faith take up the same message: that we were put upon this earth to care for each other. Clearly, that care is bound up in our care of the world we depend upon for physical existence—the world in which we are to learn what it means to be human sons and daughters of God.

    I know there are Christians who are certain that we can’t destroy ourselves regardless of our actions because God will save us from ourselves. They remind me of the child who is certain that even if he destroys his favorite toy, his parent will replace it or give him a better one regardless of the fact never learns the maturity to care for it.

    Consider the possibility that when Christ says that His word will judge us in the latter day, He means that we will be judged by how well we have learned to keep it. If we would keep the word of Christ with regard to how we demonstrate our love for God and our fellow creatures, should we not be inspired by the wisdom of a child?

  • Paula Ruddy

    Esther O’Reilly, I take it you are not denying climate change, the critical stage of it, or the need for political action. I hear you fearful for the health and welfare of this teenager and contemptuous of the left for not sharing your cautionary response. Thanks for the caution, which I agree we need. Did you go a little overboard on the contempt? We have had so much contemptuous “fogey” commentary lately that it may be counterproductive now. I am more confident than you that balanced adults on the left are paying attention so I am hoping that all that could go wrong with this situation does not. The enthusiasm of the young could work as they want it to.

  • BertB

    I fear this will end tragically for her. I hope I am wrong. There are too many people in the world who will either try to use her to advance their agenda, or discredit her or mock her. I hope her parents are up to the task of defending her.

  • Alpha 1

    I’m pretty sure that the fact we’re cooking the planet is a bigger crisis than a lack of meaning.

  • JulieinSeattle

    This confused, disdainful and myopic critique of a young girl’s efforts to rally her generation to the cause of preserving a habitable planet is puzzling. The presumption that young people concerned about climate change have necessarily forsaken spirituality and religion is judgmental, overwrought nonsense.

    Preserving God’s creation for future generations is idolotry? Supporters of that goal are “leftist idealogues?” Greta Thunberg (thanks for the uncharitable recitation of her personal challenges!) a lost soul? You got all this from what? Your presumption that these young people do not believe or worship as you do? How do you know what they believe, or what their religion(s) are? Answer: you don’t.

    Matthew 7:
    1Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

  • Dr.Cajetan Coelho

    Young people are searching for meaning that is durable and sustainable. What is put before them by circumstances appears to them temporary, hollow, and shallow. “Before I started school striking I had no energy, no friends and I didn’t speak to anyone. I just sat alone at home, with an eating disorder. All of that is gone now, since I have found a meaning, in a world that sometimes seems shallow and meaningless to so many people” – Greta Thunberg

  • Christiane Smith

    maybe
    IF when the floods get to the TEXAS oil fields and inundate them and bring production to a halt:
    THEN the waters will have reached their limits?

    we older ones are reaping what we have sown but then
    . . . . comes the Children’s March, comes in the midst of the chaos, pleading for a chance for their lives to be lived out in some better world than the one we have determined to leave to them, a burning, scarred dust bowl of a planet? a world like T.S. Elliott’s ‘death’s twilight kingdom’?

    You know, we could do better than confess to the plants.
    We could confess to our children, and begin to at least attempt to save them from that something unspeakable that they can see is ahead of them.

    The last glaciers in Glacier National Park are gone.

  • Christiane Smith

    if she is Swedish, she may be more mature than our young people of the same age, as ‘independence’ is valued there and even encouraged that people go forward in positive directions that make use of their gifts and talents AND Sweden is a country where the nature is much loved as a restorative sanctuary for maintaining a healthy balanced way of life.

    I do not fear for her.
    I fear for all the girls who are kept ‘at home’ in patriarchal families until their lives are . . . . well, as is written in LOTR, this quote:
    “Aragorn: What do you fear, my lady?
    Eowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.”
    (JRR Tolkien, LOTR, The Two Towers)

    People in this country control one another by preaching fear, and ‘cages’ are a part of the ‘solution’ for these fearful people. But what is a cage but a tomb while still living, enclosed, walled off from ‘harm’ . . . . maybe for some people, a ‘cage’ is the equivalent of being buried alive? And what about those who bury people alive . . . what about them? What have THEY become who do this to the innocent?

    I do not fear for her.
    Let her live. I have a feeling people are more frightened OF HER than frightened for her, and that is what I am seeing, and you know, it is an epiphany for me, this . . . she is a threat to all the frightened ones who must ‘control’ or feel that they will perish and so they ‘cage’ the ones they fear because a person’s ‘freedom’ is too threatening a thing for those who have only known to be afraid themselves. Let her live free.
    Let her find her own way in this world. She may do some good if allowed. Leave her alone. Do not harm her. Do not silence her. Find your own peace another way. ( I have a feeling that the usual manipulative criticism and contempt won’t work on this young human, that she is already beyond all that and is focused going forward with her own strength.)
    She is not to be sacrificed so you and I can maintain a ‘status quo’ wherein the Earth is dying much faster than all predictions have warned us.

  • BertB

    I am not suggesting that she should be “sacrificed” to maintain the status quo. What she is doing is great, and even if it ends up badly for her, the movement she has created that is attracting young people into action is much needed.
    I hope you are right, and that she ends up okay.

  • Christiane Smith

    Hello BertB,

    I’m so sorry . . . . I was speaking more generally, but when I go back and read it, I can see how you would take it the way that you did.
    Perhaps I should not have placed it underneath your comment as it does not address you specifically, no. My mistake.

    Sir, I know your heart is in the right place. And I understand that people want her to be ‘safe’. My point is that she is from another culture where the young are expected to take their place in their communities and in the world responsibly and make use of their gifts and talents productively. It’s not like our ‘tribal’ culture wars here which sadly have harmed our young in too many ways. Until our nation is healed of its divisions, I fear our own young will continue to suffer in ways unforeseen. She is someone our own young can look to as a role model for being able to stand up for what one believes in and to speak out one’s mind freely.

    Again, I apologize for your worry. You said nothing inappropriate, no. My placement of my comment was in error. Please forgive me.
    And have a good Lord’s Day.

  • Thank you.

    ‘Uncharitable,’ however, is too charitable a word, I think it is just plain mean.

  • Paul McDonnell

    This is a deeply silly article, and I’m sure the writer is a better human than it suggests !

    Greta Thunberg bases herself squarely on the best available scientific evidence and the consensus of the entire scientific community. Her great crime is reacting to the science appropriately. The science on the warming effect of greenhouse gases isn’t new. It’s been understood for two hundred years. The science on the climate crisis has been, as Greta says, ‘crystal clear’ for thirty years. Yet an entire potemkin village of fake science has been erected by the fossil fuel industry and right-wing politicians and media barons have done everything they can to obstruct and confuse the public. It’s no coincidence that many of the same scientists who argued that smoking poses no health risks are now the ones claiming that anthropogenic warming is not real.

    Go have a look at the IPCC reports and the scientific literature and pay attention to what happens when the temperature is raised by more than 1.5 degrees celsius. We only have a 50% of avoiding that outcome and that is based on extremely optimistic estimates. Any unforeseen tipping point could mean we are in serious trouble.

    FYI Justice doesn’t mean punishment, it means to render to someone that which is their due.

  • SteveVaiFan

    Hello reader,

    You might have been looking for an intelligent take on Greta Thunberg and the movement she represents.

    This ain’t it.

    Apologies you had to scroll to the bottom for this notice.

  • Susan Jane

    I visit Patheos evangelical every so often to see what craziness the orange calf worshippers have thought of next. Attacking a child . . . How christian this article is in that judgmental, name calling, sneering way that evangelicals learned from their real leader. Laughably pompous writing, too: “gone through the waters of public school baptism and been born again as leftist ideologues.” A good metaphor for a sermon for a right wing “church” that flushed Jesus long ago for the healing font of white power. Children in the hands of the angry right wing . . .

  • Joanne Lindstrand

    I guess you think that all of us White Real American Republican Christians are going to be raptured before things get really bad, and God hates everyone else anyway, so it’s the duty of Real White American Christians to destroy God’s creation as fast as possible.

  • Excellent article! The carbon-phones can’t sell their snake oil science to anyone so they hide behind the skirt of a sick little girl. They should be ashamed.

  • You are trying to sell a book that claims that God is a capitalist and so, therefore, society has no obligation to care for the poor and the planet – God’s creation?

    And why should we discount everything Greta says because she has Aspberger’s syndrome? It certainly has not impaired her ability to articulate her own views on the subject, which she has every right to.

  • Tom Harmon

    Good insights..The human heart yearns for meaning, a cause to be a part of. She really believes this is it! But, what the author is saying, shouldn’t the first cause of our lives, be God’s? Many, like myself, believe this cause is misguided, and full of holes, and not really supported by the real facts and history of the planet. But the cause of the gospel of Christ surpasses all! People need the Lord!

  • That is not at all what she said. She is judging other people for not thinking and saying what she wants them to say. Greta, like all young people, has to find her own way.

  • You should read the book instead of lying about what it says. And I wrote no such thing about Greta. Why do you make up falsehoods?

  • Glaciers have been melting since the ice age 20,000 years ago. Glaciers once covered most of North America. I’m glad they melted.

  • That does not mean that human beings can not hasten the process now.

  • I don’t have to buy your book. I know how capitalism works and God is not a capitalist. And Greta is not “sick.”

  • Yes, it does!

  • Christiane Smith

    Hello Mr. McKinney,
    it helps if you read that last sentence within the context of the comment . . .
    and thank you for responding

  • Karen

    That’s exactly what he thinks. Good People won’t have to live with the hellscape the writer wants to create and the rest of us deserve only misery.

  • Karen

    What other planet do you plan to go to after you’ve killed this one?

  • davidt

    Nicely put. Today the cult of narrcisism inside Christianity is being reinforced and affirmed and being Christian by the larger. Church had a serious problem but so does the larger culture. They go hand in hand.

  • Desperate Ambrose

    The “crisis of meaning” exists in this sneering, discursive personal attack masquerading as a “Christian” perspective.

  • Desperate Ambrose

    Justice doesn’t mean punishment, it means to render to someone that which is their due.

    Yes, YES, a thousand times YES!

  • Desperate Ambrose

    Oh, great. Thomas “William F. Buckwheat” Sowell. There’s a dispassionate voice of reason.

  • Like Donald Trump many on the right think you’ve got to hit somebody so they know you mean it.

  • Julian W

    Hey Christiane could you send me a link on that last paragraph, which Glacier National Park are you refering to?

  • Christiane Smith

    Hello Julian, yes I found something for you, this:

    START WATCHING at 8:48 for GLACIER NATIONAL PARK:

    https://youtu.be/xCVD1R5M39U

  • Slouchy

    Christians for 2,000 years: The world is going to end in war and famine and pestilence and gnashing of teeth and it’s all because of man’s avarice!

    Scientists in the 21st century: We’re looking at a mass extinction event due to greed and industrial excess that will start with resource wars and refugee crises for which we’re not prepared.

    Christians: Oh, you atheists and your crazy ideas. That little girl needs to get a hobby. Herpaderp.

  • Right on. Just like they killed the prophets.

  • Lark62

    And how many people reading this will say “Christianity makes people care about our planet and each other. I want to be like Esther.”

    Spoiler: That would be none.

  • Tom Harmon

    Karen. I am referring to Greta’s tweet “I have found a meaning”. (For her Life). That was my take from why she herself is involved with this. The other involvement would be those who have influenced her, her handlers. They have use her as a tool to present to the world, a sort of, “human shield”! You can’t attack this poor, young, sincere girl! So you must listen to our fearful message! This is the packaging of the left today, as they also try to get the “meaning to life”, actually apart from the True God, revealed in the scriptures…

  • Christiane Smith

    If she moved Trump to tweet about her (although he was snarky), then she is reaching those who need to be reached . . . . and by HIS tweet, he has drawn even more people to hear her for themselves, something that doesn’t much happen on the ‘right’ where pundits and Trump tell people what they must believe and ‘everything else’ they call fake news, but Greta is a real person.

    Imagine, Trump’s tweet leading some person who never is outside the trumpist ‘bubble’ to listen directly to Greta Thunberg. . . . . imagine that 🙂 The thought makes me smile. 🙂

  • You can’t attack this girl for her disability. The writer is just not quite as crude as Donald Trump. Luckily, we are spared the video.

    The UN gave her a chance to speak not because she’s an expert but because of those qualities you mentioned and how her message resonates with so many.

    The rest is just the same old struggle against the status quo and those who want to maintain it.

  • Bruce Patterson

    It would be just like Him to appoint the young lady, Greta.

  • There is no Planet B.

  • Raymond

    So how do Republican talking points, including name-calling, personal attacks, and lies in the face of evidence work as an Evangelical Christian perspective?

    Oh yeah, that’s exactly what Evangelical Christianity is all about.

  • We don’t need one. This one will be fine. Under the ice on Greenland are farms Vikings built when the climate was much warmer around AD 1000. Check out Leif Erickson

  • BertB

    Have you read what is under the ice in Antarctica….and probably in Greenland too?
    Methane. Gigatons of Methane. The western ice sheet is melting rapidly. If all that methane is released over a short period of time, we are toast. Literally.

  • waltinseattle

    i understand your ire. but some dvangelicals are not part of that evangelicism. please be aware of “all” lest you miss the best heart among the heartless.

  • Christiane Smith

    I agree with you waltinseattle, as I know there ARE evangelicals who good Christian people who are not haters or racists. Some of them support Trump, and that is what I am TRYING to understand, because I cannot think this through and something seems wrong about it.
    I’d say that many evangelicals do not follow trumpism, but WILL vote for him because they think that he will appt. judges who will get rid of ‘abortion’ . . . ie. ‘Roe v. Wade’ and set up some kind of punitive arrangement for those caught having abortions or performing abortions in back alleys.

    It seems also strange to me that back-alley abortions are something seen as a ‘plus’ in the evangelical community, but I have heard some say that it’s okay if a woman gets butchered if she was going to murder her child. (?) I’m not evangelical. But this doesn’t make sense either. There are evangelical people who are not mean-spirited. Maybe they just need to be able to control things? But wouldn’t it be better if they did positive things to try to WELCOME new life by helping people rather than consigning women to the butchers???

    Thing is, the good hearts need to speak up. But are they fearful to do so?

  • Christiane Smith

    the handwriting of global warming is on the wall of the mountains where the ice is melting and rock not seen for many millenia is becoming visible

  • No, we’ll farm Greenland as the Vikings did.

  • BertB

    Your “No” means you haven’t read about Methane release, not just from biomass underlying glaciers. From permafrost. From ocean floor methane deposits that will be released as oceans warm. Methane has 50 times more greenhouse effect than CO2. You should try reading up on the effects of GHG’s in the atmosphere. On ocean level rise and its effect on coastal areas, particularly low-lying cities. You do realize that equatorial areas will be virtually uninhabitable, don’t you? It’s easy to Google this stuff, but I know you won’t.
    I know I am talking to a brick wall….

  • Satanic Donut

    This type of condescending, paternalistic garbage is precisely why Christianity doesn’t resonate with young people. Keep shooting yourselves in the foot, fundies. Your toxic ideas will soon be rotting on the ash heap of history.

  • That is so apropos.

  • ‘America First’ can hardly be taken as a Christian tenet.

  • Also, the very same could be said for the patriotic indoctrination that children receive in elementary school.

  • “Research has linked regulated air pollutants such as ozone and particulate matter (PM) to lung and heart disease and other health problems.”

    Do you also deny this? Are you not concerned how this will effect the children? Because the two are closely related.

  • Fearless Feline

    Jesus would never attack a young person who in her weakness is using what would be perceived as weakness to help others. According to Jesus, it’s love for people that is a sign of fruitfulness, not religious beliefs. This judgmental, disdainful, ignorant, uncaring attitude is turns people away from God instead of towards. The only people Jesus criticizes like this author does are the religious leaders who held themselves about others and imposed heavy burdens on people instead of helping them.

    The wolf is exposed as American evangelicalism has lost its sheep’s clothing. Read the Gospels—how can an attitude like this claim to represent Jesus? This is why I still follow the Trinity but no longer call myself a Christian.

  • Christiane Smith

    Karen, I’m afraid you are right. The far right in our country, which includes a great many ‘Christians’ by their own report, is known to be openly angry and judgmental and contemptible towards the poor, people of color, people who have gender issues, people who are immigrants, and there is also a good dose of misogyny present in the mean-spiritedness of this group. I’m afraid it is that mean-spiritedness that has harmed the Christian witness not only of these far-right ‘conservative’ Christian people but also of the whole Church, and I find this to be heart-breaking.

    Apparently the source of this ‘mean-spiritedness’ is a combination of the sin of pride, hubris, a sense of ‘supremacy’, and a mis-guided interpretation of sacred Scripture that looks upon those in need to mean that ‘kindness’ is not something that Christian people are to offer them. How did this come to be? I don’t know. But there is something about the young girl Greta that gets through to these people, if only to be seen in how they want to shut her up and demean her. They are AFRAID of her. Imagine that! Even Trump himself has belittled her in a tweet.
    She has a VOICE and she is an honest person who speaks with integrity . . . . . and that is something that the far-right seems to have lost when its Christians abandoned their Lord and instead followed the Trump and his ilk instead, as they could not serve two masters, no.

    Today we learn that a great former admiral, a Mr. Maguire, made a decision to go straight to the White House first to report what he should have taken, by law, directly to the Congress of the United States. If such a great man could be so corrupted in the latter years of his service to his country, then all I can feel right now is pity and compassion for the power of trumpism to corrupt good people. God have mercy on us us, and please send us more like Greta to tell the truth before it is too late for our young. I am grateful for her presence in our country and for her voice.
    God gives wisdom to the young that He keeps from the wise sometimes. It is written.

  • Christiane Smith

    I think she has the protection of the Good Lord, BertB. You can be peaceful as she has chosen the good over evil. Pray for her.

  • Christiane Smith

    We ALL need the Lord, Tom Harmon. Greta has a ‘gift’ to give us and I think she is able to speak with integrity because she is gifted and so she has opened ears that would not hear. God gives gifts to people to be used. If she honors her gift, she honors also the Giver of gifts. You can be at peace.

  • Christiane Smith

    I have heard of this also. I don’t know all the science behind it. If it is true, we are in more trouble than we know. I am old, but for goodness sake, for the young people, we need to put the brakes on the crazy destruction of our Earth-home. The young deserve an inheritance of life, not a hell on Earth

  • That about sums it up. Things are changing and they are afraid. It is just so much easier to tell yourself what a good Christian you are and what a good patriot you are and how superior you are when you are safe in your insulated bubble.

    Their back is to the wall.

    But, as we can all plainly see, the wall is full of holes and it comes at too great a cost and it wouldn’t save them, anyway!

  • Christiane Smith

    If they could only see what is coming if nothing is done soon, I don’t even know if it would matter to some of them who are blinded by greed, but if the voice of a young Greta is able to get through to them, then maybe there is some better chance for hope?

    It is almost as though Greta Thunberg has come back in time to warn them and to plead to them ‘don’t do this to us, your children’.
    She is a prophetic voice, yes.

  • Karen Battiest

    They really are poorly educated and poorly informed and they believe they are preserving a ‘way of life’ that really was just a fairy tale. I’m not sure there is any hope for them when they will only see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe and are willing to silence you or hurt you to do it.

  • Raymond

    So you are willing to denounce the name calling, personal attacks, and lies in the face of evidence presented by the President, Republican office holders and pundits, and by evangelical Christian pastors and ministers? Are you willing to call them out by name?

  • Syd Barrett

    I might lend her an ear if she goes to China and lectures them, because they’re by far the world’s largest polluter. Until then…

  • Jesse H

    The IPCC is the latest scientific research. At worst according to their research the oceans will rise 1 meter by 2100. This is not the “apocalypse around the corner” being heard from Greta. The IPCC also says that even if we were to stop all emissions right now we wouldn’t alleviate the changes. So it’s not an apocalypse.

  • Jesse H

    Great article, glad to see you back. The crazy thing is that the IPCC (the foremost scientific panel on climate change) has no such apocalyptic theories that Greta seems to have. At worst by 2100 the oceans may rise 1 meter. This is a far cry from doomsday. Also the IPCC has a longterm view, saying that even if emissions were ended right now, this wouldn’t stop some of the changes. But none of the changes represent anything close to an apocalypse.

  • Jesse H

    I’m going to heaven, don’t ya know? But seriously, the doomsday predictions are not what the IPCC says. That actual science doesn’t say the world will end or populations collapse any time soon. At worse a 1 meter rise in the oceans in 80 years. Far from doomsday.

  • Jesse H

    Esther shows great care for this avowedly and self-proclaimed mentally challenged individual. A teenager is not the world’s savior. And there are a great many things wrong with the world if the leaders of the world think she is.

  • Jesse H

    It’s not just about abortion. But sure, care for the unborn should be a high issue among a society that values humanity. Strange that the abortion doctor with 2200 fetuses (many of which were live birth) found in his garage doesn’t get more press. Is not this dastardly?
    The advocation for the unborn babies isn’t at all for botched abortions in back allies, that’s sheer nonsense and insanity. There are thousands of Christian programs and churches who are openly willing to adopt and help care for mothers who will care for their children.

  • Jesse H

    Christianity has survived every philosophical, national and gov’t attack on it for 2000 years. More Christians are actually killed today than every before. But have no fear, Christianity will survive. It has only ever thrived. There are now more Christians in Africa than the entire population of the US. It’s not going anywhere my friend.

  • Alan Drake

    The IPCC, by design, understates the impact of Climate Change because it is a consensus organization. Unless almost all scientist in that speciality agree – it does not make the report. And the IPCC report ignores environmental & social implications.

    Many examples.
    1) Humanity universally turns to war when there are shortages. Future wars could be devastating with GMO bioweapons etc.
    Note: Soviets did make a genetically modified small pox virus.
    2) Climate Chaos – explained to me in a private conversation as his greatest fear. Weather so chaotic yr to yr that farmers do not when to plant or even what to plant. This year’s Midwest corn crop as an example.
    Told to me by
    http://weatherhalloffame.org/joe-friday/
    He did not say Climate Chaos was certain, he said it was his greatest fear.
    3) Cassava is a Staff of Life food crop (rice, wheat, corn, potatoes too). In higher CO2 levels it shrinks & becomes inedible. CO2 acidifies oceans which will dramatically change them. We have tested few plants etc in greenhouses with elevated CO2 so we know little of the coming effects.
    and more.

    I personally think technological civilization will not survive with over 3 C warming. War will be the #1 cause of the massive die off of 99.9% of the population, but other causes too.

  • Jesse H

    The IPCC doesn’t ignore environmental implications, though I agree it’s a consensus organization. And the fact is we can’t fully predict environmental and social implications. And what you’re expressing is fear-based. Certainly we should look at implications both pessimistic and optimistic. And the reality is that we have great technologies and are capable of great adaptation. The idea that there could be shortages is balanced by the idea that right now we can feed the population of the planet 3 times over. And actually the future population of the planet doesn’t show the exponential increase from before, it’s actually slowing down.
    And we have seen changes where sea life and polar bears have already adapted. That’s what life does, it adapts.

  • Alan Drake

    With Russian roulette one can be optimistic or pessimistic. It is entirely possible for nothing to happen, which can justify optimism.

    This is not true for Climate Change. For one thing, there is a 30 to 40 year delay is getting the full impact of warming. Lots of thermal mass in water & rock. The atmosphere (which concerns us most) has just 0.1% of the total thermal mass. In other words, we ain’t seen nothing yet !

    Other impacts, such as changes in ocean currents, likely take most of a century after warming. Shutting down the Gulf Stream due to too rapid ice melting in Greenland would severely impact Western Europe and make Iceland uninhabitable.

    The Right Wing (it cannot be called conservative) policy of doing nothing is doing Russian roulette with all cylinders loaded. Some cylinders will end Technological Civilization, with a 99.9+% dieoff, some cylinders will just have a death toll & human misery exceeding WW II. The US revoking the previous entry policy for Bahamians after their hurricane is just the tip of the tip of the coming inhumanity. Remember we are seeing just the faintest inklings of what is to come. A 3x food production buffer# (I doubt that) is certainly not enough.

    Again, the universal human reaction to shortages is war.

    I have not read all of the latest IPCC, but earlier versions just had a 40,000′ hand waving at ecologically impacts.

    It is a fallacy to expect that we can foresee all, or even most of the ecological changes. I was recently blind sided by a study showing North American bird populations declined by 29% since 1970. And I can remember a half century ago, as a child, people remarking how many fewer birds there were. The popular consensus back then was that this was due to DDT. But DDT is out of the biosphere now and bird populations are still dropping. Climate Change seems the most likely cause.

    Warming weather caused the northward expansion of pests and a massive tree die-off in British Columbia. IPCC did not predict that. Etc etc.

    The impact of Global Warming will not be linear. +3 C will have an impacts 100s of times worse than +1.5 C.

    # Nitrogen fertilizer to grow current corn crops creates a Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. This year’s Dead Zone is expected to be the biggest ever. My 71 year old roommate works seasonally processing shrimp. This year he is working 3 days/week instead of 6 due to poor shrimp catches. Just another overlooked impact of Climate Change and Welfare for Farmers.

    BTW, I study different nations Climate Strategies. One of my favorites is France. Grenelle ONLY does things that improve the French economy and/or the French Quality of Life. Per capita French GHG emissions dropped by 24% in seven years with more to come. To quote a French diplomat “We leave ze sacrifices to ze Germans”.

    Example, doubling the Paris Metro. Takes 500,000/day out of private cars & 1.5 million out of buses. Saves 14 minutes/commuter and lowers operational costs vs buses. Less air pollution saves health costs, fewer oil imports helps economy. No new roads or widenings except bus only lanes to new Metro stations. So savings there too.

  • Christiane Smith

    Hello Jesse H,
    I hope you are right that Christian people are openly willing to help and we have the very fine example of that police officer who adopted the baby of the addicted mother he got help for, instead of arresting her. That is the gospel.

    Here’s the problem: For some time now, MANY of those same Christian people have been as silent as the grave while knowing that Trump openly sought to torment small children as a warning to asylum seekers not to come to our country. That SILENCE was deafening.

    It was not a biblical silence, no, as we are asked to stand up for those who are persecuted and speak for them.

    And it was not a moral silence, either,
    as it is said that WE ARE WHO WE STAND UP FOR in this world. We are, in essence, the responsible ones for those innocents who have no voice and who suffer . . . .

    but Christians, in many faith communities, on many blogs, were SILENT.

    Has this hurt the witness of the Church? I know it has. And it breaks my heart. It was a breach of moral integrity which was given up in hopes that somehow, POTUS would be able to turn the courts to get rid of R v. W, and issue in a new era of back alley abortions and punishment for abortion perpetrators. . . . and so Christians were silent in the face of the presence of real evil, in hopes of a political solution to an age-old problem that requires a profoundly Christ-formed commitment to working in positive ways to help in welcoming new life.

    The SILENCE is what happened. It’s what IS happening even now.
    So is it any wonder why, when people hear the word ‘Christian’,
    they no longer ARE ABLE to think of those who, with INTEGRITY, are willing to stand up for the helpless?

  • Alan Drake

    Once again. A detailed (and respectful & fact based) reply by me did not post.
    Too long perhaps or too persuasive, it did not post.

    I am disappointed & disgusted.

  • I believe it was posted as I received an email notification and I upvoted it and I liked it so much I copied it to my clipboard, if you want it.

    I would recommend that you do copy as you go along and before you push the post button in case there is an error.

  • I also have taken to making screenshots of certain posts as some of these people just delete posts they don’t like!

  • Alan Drake

    Yes please
    alansdrake at Google Mail (you know which one).
    Also good for contacting me on any other stuff.

  • Alan Drake
  • Fearless Feline

    No one has claimed she was the world’s savior except this article. Reread it–the tone and language are demeaning. Mentioning “facial tics” and “mouth spasms” is not “showing great care.” Nor is language like, “moon-like, waifish face of this movement’s anointed prophet,” “orphans of the meaning crisis” or “actions are those of a believer committed to a sacred cause.” This language and attack on a person and a movement that is seeking to help people does not reflect Jesus.

    How many adults function in all sorts of capacities with various mental issues? What would happen if everyone with mental challenges like depression stop working? The world would not function! And Aspergers can be an asset–how much does the author even know about it?

    Questioning her ability to speak to this issue because she has Aspergers and depression is insensitive at best, as is questioning her family’s religious beliefs with no actual knowledge of what their practices are.

  • Fearless Feline

    A further thought about this article. Immediately the author equates justice with sin and punishment which is retributive justice, something that sadly is typical of evangelical thought. But that is not the only type of justice. Justice can also mean treating people fairly, such as not making the poor, the young and the ill bare a disproportionate cost of pollution and climate change, which is what often happens but doesn’t involve locating blame or punishing anyone! The type of justice most often presented in the Bible is restorative justice, where God actually overlooks sin and restores people to right relationship with their Creator and with one another–isn’t that what Jesus is all about?

    And guess what?! There are also homeschooled, private schooled, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Bahá’í, Sikh, Native American religious and Jewish students who care about the environment and whose concern and action we should encourage and participate in. Christians, of all people, should be care for this world that God made and loves–the Catholic Church gets that! Many older Americans like to criticize this generation for playing video games and being on social media “all the time,” then deride them when they take action about issues that are literally killing people, such as gun violence and climate change. We should humbly listen to their wisdom, keeping in mind the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy not to let others despise him for his youth.

    I hope it’s not too late for evangelical idealogues whose token is science denial, whose ritual is skewering social justice and whose sign is a wrathful god to discover that following Jesus means loving others and working for the least of these rather than judging them and denying them justice.

  • Fearless Feline

    A further thought about this article. Immediately the author equates justice with sin and punishment which is retributive justice, something that sadly is typical of evangelical thought. But that is not the only type of justice. Justice can also mean treating people fairly, such as not making the poor, the young and the ill bare a disproportionate cost of pollution and climate change, which is what often happens but doesn’t involve locating blame or punishing anyone! The type of justice most often presented in the Bible is restorative justice, where God actually overlooks sin and restores people to right relationship with their Creator and with one another–isn’t that what Jesus is all about?

    There are also homeschooled, private schooled, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Bahá’í, Sikh, Native American religious and Jewish students, etc. who care about the environment and whose concern and action we should encourage and participate in. Christians, of all people, should be care for this world that God made and loves–the Catholic Church gets that! Many older Americans like to criticize this generation for playing video games and being on social media “all the time,” then deride them when they take action about issues that are literally killing people, such as gun violence and climate change. We should humbly listen to their wisdom, keeping in mind the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy not to let others despise him for his youth.

    In God’s mercy, it’s not too late for anyone, even religious idealogues whose token is science denial, whose ritual is skewering social justice and whose sign is a wrathful god, to discover that following Jesus means loving others and working for the least of these rather than judging them and withholding justice.

  • davidt

    Oh it’s religious reductionism at it’s very worst. Thats the problem with any collective view regardless and religion isn’t alone in that.

    Artists have and do allude to the irony of that. The old buffalo springfield song from the 60’s addressed that and yet here we are 50 years later with it being totally relevant. We don’t evolve quickly regardless.

  • Pennybird

    Oh for Pete’s sake, what are you so afraid of? Criticize her all you like for skipping school, but she earned the world’s ear by doing it. If wanting a future is leftist, then I hope we all are.

    What is the worst that will happen if we take her and the science seriously and curtail our use of fossil fuels and meat? Or to put it in other words, what if we improve the world all for nothing? Some industries will lose out (“Jesus wept at the quarterly report.” Republicans 12:34) but to be sure, others will rise from the ashes. Don’t worry about the money changers.

    True, a child should not be the messenger, but with the intransigence an abject failure of powerful adults, who else is there? At least Greta got your attention.

  • Pennybird

    Can you point to non partisan stats to prove your point about more Christians being killed now?

  • Alan Drake

    The Nestorian Christians that once crossed Asia & were well established in China were completely wiped out.

    Little is known about the Christ worshipping “Luminous Religion” of China. It, and all it’s theology, are gone.

  • rtgmath

    The author attacks Greta for her disability, for her focus on the destruction that the adults have done to the earth in the name of profit, and mourns that she is uninterested in Christianity.

    Why should she be at all attracted to a system that, for all of its promises of salvation, changes no one and nothing? Christianity even now sides with the oppressors against the oppressed. It supports the status quo. Conservative Christians have long railed against social justice, promising that God will make things right after death but supports the injustice and inequality of the present.

    Keep yapping and flapping and squawking and mocking. You show what you are. With Christians like that, there is no need of the Devil.

  • fred5399

    the author at no time stated why/how Greta is wrong.She is trying t o save the world.What’s Barron Trump doing these days as the world burns?

  • Al Cruise

    African Christians wouldn’t be welcome in many white US. Christian Churches. Certainly not their culture or leadership abilities. Only in arguments like this for their numbers, they get brought up.

  • BertB

    Sea levels will rise under all emissions scenarios for centuries to come and accelerate in the second half of this century. Sea levels have already risen about a foot in the past several decades and communities all along the East and Gulf coasts of the U.S. are already experiencing chronic tidal flooding. Coastal communities are facing the threat of direct inundation as well as greatly magnified risks from storm surge, tidal flooding, extreme rain, and other effects of climate change.

    The SROCC’s projections don’t fully account for the possibility of rapid changes in polar regions. But it’s become apparent that much higher levels of sea level rise are plausible because Greenland is melting much faster and there is increased instability in the West Antarctic. Both of these were once thought to be future worries, but that’s no longer an assumption we should rely upon.

    These scenarios were better reflected in 2017 sea level rise projections made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which informed the United States’ own National Climate Assessment. NOAA estimates that sea levels would likely rise between 1 foot (0.3m) and 4.27 feet (1.3m); higher than the IPCC’s SROCC projections. The National Climate Assessment pointed out that, “These ranges do not, however, capture the full range of physically plausible global average sea level rise over the 21st century,” and that sea levels could rise as much as 8.2 feet (2.5m) by the end of the century if rapid loss of Antarctic ice occurred.

    This is all taken from this article, and there is a lot more bad news there that you can read if you are interested.
    https://www.nrdc.org/experts/rob-moore/new-ipcc-report-sea-level-rise-challenges-are-growing

  • BertB

    You have said this now in two or three different comments. Read what I posted below in response to one of them, and then follow the link I posted…and then get back to me.

  • BertB
  • Jesse H
  • Jesse H

    Why? I agree churches often have their own cultures and identities, but it’s unfair to say that “many” white US Christian churches wouldn’t share brotherhood with African Christians. It’s actually predominantly white missionaries who ministered to Africa.

  • Jesse H

    She does have facial tics and a moon-like face. Obviously that’s part of her waifish charm, she’s not attacking her, Esther’s recognizing that we have all the markings of religious fervor bound up in these issues. And that’s actually the point. What else besides religious fervor would cause world leaders to uphold an emotionally and mentally challenged teenager as having the world’s answers? Greta is completely wrong about environmental apocalyptic predictions, the absolute worst predictions scientifically do not claim the end of the world is nigh. Yes, there are predictions about ocean rise, weather fluctuations, changes in animal life, but not the end of the world, not by a long shot.

  • Jesse H

    I’m not sure where you got the SILENCE. I heard and hear many Christians standing up for compassion, not only those who are actively engaged, but those who recognize that Congress hasn’t done its job on this issue. This is after all a Congressional issue, not an Executive issue. It first started in the Clinton era when it was seen to be humanitarian for adults and children to be dealt with by different agencies at the border. The fact that the law hasn’t kept up with the influx is again a Congressional issue.

    And the rhetoric which says that Trump “openly sought to torment small children as a warning to asylum seekers” is preposterous. Trump by definition cannot change the law, he actually is not to blame for what’s happening at the border.

  • Jesse H
  • Jesse H
  • Jesse H

    You’re right, God is not a capitalist, but He’s not a socialist either. He’s also not a climate-change denier or supporter. He kind of created the climate, so He’s a little above all the pettiness. He loves Greta too, but He also knows a lot more than she.

  • Jesse H

    Let’s go with your theory that global warming may just be the very hand of God. Does that mean we should turn to Him?

  • Al Cruise

    I would say that Christianity will survive, however many American Christian Churches and denominations will not. That would be a much more accurate statement.

  • Guestie

    Was China not at the UN that day?

  • Jesse H

    Again why? There are no American Christian denominations that have racial policies in their doctrinal statements.

  • Guestie

    The Pew study does not report on number of people killed. The report focuses on government policies that are restrictive and/or intolerant of religions.

  • What is your point? I did not say God was a socialist.

    I don’t consider this to be a “petty” matter as emissions do have an impact on our health and the effect is greater on children like Greta. Also, the disadvantaged are at greater risk. Do you deny this, too?

    And Greta does not claim to be an expert, people admire her because she cared enough to try to effect change.

  • Why would you say, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that Donald Trump has done nothing that has had an effect on the detention and treatment of families and children at the border? You are bearing false witness. What is your motive for doing so?

  • Al Cruise

    They have it in their hearts.

  • BertB

    Dave Middleton is a well-know climate denier. People like you believe them, and dismiss the consensus of thousands of climate scientists.
    That’s called confirmation bias.

  • Jesse H

    I’m not dismissing the consensus. As I said the IPCC is the consensus, and it doesn’t have apocalyptic predictions. It’s always good to read both sides, which I have done. I believe the evidence, which both sides present to varying degrees. And the world won’t end in 12 years or by 2100 or in 300 years. Yes, there will be changes, and we may have to adapt in some ways, but if we could actually have discussions instead of accusations we could make headway.

  • Jesse H

    Everyone has sin in their hearts. You’re going to have to do better than that.

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    Skipping school? Seems to me she already knows more than most of us do…

  • Jesse H

    Sure, we should strive for cleaner air. And we actually do have cleaner air than we used to, particularly in the US. I can’t say the same for China, the only reason there was no smog in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics was because BY GOVERNMENT MANDATE people had restrictions to drive on the streets leading up to and during the Olympics.
    I’m not sure what you’re objecting to in what I said.

  • Jesse H

    It’s a Congressional issue. We need more border workers, more health and family workers, more facilities, more money and new laws facilitating the procedure. All these are Congressional issues.

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    Greta is one person. There are a lot more just like her. And, one may point out, most of us will be DEAD when she is having to deal with an increasingly hostile planet. It isn’t about us today. It’s about all the Gretas who will have to deal with tomorrow, after we’re all dead and gone. Apparently the writer of this blog doesn’t realise this.

  • BertB

    She doesn’t say the world will end. She said civilization will be changed.

  • Pennybird

    Did you read the report? It’s mostly Muslims being targeted, and mostly by rhetoric and harrassment. I saw nothing about Christians being killed for being Christian, though it did say there was an increase in countries where Christians are being harrassed – also true of other religions.

  • The climate deniers have used that to turn back environmental protections across the board under Trump. Surely, you are not going to feign innocence about that, too?

    They even go so far as to feel victimized by the tree huggers.

  • Progress is painfully slow but with Trump it feels like being dragged back to the dark ages.

  • Are you saying that those executive orders that Trump keeps signing have not had any impact, or that you don’t know about them?

    Or is it your opinion that because Trump is angry about the situation that he is within his rights to force more people into the detention centers and the court system than they are able to handle?

  • Oh, it is about abortion. And prayer in school and the ten commandments on the courthouse wall. As well as ‘Merry Christmas’ instead of ‘Happy Holidays’ and Donald Trump is the most unlikeliest of crusaders but he is their blunt object to pound it all through and bludgeon the rest of us along the way for good measure.

  • BertB

    Trump doesn’t give a s**t about any of it. But he panders to those who do because if he does they will vote for him.

  • Anri

    May I ask why, as a Christian, you seem to be using Apocalypse as a negative?
    Isn’t the world ending and everyone dying a good thing?
    Isn’t that the Plan?

  • It is sickening. I think any honest, intelligent person can see that it is nationalism that is their religion. They’re afraid of losing their lofty vantage point on top of the world from which they sanctimoniously look down on everybody else.

  • I think that is what most of the people here are saying. That our lifestyle and our nation’s policies are harmful. Which would translate into being morally wrong no matter what your religion.

  • Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by Young Fogey.

    (Again).

  • “As mass extinctions show us, sudden climate change can be profoundly disruptive. And while we haven’t yet crossed the 75-percent threshold of a mass extinction, that doesn’t mean things are fine. Well before hitting that grim marker, the damage would throw the ecosystems we call home into chaos, jeopardizing species around the world—including us.”

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/prehistoric-world/mass-extinction/

  • Jesse H

    We are not suffering from sudden climate change. By no metric is this true. We are suffering from a gradual climate change, and we are already seeing animals and plants adapt to this. We could see a change of 2 degrees Celsius in 80 years, but again, this isn’t sudden.

  • Jesse H

    What lifestyle and policies are you referring to? Driving a car and legal immigrants?

  • Jesse H

    No, that’s not the plan. Everyone dying has never been the plan.

  • Jesse H

    I have no idea how you think Trump is forcing more people into detention centers. I don’t think Trump comes anywhere close to being that powerful.

  • Jesse H

    I don’t mind that we can have fracking. I don’t mind that we have less power in a non-elected federal institution (EPA). And none of that has made the environment worse.

  • Jesse H

    You didn’t see the part about ISIS targeting and killing Christians?

  • Censored.

  • BertB

    Sudden climate change. The term is used within the context of global warming to describe sudden climate change that is detectable over the time-scale of a human lifetime, possibly as the result of feedback loops within the climate system.

  • It is abundantly clear that you just don’t care and will only see what you want to see.

    But, guess what, it’s not all about you.

  • Jesse H

    No, it’s not all about me. It’s about the fact that since Iran recently bombed the Saudi oil plants we didn’t really worry about a spike in gas prices because US oil companies including fracking can cover this. So instead of 1990 and the Persian Gulf war we carried on as if virtually nothing happened. And also companies that do well with emissions are naturally seen in a good light by the public, so the deregulation which enables the company to operate without federal oversight actually directly goes to the public because companies are able to be more profitable without the regulation.

  • Jesse H

    I appreciate the correction on this. So the IPCC would say there has been sudden climate change but the consensus is that this is not catastrophic climate change. Catastrophic would be difficult to define certainly, but frankly when I read the IPCC report it was surprising how non-catastrphic it was.

  • This ignores the fact that our Middle East policies were misguided to begin with. And the associated costs that we continue to pay.

    Here is a quote. And just because this does not cause you concern, the rest of us may still take it seriously.

    “The underlying report suggests that the other tipping points are too poorly understood, or not likely to be triggered until higher amounts of warming – but given their consequences, one would expect a more risk-based approach. That is, you don’t ignore them until you know them to be impossible.”

  • BertB

    Here is a summary of the IPCC report. Is it wrong?
    1. Over the 21st century, the ocean is projected to transition to unprecedented conditions with increased temperatures, further ocean acidification, marine heatwaves and more frequent extreme El Niño and La Niña events.

    2. The global ocean has warmed unabated since 1970 and has taken up more than 90% of the excess heat in the climate system.

    3. Since 1993, the rate of ocean warming has more than doubled.

    4. Marine heatwaves have very likely doubled in frequency since 1982 and are increasing in intensity.

    5. Floods will become more frequent and severe in mountainous and downstream areas of river basins, because of an increase in extreme precipitation events.

  • Pennybird

    More than anyone else?
    I’m troubled that the original article you linked to made a statement, and offered a link that didn’t confirm it. Lazy readers (as we all can be at times) will take the statement at face value, believing that if their newsletter is credible, the citation is valid. It’s possible they inadvertently posted the wrong link, or it could be deliberate disinformation. Either way, poor editing was involved, and that is irresponsible. But I digress.

  • BertB

    ISIS targets and kills anyone who is not a Sunni Muslim.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Shias_by_ISIL
    Christians are no more targeted than Shia Muslims and Yazidis.

  • That’s how he got elected, by declaring he would have mass deportations.

  • Lauren Bertrand

    Given the age of the earth versus Greta’s youth compared to our own, Greta will be dead as well during climageddon. Because those extra 30 years Greta has on this earth will manifest a virtually undetectable change. A millennium is the earthly equivalent to an eyeblink.

  • BertB

    …those extra 30 years Greta has on this earth will manifest a virtually undetectable change.

    Tell that to the people living on the Gulf Coast, on Caribbean islands and elsewhere on the planet who have seen a huge increase in violent storms in the past ten years.

  • Lauren Bertrand

    The single most intense year for hurricanes was 2005 (the year of Katrina), while the next year was among the calmest in recorded history. During the Obama administration, the only two major storms were Irene and Sandy, and those were eclipsed in a single year by Harvey/Irma/Maria in 2017, the closest to a hyperactive storm year since 2005.

    I know this isn’t what the media says, but the media isn’t exactly known for its probity or integrity. In the end, it won’t be a storm that kills off all that bogus reporting–the death will be from their own hands.

  • Jesse H

    I think what I’d take as true is that if we look back at the last 100 years we can certainly see an overall persecution of Christians, some have the figure as high as 70 million total.

  • Jesse H

    No one truly knows what will happen. I don’t deny that we are seeing changes. But another part of the IPCC report is also that even if all emissions were to stop right now it wouldn’t change what will happen. So it does seem like we will have to adapt and as I continually have said we already see ocean animals and land animals adapting. Polar bears are actually not at risk, they are doing quite well. Killer sharks have increased their territories, and humans if we have to will protect ourselves in coastal regions. And again do you agree that we have had 60 years of climate catastrophism which hasn’t gotten predictions right. We can find 1968 reports which say that we would have already undergone several worldwide famines and that New York will be underwater by now.

    And yet we thrive and continue to adapt.

  • BertB

    So, your position is: “Oh well, we already f**ked it up, so get used to it.”
    Have I got that right?

  • Jesse H

    Trump got elected due to a number of factors. Just off the top of my head people didn’t want another Clinton in office, they didn’t want Hillary who had shown to be bad with email security and national intelligence secrets, they wanted the lesser of two evils, they were tired of politics and voted in a newcomer, they resonated with the idea of America being great again, they liked the idea of a businessman helping the domestic economy … I could keep going but we’re just getting started.

  • Jesse H

    Are you changing the discussion here to global warming?

    Frankly I find it hard to follow your sometimes meandering train of thought. I’ll respond if I see you have a point to respond to.

  • Jesse H

    You mean Trump is a politician? I agree. But Trump does have policies I agree with. I agree with American values of free speech, individual liberties, economic capitalism, the value of life, legal immigration, pro-American foreign policy, etc.

  • Jesse H

    This is from the article you cite:
    Their imagined powerlessness, and the need for a strong authoritarian
    leader to protect them, is at the root of their racial and social
    animus. Their persecution complex is a heady mix of their fear of
    “socialists,” Muslims, independent women, LGBT people and immigration.

    I’m probably wasting my time but here goes. As a Christian Trump is not my ultimate leader, he is simply the duly-elected president of the nation I live in. I don’t need his protection, but I appreciate his policy of religious freedom. I don’t have a racial and social animus, I believe all races have equality before God and all societies are ordained by God. I don’t feel persecuted in America, I don’t fear socialists, I simply think it’s a bad economic policy which doesn’t work. Economies by their nature don’t work from government stimulus, they work from individual innovation and ambition. I think Muslims are great when they believe in religious freedom, and many of them do, but Sharia opposes religious freedom. I love independent women, but women and men are two parts to the whole of society, we need each other.
    I don’t fear LGBT, I appreciate anyone who wants to support society with values of marriage and family. And I’m not fearful of immigration, if you want to come here and be an American supporting American values, you’re welcome.

    And for these reasons and others I’m a Conservative.

  • Jesse H

    Hi friend, would you care to have an actual dialogue where reasonable people can disagree without strawmanning? I hope so.

    My position is that we are already seeing life adapt to changes, that humans have shown great ability to adapt, that climate catastrophism has been severely wrong on many occasions, that every generation shows new innovations and economic prosperity which has increased the quality of life for everyone, that we are only getting better at responding to changes, that we should certainly be good stewards of the earth and its life, and that if the oceans rise and the earth is warmer humanity will continue to prosper and deal with what comes.

  • BertB

    I can’t believe I am citing Fox, but this article spells out what we are doing to the planet. We are “adapting” by doing exactly what I said above.
    https://fox17online.com/2019/05/06/report-humans-accelerating-extinction-of-species/

  • My point was that you can hardly claim that fracking is some kind of victory after decades of bad policy that we’re still paying for.

    And the quote was in relation to how it’s not all about you and that many intelligent people believe there is cause for concern.

  • bj700

    Yep, CONSTANTLY! Burning Christian churches, killing Christians in Africa & other places worldwide .

  • IndyGuy581

    What is she so afraid of??? Dying on a nice warm sun shining day from nice sun shiny weather.

  • davidt

    I think it’s always 2 steps forward 1.99999999 steps backwards. Christianity has been working on one word for 2000 years love. Agape live in particular Emperically we don’t evolve quickly as we think.

  • IndyGuy581

    Knows more than most do. Not even by a long shot. She’s a kid that is being pimped by
    leftists for their purposes of wealth redistribution and to promote socialism over capitalism.

  • Jesse H

    Fair enough. Intelligent people can disagree fairly.

  • Jesse H

    I agree we can become more efficient, we need to have habitats for many species. I also agree we should curb out wastefulness. However I don’t agree with the poor extrapolation about species becoming extinct, the math just doesn’t add up. We’ve lost 680 backbone species since 1600, yet we can extrapolate that a million species will be lost in the future based on a 25% ratio assuming an ESTIMATED 8 million species?

    Here’s a reasonable question:https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/a-democratic-professor-explains-what-his-party-gets-wrong-about-climate

  • kwok kit ho

    Greta Thunberg’s accusations at the UN before world leaders on the adults’ selfishness, greediness are sound, loud and clear.
    In the Bible, it is called sin.
    In the Bible, everyone, including Greta should repent and return to Christ Jesus for salvation.
    The emergence of Greta could be a plus to the Gospel we are sharing.
    At least she put all the adults under sin and death!
    But this is an opportunity for God’s church to put everyone under the sin and death category, then telling them there is no salvation except Jesus Christ!

  • Ok. Thanks for being civil. It is a pleasant change.

  • BertB

    I don’t read right wing propaganda. I was amazed by the Fox article.

  • Yes, and nationalism, too, here in the US is especially hateful to ‘others’ when this is a relatively young country of immigrants. We have no racial identity, it’s all in their heads!

  • davidt

    I blame right handers collectively!! They are wierd although they don’t realize it. Some i call transhanders born right hand but inside really left-handers a minority!!! Karen if you aren’t a lefty you might be a transhander! Me just naturally left handed!

  • Nope, it’s the right wingers.

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    Always, SOMEBODY has to turn things political. Sheesh! Since you seem to love Capitalism so much, explain to me how Capitalism was uninvolved with the current climate crisis? Either you’re being sarcastic or you’re a troll. Which are you? Or do you believe the current climate problems are “just the way things are” and they’ll go away on their own? If that’s the case, they blather away; nobody will take you seriously.

  • Jesse H

    Right wing propaganda? It’s a democrat in a main stream media publication making some points. Everyone has to read viewpoints different from their own, only then can you tell if you aren’t in an echo chamber.

  • BertB

    Yep. When I read stuff on Fox that is actually reasonable, I am amazed. I am sorry it upsets you.

  • Jesse H

    I’m not upset at the article. I’m upset at you thinking the link I gave you was propaganda. And that you wouldn’t read it. You clearly are not interested in the truth if you don’t take the time to look at other perspectives.
    And that’s a basic problem. I have great respect for someone who disagrees with me who is willing to understand the other side, but to be honest I find Conservatives and Libertarians to be interested in hearing alternative opinions, but Leftists just want to shout out opposing viewpoints and refuse to engage.

  • IndyGuy581

    No, I don’t think the current climate situation is just the way things are or
    have to be. Innovation through capitalism and the free markets are
    where the solutions will be found.

    Second, we don’t know of all the potential ramifications or if there
    are any potential benefits to warming. No one has all the answers at this
    point. Not even by a long shot. There are far too many moving integral parts. & forces at play. We still don’t know how all the different moving parts affect
    each other.

    And yes, I support capitalism more than I will ever support socialism.

    Now, let me ask you, do you really think socialism will provide the needed
    mechanisms to reverses warming?

  • BertB

    Capitalism, with its emphasis on economic growth and profits, is inherently at odds with any actions that will limit those goals, and clearly, many of the environmental actions that are needed will affect both.
    Socialism does not have that problem.

  • IndyGuy581

    Where are the needed innovations and inventions going to come from
    to help us clean our environment. They won’t come from the socialist
    countries. The only thing socialism can do is control our behaviors.
    Socialism will only lower our standard of living.

    I don’t want to go back to the Stone Age standard of living. How many
    young people are willing to give up their lap tops, lattes, iPhones,
    etc……… Not to many. When push comes to shove, how many people,
    young people especially are willing to give up their modern standard of
    living that has come from free market capitalism.

    Countries must take care of their most basic needs and raise their living
    standards before they can tackle climate change. Too many countries
    have not reached those standards yet.

  • IndyGuy581

    Socialism does not have that problem because it can never raise the
    standard of living as the countries that have free market capitalism can.
    All most all of the modern miracles of high tech, medicine, medical procedures & devices, and affordable consumer products are a result of the free markets. The most basic necessities being food, housing, fuel, and
    water.

  • BertB

    A lot of western European nations are socialist, and they have a higher standard of living, lower per-capita CO2 emissions, lower poverty levels, more efficient automobiles than we do. They have plenty of scientific activities and technological development too. You are certainly correct about the standard of living in poor nations. But most of them have lower per-capita environmental pollution than we do.
    You are also correct that most people…not just young people…don’t want to give up their high levels of consumption if it cramps their lifestyle. And I include myself in this. I think much can be done without a significant effect on our standard of living. But corporations oppose and obstruct much of that, because it will affect their bottom line, and they influence government with their money.

  • IndyGuy581

    Thanks for taking the time to respectfully respond.

    Agreed, that corporations certainly do spend a lot of time and money lobbying our
    congressional leaders for favorable legislation and favors.

    Agreed that many western European nations do have a lower carbon
    foot print. But we ( The U.S. ) produce probably 23 to 25 % of the worlds goods and services while we have about four to five percent of the worlds
    population. I believe France gets almost all of their power ( non transportation) from
    nuclear which the U.S. is not embracing.

    I think a lot of corporations do obstruct to a degree so they can stay
    competitive globally. It’s hard to mandate smoothering regulations without
    hurting our own industries ( in affect harming American Workers ).

    I wish I had all of the answers, but I don’t. I certainly hope good ole
    American ingenuity comes through.

  • BertB

    The problem is, as you pinpoint, if we regulate our industries to reduce environmental damage, and if our competitors overseas do not, we harm our businesses…and their employees. This is not just a global problem. It is happening in our country, as states compete for businesses and entice them to move, offering them tax breaks and other incentives. I think you can see that why this is called the “race to the bottom.” The same thing is happening globally, with corporations moving their manufacturing to low-wage nations that don’t care about environmental damage. Should we compete by emasculating unions, driving down wages and relaxing environmental regulations? Is this the best solution for American workers? Is this what we, as a nation, must do to compete, regardless of the long-term effects of our actions? I think not. I will give you my answers, but first, you tell me what you think we should do.

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    One simple question: Have I ever posted anything about Socialism? Have I? This seems to be your bug, not mine. Additionally, we already have Socialism here; it’s called Social Security and Medicare among other things—both managed by the Government and applicable to every working American. There seems to be a big thing about Socialism, probably because of inaccurate Communistic attributions, but Socialism is anything but Communist. Some of the most liberal countries have Socialist governments and they do just fine.
    In a real sense, Socialism is too vague a term to use, since the Governmental insurance that most banks carry, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is by its actions and formulation a Socialist organization. When a bank fails, its the FDIC who makes sure the people whose money is in that bank get their cash back (unlike 1929 when bank failures meant your money was GONE).
    The Federal Highway Administration of the Interior Department is another “Socialist” group, they build and maintain the highways in the United States (and are usually screaming about deferred maintenance).
    There is a lot of “Definition Socialism” here in the United States, and so far one has not noted any serious damage to our values, culture, or self-respect. Socialism is a term used to describe the “Public ownership of various industries and enterprises” wherein the Government represents the “Public” and the “Industries and enterprises” are the various services that we expect the government to provide in return for our tax-dollars. So relax, Socialism is here and we’re doing just fine as a result.
    And this is the LAST time I respond to the politicalization of this topic. Period.

  • IndyGuy581

    Both the right and the left have made this topic political.
    So don’t pretend that the left is innocent. Climate change should not
    be political. That we both can agree on!!

    Second, I’m not confusing socialism with communism.
    Social Security, we all pay into. We get back what we pay into it.
    Howeve, some will get more than others depending on how long we l8ve.

    Correct, Medicaid is a socialist program. Medicaid and Medicare are a big
    part of the reason why our healthcare market is so distorted.

    FDIC, yes it is a tenet of socialism. I don’t necessarily agree with the
    structure of the FDIC, and I’ll never have a say in it.

    Socialist countries doing just fine?? They have their own problems ( a lot
    of problems ).
    You’re referencing the Scandinavian countries I presume. Their economies are capitalist with big safety nets. Their middle class and poor are taxed
    at much higher rates than our middle class and poor. So no, they are not
    utopias by any stretch of the imagination.

  • IndyGuy581

    If I had all the answers I would sitting on the mountain top like a guru
    humming.

    Yes, the states are competing and sometimes it does seem like a race
    to the bottom.

    You mentioned unions, they have done a lot of good, but they have also
    over played their hand many times. There is a reason why the foreign
    auto plants have not unionized. I think only one Toyota auto plant has
    unionized ( one in Baltimore ). They flat out do not want to be represented
    by the UAW.

    I know many on the left don’t like the profit motive of free markets, but
    that economic system has lifted more people out of poverty than
    any other system. Does it have it’s flaws, certainly. There will always
    be greedy people out there. But by and large it is a good system.

    I wish I all the answers so I wouldn’t have to work so hard.

  • IndyGuy581

    Yes, when you insinuated that capitalism was the reason for the climate change mess.
    Also, I never said capitalism did not contribute to the our current
    situation. What I’m saying is that capitalism will offer the solutions before
    socialism will.
    Where do you think the bulk of all the patents, discoveries, inventions,
    and innovations come from???? Not the socialist countries. The socialist countries enjoy the standard of living that they do because of free market capitalism in countries like the United States.
    That’s not political, that is fact.

  • BertB

    I agree about unions. Unions are run by people who want power. just as businesses are. Both can be corrupt, and often are. But without them, workers would still be working 80 hour weeks for starvation wages. Read the history of wages and working conditions before unions.
    Workers in Toyota or Honda or Nissan plants have not unionized because the companies pay wages that are competitive with union wages. If they didn’t, those plants would unionized in a New York Minute. Think about that. If unions were abolished, how much would those non-union plants pay their workers? The THREAT of unionization forces them to pay decent wages.
    The profit motive of capitalism has been an engine of economic growth in this country, but when did the middle class make their biggest gains? After WWII, when unions were strong. After 1970, when Reagan and others started the assault on unions, the wages of workers stagnated. And they will continue to stagnate, or even decline, as unions are suppressed. Just watch what is happening.
    And you don’t even have to admit that I told you so.

  • IndyGuy581

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti union by any stretch of the imagination.
    But I really disagree with the UAW on many things. The unions need to
    grow and evolve just as corporations have to in an ever changing competitive environment.
    I also would like to see the unions compete just as businesses have to.
    It would force unions to be more responsible to their membership and
    the memberships needs.

    Unions were at their height after WW11 because we were the only
    industrialized nation with our industry still intact. None of our factories or
    industries were touched. We were literally exporting a lot of product to
    the rest of the world until the rest of the industrialized nations started
    rebuilding. Once other nations started rebuilding we weren’t as dominant
    anymore. Many of our corporations and the unions never really adjusted
    to the growing foreign reindustrialization that was taking place.

    I knew many union ( UAW and Teamsters ) workers personally that bragged
    about how little work ( maybe two hours worth if that ) they did while making incredible amounts of money. I knew others that would clock in and then
    leave and come back hours later. The work rules the unions established
    were absolutely ridiculous and allowed this type of nonsense to happen.
    They also had very adviserial attitudes towards the companies they worked
    for and their managers.

    I was just talking to a guy two days ago that said his union wanted
    him to go on strike because a member was fired for attendance.
    He said do you have any idea how hard it was to get fired for attendance
    in our union shop. Needless to say many members did not want to
    strike over a dead beat employee.

    I knew another guy that said the union wanted to strike at a Caterpillar
    plant in Peoria Illinois because two young employees wore shirts to
    work that said “ Catepillar sucks “ and management told them to
    put on different shirts or go home.

    I could go on with other outrageous examples of people and situations involving the unions defending outrageous behavior. It is a sin what some knuckle heads can get away with.

    On the flip side I’ve personally seen management in non union companies
    get away with outrageous acts also. The horrible managers need to
    be checked and outed.

    Just my take for what it’s worth.

  • IndyGuy581

    Since when do politicians or people that want favors from politicians
    not political on any problem that needs solving. Very naive to think
    that politics won’t creep into potential climate change issues also.

  • BertB

    There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of union corruption and harmful actions. Unions in Europe are more responsible, and actually work with management to make needed changes in working conditions, for example. I don’t have a magic solution to the problems, but if unions are eliminated, or even further suppressed, workers will suffer.

  • IndyGuy581

    Great point about the unions being more interactive with management
    in Europe. That is something our unions and corporations should study
    more closely.

  • John N.K

    I do worry about her. It seems like her audience and supporters are not paying enough atyention to her mental issues and may be pushing her down obsessions she should be helped out of. However, she is a kid and her cause is worth at least an ear and further discussion. In that light, I find this article ungenerous. It lacks that gentleness and kindness that should spring out of the fruit of the Spirit for an evangelical especially towards a child.

  • John N.K

    If you count pollution per capita, China is not that much higher than other countries. If it were possible to count total pollution from the start of the industrial revolution, China would be quite green.

  • BertB

    The US is higher than China by almost a factor of three in per capita carbon emissions. China is lower than most European nations.
    https://cotap.org/per-capita-carbon-co2-emissions-by-country/
    Re air pollution, China is not the worst. It’s not even in the top ten.
    https://www.businessinsider.com/most-least-toxic-countries-pollution-environment-2017-2#-1

  • BertB

    Second try. The first one disappeared.
    The US is almost three times higher than China in per capita carbon emissions. China is lower than most European nations.
    https://cotap.org/per-capita-carbon-co2-emissions-by-country/
    Re air pollution, China isn’t even in the top ten.
    https://www.businessinsider.com/most-least-toxic-countries-pollution-environment-2017-2#-1