Like many people, I have been inspired by Greta Thunberg’s words and spirit, and the challenge she seems to present to the status quo. As I have learned more about her, I have found out that everything is not as it seems, but I remain grateful for her presence on the scene anyway. Regardless of my own feelings, her popularity presents a teachable moment about media, social forces, and activism.
Thunberg’s rise to prominence is not due solely to her own efforts and personality, as admirable as they are. As exhaustively detailed in “The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent,” by Cory Morningstar—a leftist investigative journalist—a cast of characters in the non-profit/industrial complex has pushed Thunberg into the limelight and aims to exploit her appeal for their own purposes. Morningstar’s extensive work defies quick summation, but this quote perhaps encapsulates her thesis:
Today’s climate emergency mobilization must be recognized for what it is: a strategically orchestrated campaign financed and managed by the world’s most powerful institutions – for the preservation of capitalism and global economic growth… A climate revolution in name only, this said emergency, has nothing to do with the protection of our Earth – or climate – and never will. Rather, it has everything to do with saving, protecting and expanding the capitalist economy – at the expense of our already decimated planet…
By exploiting the innocent youth, which in turn exploited our emotions and fears as a collective populace, we devoured it. And soon, young Greta, and all the youth they have exploited, will be thrown under the bus. It’s all par for the course under capitalism.
Long story short, we are being subjected to a sophisticated campaign of social engineering. As we face the challenges of climate chaos, we are also confronting a propaganda machine designed to confuse and hobble us. Literally millions of dollars are being spent to shape the narrative and our own attitudes. These are facts that we cannot just dismiss.
But those who reject everything that Thunberg says and does are indulging in a poisonous pessimism that too readily becomes an excuse for inaction. Yes, powerful people are exerting their strength to influence outcomes, but they are not omnipotent. For all their wealth and scheming, they are taking a calculated risk. The outcome is not guaranteed—not by any means. They can plan until they’re blue in the face, but their success is not ensured. All the variables at play are not under their control, nor could they ever be.
I will go so far as to say that the most important elements are out of their grasp. An essential quality of life is that it obstinately resists subjugation. “Hubris” is what it’s called when humans forget this, and I daresay the elites are especially susceptible to it.
So when we listen to Thunberg’s words, we must guard ourselves against both naiveté and cynicism. Both prevent a clear perspective.
We live in increasingly unpredictable times, not just climatically but socially. Tipping points exist both in nature and in human culture, and when one is reached, there’s no stopping the energy that is unleashed; it runs its course until expended. The transformed world that emerges might be unrecognizable. Revolutions are famously difficult to steer or reign in, and the young people of the world might get riled up enough to start one, in spite of the bounds set by the non-profit powers-that-be.
Fundamentally, Thunberg is right: What the adults are doing to the next generations is “betrayal” and business-as-usual won’t fix our conundrum. Said Thunberg: “We can’t save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed. Everything needs to change. And it has to start today.”
That declaration is nothing to quibble about. It’s just some plain truth.