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At Last- A statue I would want to topple!

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Roger Watson

The University of Winchester have erected a bronze statue of the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. At whose behest this was done is not clear. Even the student body, normally the vanguard of woke tokenism, describe this as a ‘vanity project’. Thunberg is a remarkable young lady. She is on the autism spectrum and when she first emerged on the international scene, she was very young. But her repulsive, hectoring and preaching manner does not endear her to me. Also, as explained by Toby Young on Triggernometry, she has a rather loose grasp of the facts. Almost all the received wisdom on climate change is wrong. Greta’s fellow Scandinavian, the Dane Bjorn Lomberg, explains this clearly in his book The Skeptical Environmentalist. Climate change is real but grossly exaggerated, the link between human activity and every aspect of climate change is tenuous, many natural resources are more plentiful than we are led to believe, and we plant more trees than we cut down.

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Lomberg researches his facts meticulously and supports all his assertions. Greta Thunberg deals in rhetoric and we can hardly blame her, she is far too young and insufficiently educated and trained to have a proper understanding of the issues involved. Why her parents have allowed her to have the level of international exposure she has had and not protected her verges on child abuse. And to allow her to propagate utterly stupid ideas such as strikes by school students and become involved with dangerous organisations such as Extinction Rebellion is utterly irresponsible. They will simply exploit her.

I doubt that Greta will ever admit she was wrong as she has been allowed to paint herself into an ideological corner. But she is an intelligent person and just imagine if she did conclude someday that she was wrong and the subsequent effect this would have on her mental health? For example, most young left-wing socialists mature into a more conservative version of themselves when they grow up and reality bites. David Attenborough—the ‘doommeister general’—should also know better than to encourage her.

I hold a grudging respect for Greta, although I do not hold her in any sort of esteem. She has put her misguided cause on the international agenda and has become the face of climate change protest. But, as much as I disagree with her views, I worry about her welfare. It is entirely inappropriate and premature to erect a statue to her. This will only serve to help preserve her erroneous beliefs and, at the same time, make it even worse if one day she takes the time to listen to big hitters on climate change with considerable credibility such as Lomberg. If I had the opportunity to topple her statue—not that I am contemplating doing it—it would not be an act of hatred against Greta Thunberg. I would consider it an act of protest against the movement she represents and as one that may help to remove from her the embarrassment, one day, of realising she was wrong and constantly being reminded of it.

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