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How much does Greta Thunberg know about climate change?

Are the young activists against global warming all competent to be spokespeople for the movement? This is what a French journalist from Causeur tried to discover.

Published: April 10, 2019, 8:31 am

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    New green utopian, young Greta Thunberg hit the headlines with a scathing speech at COP 24 in December 2018. Since then, her green message has toured the globe and motivated young people in several European countries to demonstrate in order to get their governments to react to global warming.

    As part of the “climate strike”, high school students joined Climate Marches organised in several European cities. Marc Reisinger, a reporter for Causeur, was curious to know the actual depth of knowledge of these utopian-minded young people on climate.

    “I realised that they did not know the cause of the issue they were protesting about: global warming,” he says. Rather disappointed, Reisinger decided to question Greta Thunberg herself, in Sweden, where she leads a school strike in front of the Parliament every Friday.

    Thunberg had been discussing the issue with groups of young French people, when Marc Reisinger approached her and filmed their encounter. “I saw you in Brussels, there were a lot of people … I heard that you suggested to young people to study the climate. I’d like a little talk about that, if you agree… ” he asks in English.

    Greta Thunberg nods timidly. In fact, her interlocutor finds her “fearful, uncomfortable: I feel like she’s saying ‘yes’, but thinks ‘no'”. Then, the girl takes off her hat. Instantly a woman interrupts the discussion and cuts short the interview: “Hello, sorry, we have something to do now. I have to take her away, thanks… ”

    An amazing experience says Marc Reisinger, who analysed the interruption as follows: “Unlike the young demonstrators in Brussels, Greta did not answer any questions. I found myself facing a little girl, lost, without passion, manipulated by disturbing people, a child subjected to terror. […] Strange that a climate leader does not accept being asked a question about the climate. One can only prostrate oneself, and the world does not hesitate: Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Claude Juncker, jury of the Nobel prize. Soon the Pope …? He asks.

    Perhaps she chose “selective silence” linked to her autism, but Reisinger noted that she responded complacently to the irrelevant anecdotal questions asked by young people just minutes before he tried to question her on climate change.

    As a teenager, the young Thunberg became the priestess of ecology and the fight against climate change within a few short months. Her assertive positions have resulted in at least two wealthy Swedish families deriving economic benefits from her position.

    “The strategy is to pretend to save the planet so that they can continue to make a profit. And in the role of the useful idiot, is the young Greta Thunberg,” says French commentator Emmanuel Aumonier.

    The French ecologist from Calvados, Isabelle Attard, argues the same point on the Reporterre website.

    Behind this girl, who teaches the heads of state, there is indeed a gray eminence and a green ticket machine in the role of advisor, Ingmar Rentzhog. Founder of the start-up “We Do not Have Time”, he set himself the goal of fighting against climate change through the power of social networks.

    Ingmar had already attended a climate conference with Greta and her family three months earlier. Rentzhog had found his muse but behind his  start-up “there are two backers to whom ecology is not however the main concern,”  says Aumonier. The one is the Persson family who built their fortune in the automobile industry and his own family, who specializes in finance.

    “The two families are intimately linked. In May, Ingmar Rentzhog will take control of a think tank, Global Utmaning, promoting sustainable development and is supposedly politically independent. It actually serves the interests of the Persson family: the daughter is the founder and the father, billionaire, is a former social democratic minister and still very influential. As the European elections approach, they are fighting for a grand alliance of all the Europeanist parties of government against nationalism.”

    Two months ago, the think tank proudly announced its partnership with Global Shapers, a community of young leaders, a network led by the World Economic Forum. The goal of Rentzhog and Persson is simple: save the planet from one side maintain a strong economic growth of the other, always demanding more alliances, synergies, cooperation and above all, globalisation.

    Thanks to Thunberg , the Rentzhog start-up, owned by Persson, has grown considerably and has harvested hundreds of thousands of email addresses to promote the theme of “green growth” or the circular economy or the “greenwashing”.

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    • La Garconne

      Now that’s real journalism.

      • pamrose4arts

        No, real journalism would include a transcript of the said interview or a video so that we could draw our own conclusions. AND if you think young people don’t understand climate disruption, talk to a climate change denier. What counts is that 99% of climatologists and others who are experts in the scholarship of climate issues agree with Greta. (And I think she understands things pretty well, based on other interviews I have seen with her. Could be that this ‘journalist’ has an agenda. Causeur is right wing and soft pedals the ideas of Le Pen.

        • Ed Itor

          Queue the usual appeals to authority and insults. Here’s a fun game: Spot how you’ve been manipulated into becoming an unwitting manipulator: Here are five basic rules of propaganda, courtesy of Norman Davies in his extraordinary book “Europe: A History”.

          The rule of simplification: reducing all data to a simple confrontation between ‘Good and Bad’, ‘Friend and Foe’.

          The rule of disfiguration: discrediting the opposition by crude smears and parodies.

          The rule of transfusion: manipulating the consensus values of the target audience for one’s own ends.

          The rule of unanimity: presenting one’s viewpoint as if it were the unanimous opinion of all right-thinking people: draining the doubting individual into agreement by the appeal of star-performers, by social pressure, and by ‘psychological contagion’.

          The rule of orchestration: endlessly repeating the same messages in different variations and combinations.

          • Isaiahdolan

            Thanks for this – very insightful.

        • Regulus99
    • Isaiahdolan

      At a UN question and answer forum with youth Greta could not answer anything directly other than asking others to answer. Very awkward.

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