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How Greta serves the elites Climate activists are an insult to democracy

The future is back on the table (JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)


November 12, 2021   5 mins

In the early months of the pandemic, children were neither seen nor heard. Amid the eerie silence of padlocked playgrounds and empty town centres, those earnest appeals to ‘the voice of youth’ that were prominent in every big political debate of the last decade were quickly forgotten. Gripped by an emergency that threatened adults’ health, all that mattered was managing the crisis of today; tomorrow, it seemed, would have to take care of itself.

But now the kids are back in the public domain, in the form of Greta Thunberg and her ageing entourage. The future is back on the table. Our 95-year-old monarch has urged world leaders at COP26 to make sacrifices “not for ourselves, but for our children and our children’s children, and those who will follow in their footsteps”. The wrinklies gluing themselves to roads for Insulate Britain claim they want to “protect future generations everywhere”, while their nihilistic godparent Extinction Rebellion says its goal is “creating a world that is fit for generations to come”.

Yet none of this talk about future generations is really about children, or the future. Rather, it is better understood as a highfalutin form of presentism; the projection of a state of emergency into the years ahead, to provide moral cover for political and economic decisions made by global elites above the heads of their citizens. Forget the present day, and the choices of the current demos. All that matters is action — and the only people who can act are those with the power to do so. Otherwise, as Greta says, it’s all just “blah blah blah”.

Such rhetoric might be widespread. But it cannot mask the fact that questions such as what to do about climate change are ripe for democratic decision-making — particularly because they involve weighing up the costs and benefits of policy measures in the context of our lives today and our children’s tomorrow. Indeed, rather than engaging electorates in a long-term debate, we see a global elite hell-bent on wrapping up international commitments in a two-week conference, egged on by protesters demanding that they “talk less and do more”.

Unfortunately, this call to bypass citizens in the project of ‘the future’ has some appeal — not least among young people, who have been socialised into the idea that that democratic power counts for little, and that if they want change to happen, they need to look to those with the power to bring it about. “We can’t be the ones that will make that change, we can just show that it needs to happen,” a participant in the COP26 ‘school strike’ protests told the BBC, speaking to the infantilised assumption that meaningful solutions can only come from the top down.

Implicit within this, climate activists express the sentiment of living in a ‘risk society’, in which human experience is framed by a magnified sense of threat and uncertainty, and an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. The concept of risk society was theorised by sociologists such as Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens in the late 20th century, to capture an ‘end of history’ situation in which globalised modern threats render human agency obsolete. From this perspective, the problems confronting our society are insurmountable. When confronted with the threat of a climate emergency, to which the only possible solutions presented are swift, global, and significant measures, democratic decision-making by citizens in separate nation states seems ineffective at best and counter-productive at worst.

And yet our current state of crisis has exposed a contradiction in this denial of human agency. During the Covid pandemic, and now with the climate emergency, a fatalistic accommodation to the survivalist mentality of the risk society has accompanied a fantastically hubristic narrative offered by world leaders in politics, science, Big Tech and other globalised entities. An insistence on the unprecedented, super-infectious deadliness of Covid ran alongside proclamations that humanity could eradicate this virus; that, as in a war, we can win. With the climate emergency, however, overwrought claims of standing on the brink at “a minute to midnight” are offered as excuses for the idea that we can, in a few short years, stop the warming and turn the whole thing around.

What is offered, in this vision, is a ‘new normal’ starting from actions made today, designed to undo the damage caused by actions of the past and start again. It is a form of techno-survivalism that can only be achieved by citizens, acknowledging their powerlessness and demanding that elites use their power to make a change.

This situation was elegantly anticipated by Zygmunt Bauman, the Polish sociologist, in his 2011 book Collateral Damage. Discussing the “divorce between power and politics”, Bauman noted that “the discrepancy between available means and postulated objectives of action takes the form of a perpetual confrontation between politics afflicted by a chronic deficit of power, and power freed from politically imposed limitations”.

Bauman suggests that in our perpetual state of global emergency, the nation state is written off as insignificant, with national democracies either unfit, or incapable, of enacting the change that needs to happen. Voters are consigned, by their chronic deficit of power, to shouting at each other on the sidelines, while global elites enjoy the freedom to do whatever serves their interests according to the mandate of saving tomorrow. While consent is marshalled, or manufactured, through the spectacle of campaigners demanding that political elites do whatever it takes, techno-survivalism offers an enormous opportunity for the powerful to exercise their interests.

And yet it also creates significant problems for the elites themselves. Take the interminable sleaze scandal dogging our Tory government. With a majority of 80, Boris Johnson’s lack of opposition, both in terms of its size and its ideas, combined with its extraordinary power grab over the course of the pandemic, has handed the Executive huge latitude to do whatever it likes — something for which it is now being punished with unflattering newspaper front pages every day.

If Bauman is right, and politics has ceased to count for anything meaningful, what does that mean in practice? Ultimately, in detaching themselves from the demos, our political elite has detached themselves from the means of working out what they should be doing. And this could ultimately be their downfall. As Christopher Lasch noted in The Revolt of the Elites, by isolating themselves from their societies, elites undermine the foundation of their legitimacy.

As much as they benefit from wielding their power, an untethered elite also finds itself buying into the fantasy that the world will keep turning without human agency — of any sort. But it clearly won’t. During the pandemic, initial ‘work from home’ orders were swiftly counteracted by a swathe of exceptions, as governments were forced to acknowledge that ‘essential’ jobs required people to do them; while later attempts to cajole the WFH crowd back to the office was met with a sullen resistance. Likewise, the ‘green revolution’ planned by COP26 can be imposed from above, but will require a buy-in, with people choosing to replace their cars and boilers while calculating what this means for the quality of their lives.

As trust in politics declines, people find other means to exercise their interests; and these are less susceptible to mediation and control. For elites, legitimacy is the thing that enables them to retain authority. And that requires building a relationship with the past and present, rather than annihilating it in the name of ‘the future’.

Edmund Burke — hailed as an inspiration by the ‘intergenerational equity’ crusade — explained this rather well in his Reflections on the Revolution in France. Society, he argued, should be understood as a “contract” to be looked upon with reverence, because it was not only about the needs of the present day. It is a “a partnership in every virtue and in all perfection”, which transcended the contribution of any particular generation, thus becoming “a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born”.

Yet today’s modern conservatives are guilty of a spectacular misreading. For them, the intergenerational contract can only be honoured by ripping up the past and legislating on behalf of the future. This free-wheeling power-grab might yield some short-term gains; but at some point, the wheels will come off. It won’t just be the future generations of the apocalyptic imagination that will bear the consequences, but those of us who are living with them right now.


Dr Jennie Bristow is a sociologist of generations and author of Stop Mugging Grandma


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Jean Nutley
Jean Nutley
2 years ago

I am still bewildered by the way some adults are allowing their children to dictate what should and shouldn’t happen in their lives. Too many people are taking too much notice of spoilt little brats who have no understanding of how the world works, and falling on their words as Gospel.
Adults should teach, children should learn, otherwise we have the tail wagging the dog.
Maybe I am just too old for this sort of thing, but I believe children have a right to a carefree childhood, not made anxious by politicians who are too lazy to do their job. The political elite, worldwide, are lazy, sentient beings, who don’t give a fig as long as their brown envelopes arrive intact.

Fennie Strange
Fennie Strange
2 years ago
Reply to  Jean Nutley

You are bang right Jean! The theft of childhood is one of the worst crimes of the climate activists: no wonder levels of anxiety and mental health problems are currently running so high in children and adolescents . As a special needs teacher I can spot autism a mile away, and our Greta ticks many of the boxes. But in school we try to provide an environment that protects such children, and if Greta does have autism, her environment is guaranteed to cause her great distress and make her behave exactly as she does.

stephen archer
stephen archer
2 years ago
Reply to  Fennie Strange

She has been diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome, it’s no secret.

L Walker
L Walker
2 years ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Not much of a difference, is there?

Fennie Strange
Fennie Strange
2 years ago
Reply to  L Walker

No difference at all. People with Asperger’s tend to be at the milder end of the Autism spectrum, but plenty of professionals have stopped using the term, preferring to refer to those with symptoms of the syndrome as having ASD: Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Last edited 2 years ago by Fennie Strange
Allie McBeth
Allie McBeth
2 years ago
Reply to  L Walker

Big difference between mild Asperger’s and severe autism, opposite ends of the spectrum.

Rob Britton
Rob Britton
2 years ago
Reply to  stephen archer

She is the modern day child saint, a bit like Jean d’Arc. Unfortunately we can’t burn Greta at the stake – too many carbon credits required!

Jim Cooper
Jim Cooper
2 years ago
Reply to  Fennie Strange

As a parent I’d say miss T needs to be cared for. Her exploitation by the millinarian climate cults is a disgrace

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Jean Nutley

Children are being weaponised by the left.
Can you imagine the response response if Greta suddenly stated banging on about the great replacement. Can yo imagine how the MSM would howl if schools allowed children out to protest immigration.

David Bell
David Bell
2 years ago
Reply to  Jean Nutley

Children are being made anxious by their own generation exemplified by their heroine Greta. She is a baleful influence who should have been reigned in by her teachers long ago.

Maighread G
Maighread G
2 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Greta is 18 years old now. She will soon turn 19. She is and adult.

Jean Nutley
Jean Nutley
2 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

I am pretty sure I read somewhere, ages ago, that Greta’s parents are her puppeteers, not her teachers. The child has been used for political ends. Having said that, I am sure it was an end in which she would have willingly participated. I know some Asperger’s sufferers and some autistic children, in my experience you cannot make them do what they don’t want to do. Cajolery is out!

Bogman Star
Bogman Star
2 years ago
Reply to  Jean Nutley

Not too old, but too angry. Grr, the horrible little brats should be carefree lol. Yeah, compulsory round the clock listening to Cliff singing about summer holidays maybe? A carefree childhood when they’re routinely bullied on the Internet, when drugs are everywhere, when more than half of all families are breaking up and they’re bullied and assaulted by their Mum’s new deadbeat live-in boyfriends, when their career in a few years time is going to be some zero-hours rubbish, and when the chances of them ever owning a house to live in are decidedly slim. Is your solution to hypnotise them into a goofy “all is wonderful” trance, mate?

David Harris
David Harris
2 years ago
Reply to  Jean Nutley

As a student in the 1970s I remember having half a dozen stupid ideas before breakfast most days. Fortunately the adults teaching me ignored them and everything was fine. Todays adults don’t, that’s the problem.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago

At 18 years of age Boyan Slat invented a system to clean up the oceans and now runs an international campaign that will achieve this end. Thunberg on the other hand just encourages other actual or emotional ‘teens’ afraid of growing up to skip school and glue their heads to the tarmac while making impossible demands of a global elite happy to promise to ruin the lives of the rest of us while continuing to jet around as before, increasingly unaccountable and rich. Grow up Greta.

jill dowling
jill dowling
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Greta is a fame craver. Her message has been heard and she doesn’t have anything new to say, but she still wants the limelight. Quite sad really

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
2 years ago
Reply to  jill dowling

It never was her message, but a message written for her.

Raymond Inauen
Raymond Inauen
2 years ago

The last few months/years keep reminding me of the “Bonfire of the Vanities” story in Florence in 1497. Activists preaching doom and gloom and making claims about the future and the end of times that just don’t materialize. The exploitation of children who cannot defend themselves (as in Florence, when the monk Girolamo Savonarola used children as policemen at home and in the streets) from activists who hide behind their innocence to advance their causes. The world is ending, and anyone who believes otherwise is a denier! I’m sure this thing is far from over as long as no one is willing to stand up to it and call it what it is: pure activism. The world is not going to end.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Raymond Inauen

George Eliot wrote a novel about Savonarola as well.

AC Harper
AC Harper
2 years ago

We’re at the stage of history where there are too many elites, too many establishment hangers-on, for the myth to survive that they primarily work for our best interests.
The elite have always worked first for their own self interests, which include hanging on to political power. While the risks of COVID and Climate Change bear some truth the elites in the Western world have seized them as existential threat theatres, just as previously they ran with the War on Drugs theatre and the post 11/9 security theatre.
Circuses all the way down, with leading politicians more obviously clowns.

T Doyle
T Doyle
2 years ago

The article is good but in conclusion points the finger at “conservatives”. This is wrong. The elite are a broadly lefty centralist spectrum (which now ironically includes the old establishment of the Tory Party, Aristocracy, Monarchy, CoE and public schools) who control politics, civil service, NHS, police, academia, judiciary, media, the arts and the global institutions like the UN and EU. They are as the article says now detached from the demos and the people. Their objective is self survival and aggrandisement that’s all!

J Bryant
J Bryant
2 years ago

A very fine, timely essay. Thank you.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago

The are an insult to science and human intelligence, not an insult to democracy.

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago

What you write in the last paragraph might be true of Conservatives, with a capital C in the UK, but it is hardly true of conservatives, properly so called, anywhere. I would cite the majority of views expressed in the main journal of American conservative opinion, The National Review, as examples of holding to the Burkean ideal.

Graeme Laws
Graeme Laws
2 years ago

Timely reminder not to read Bauman.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago

Maybe risky to say it, hopefully not in this forum, but I’m not that bothered about the demise of humanity. I think it’s inevitable, and I take no solace from religion. The planet will adjust to our absence and new types of life become dominant.
So I don’t get too upset about our collective impact on the planet. If we cooperate, as with the ozone layer, that’s good; if we don’t cooperate on climate change because the third world insists on its developmental place in the sun, then fine. So be it.

Patrick Fox
Patrick Fox
2 years ago

And within this Burkean’s pact let us not forget Burke’s “ little platoons” which orient men towards virtues, as a mean of taking charge of our own environmental future

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

What a superb article.

Dick Stroud
Dick Stroud
2 years ago

Thank you. A very insightful essay.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

Greta must have felt like Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz, in Glasgow. The young lady approaching the towering, shiny Green city, as it were, with a certain amount of trepidation, the good people there parting before her. With her might have been sleepy Boris, the lion searching for a heart of courage. The wizards are in fact numerous: the movers and shakers at the summit, or event. All of them bad wizards, struggling to make global warming disappear, but very good people as it turns out. A balloon might have been a handy, appropriate way to escape this overpowering event.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

“All that matters is action â€” and the only people who can act are those with the power to do so. Otherwise, as Greta says, it’s all just “blah blah blah”.”

  • Develop and expand nuclear energy programs = energy without global warming.
  • Rebuild threatened cities on higher ground.
  • Build dykes, dredge waterways.
  • Develop and expand gmo programs = food for growing population in changing climate.

I wonder whether St Greta and her keepers have have considered even one of these practical measures.

Jim Cooper
Jim Cooper
2 years ago

I never thought I’d read a piece of journalism uniting Bauman, Giddens and BURKE. Krazy but kind of interesting until Burke’s ideas get mangled.

Bogman Star
Bogman Star
2 years ago

Yes, in the same way that charitable individuals in the US let the federal govt off the hook of proper social care for the destitute and the infirm. It’s a Gordian knot though, as the corollary does not hold. That is, mere inaction by youthful activities will not prompt any great Damascene conversions by the elites either. And, with the pernicious influence of tax-dodging newspaper owners and Putin’s Internet Research Agency (i.e., his troll farms) manipulating the gullible hand over fist, it’s not unreasonable to consider that democracy itself is holed below the water line anyway. Protest away, Greta, and don’t pay any attention to bitter old bourgeois snobs.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
2 years ago

I am all for democracy on action concerning climate change. All that is needed is a referendum on a carbon tax that starts small and increases overtime to a punitive level. If voted for it will drive the development of alternatives and make fossil fuels worthless whilst generating funds for the transition and disruption. The votes should be public so if it is not voted for the future generations will know who to thank and who to blame depending on whether it turns out to be an unnecessary fuss or a disaster.

Lee Jones
Lee Jones
2 years ago

Spectacular misreading! The sin of all, not just our enemies. Much like hubris


M P Griffiths
M P Griffiths
2 years ago
Reply to  Lee Jones

No, I think you may have misunderstood.

Lee Jones
Lee Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  M P Griffiths

No sweetie, I disagreed, you misunderstood, don’t worry, give it six months and there will be something new for you to believe in, and perhaps, misunderstand.

Lee Jones
Lee Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Lee Jones

No, I was not! quite the opposite!

Lee Jones
Lee Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Lee Jones

I thought for myself, rather than the vanity of taking sides, like children do in playgrounds, which is no thought at all. I don’t care about the debate, I don’t care if humanity survives a bit longer or not, (well a little bit, I have met 1 or 2 (well, only 1 really) truly honest and decent person; species come and go all the time, so what? Such things have happened to millions of insignificant species. Hubris (it has a meaning) is what we see here. Fools arguing about who is right, on either side. We will all die, we mean nothing, the universe will carry on regardless. Vanity!

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago

‘…questions such as what to do about climate change are ripe for democratic decision-making — particularly because they involve weighing up the costs and benefits of policy measures in the context of our lives today and our children’s tomorrow.’
And how exactly would that work in practice? What would it mean? We either think, like human disease, excessive de-forestation and pollution is a bad thing or we don’t. Those who don’t, none of us, should be given the opportunity to ‘vote’ for its continuation, let’s say. Sorry to sound so crude.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

I don’t think Ms Bristow was arguing that people should vote for human disease, excessive de-forestation and pollution, but that to tackle it there needs to be “buy-in” by the electorate. At least there needs to be “buy-in” if we wish to remain a democracy, because, yes, one can force change by legistlation, penalisation etc, but then either we become autocratic regimes or there is a mass revolt, neither of which most people would want. A lot of people are concerned, but organisation such as “Insulate Britain”, “X Rebellion” and even Ms Thunberg are not winning hearts and minds.

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago

I understand there needs to be ‘buy-in’ and I agree eco-extremism can be counter-productive, but we shouldn’t need a formal democratic ‘excercise’ for this existential issue.
The way I understood it, the argument wasn’t that people should vote for destruction but that they should be given the opportunity to vote to let it happen.
I am afraid the most effective means will be probably be The Market.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
2 years ago

Some honesty about the costs and impacts would be helpful in the debate. Also about the practicality of some of the possible solutions. Talk of phasing out this and that seems often to rely on a Micawberish faith that some miracle technology will turn up.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

Some honesty about the costs and impacts would be helpful in the debate.
I absolutely agree.

Allie McBeth
Allie McBeth
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

We’ve come so far in just 100 or so years, technologically speaking, that it’s hard not to hope that not just one but quite a few ‘miracle technologies’ will indeed turn up.

John Hicks
John Hicks
2 years ago

Dr. Bristow is not easy to interpret but I think you have the guts of it. Problem is how democracy can function to produce the “wisdom of crowds.” Referendum like Switzerland get ignored in France and Portugal. Germany gets a coalition nobody actually votes for or is privy to any concluded agendas prior to them holding office. Maybe we have the technology to express our collective opinions with a click that can be heard in the Parliament. Maybe they would notice?

Jonathan Weil
Jonathan Weil
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

You do sound crude, or at least you sound like you haven’t thought this through. Do you really think there is never a trade-off involved in environmental policies (or any policy for that matter)? E.g. that natural gas power plant in Mozambique that some greens think shouldn’t go ahead. The cheap and safe heating and electricity is the benefit; carbon emissions are the deficit. How to balance them? Should Mozambiquans have a say? Did you know that carbon monoxide inhalation (from wood-based fuels used in the third world in absence of alternatives) is one of the top killers in the world today? How’s that for human disease? A bad thing, or not?

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Weil

Yes, of course carbon monoxide inhalation from any source is a killer. Of course, people in developing countries should ‘have a say’ and that ‘carbon-trading’ cannot be avoided. My focus wrongly or rightly is on democratic ‘mechanisms’ in countries such as the UK effectively being used to ‘decide’ whether or not it’s OK to carry on with pollution and destruction.
(You have let your anti-Green sentiments in.)

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

“Carry on with pollution and destruction”… Naive talk! Hopefully you are aware that CO2 is not pollution, although it is used by the MSM as such. It is food for plants and so essential to provide us with oxygen and billions of people with food. I agree, that destructions of forests are bad. But here the Green lobby is quite willing to use wood as pellets and call it “bio mass”, and to cut down forests to plant “eco” fuel. This should have been openly debated, but then COP26 is/was just a love fest of government officials, PR firms and Green Lobbyists (btw.windmills, apart from giving us very unreliable energy, also destroy the environment, concreating over nature/seabeds). The reality is, how should we get our massive energy needs as there is no real alternative yet. Go back to the “happy”Medieval Times?
I think a large part of the population, except for the Gretas and the foolish ex -hippies, is aware of this and don’t buy into the hypocritical “green” talk by the so-called Elite.

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago

(I’m not sure I’m the only naive one here.) No, CO2 is not a ‘pollutant’ as such – excessive emissions of CO2 not absorbed, is pollution though. Yes, burning bio-mass without restrictions and controls on burners causes pollution. But cutting down trees from sustainable forests is far less destructive for the environment.
With an increasing human population meeting energy needs is of course a massive challenge. Agreed, the eco-‘extremists’ sometimes mis-judge their tactics, but that shouldn’t stop us changing our behaviour, if we can, should it?

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

This is a black-and-white manichean view of the world which is utterly wrong as well as being utterly futile! We can’t just resolve in a complex society or economy that some activities are wholly malign, or wholly benign – and something ‘must be done’ immediately. This amounts to a series of tantrums masquerading as policy. When you look more closely, things are much more complicated.

An empty train, yes they do often run empty in the counter peak direction! is for example much worse than a car in its environmental impact. But ‘trains good, cars bad’ is the mantra.

Human beings have been deforesting for millennia. CO2 emissions have not been reduced AT ALL by the 25 previous international climate conferences. Perhaps we could start to consider that repeating the same failed approach over and over again isn’t going to work, even if we believe in the stated goals.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Yes, human beings have been destroying/clearing/cultivating for millennia. But not to an increasing magnitude until the 19th C.and then not until 1950s, to what we have now. Correct the ‘failed ‘approach’ does seem to keep on failing. I think it’s called ‘political will’. – our involvement being to elect people, who see the dangers and try to make concrete change.
We probably now do need to get our backsides into gear.
(Empty trains = millions of cars on the roads -normally with a driver alone.)

Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Or maybe we shouldn’t focus on CO2 emissions at all rather focus on cheaper energy like nuclear energy and on cleaning the planet of plastic. But I guess CO2 emissions breeds the droids endless virtue signaling. Well, remain in your boomer parents houses till they die and hope that socialism for you only will come before your parent’s money is finished!

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Interesting, how the solution for these kinds of people (James Chater and Greta) are to override democracy and free market capitalism in favor of saving us all from immanent doom. Unfortunately, (for them), the world would hardly end even based on the most extreme models (riddled with assumptions and the inability to measure precisely).

Their are obvious trade offs TODAY, for bad guesses about 80 years from now, when most of us will be too dead to say “see? I told you so). Has NO ONE read Bjþrn Lomborg and Steven Koonin? This is crazy.

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pearse

What?

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
Anne-Elisabeth Moutet
Anne-Elisabeth Moutet
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Pearse

Lomborg is sensible, measured and an expert. Of course the activist crowd don’t like him.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

The planet will still be here long after we pass 🙂

Peter Morgan
Peter Morgan
2 years ago

Once again, without any evidence, a writer at Unherd denies that climate change is a very serious problem. If anyone is a dupe of the elites, it’s writers like this one, whose call for temperate behaviour serves the ability of the elites to do whatever they like. Thunberg does what she does because our democratic institutions have failed us and they’ve failed us because elites essentially control them. Short term self-interest is what this writer calls for, which is of course more of the same bs that got us into this situation in the first place.

Jerry Mee-Crowbin
Jerry Mee-Crowbin
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Morgan

Your argument is riddled with gaping holes. Are you saying that the lack of debate, an essential requirement of democracy, has been stifled by… oh surely not the Guardian, or even the BBC? Or just about any other news broadcaster? When did you last hear an open discussion in the media as to whether or not climate change even exists, let alone is causing a crisis? Don’t mention wild fires – they are far fewer than 100 years ago, both in the US and Australia. They occur now because Greens don’t like the forest undergrowth being cleared so they burn much hotter than ever as the fuel supply is enormous. Dont talk of hurricanes – far fewer deaths are caused by these since the first part of the 20th century. And for heaven’s sake don’t mention icebergs as they come and yes, they go. So do your homework, check up on Not a Lot of People Know That, read the factual information on the Global Warming Policy Forum and familiarise yourself with Tony Heller, who exposes much of the false propaganda. We are indeed on the verge of a crisis – one caused by ill founded Green hysteria which will involve many deaths from cold and the ruin of economies throughout the world. So I too am worried for my grandchildren!

David George
David George
2 years ago

Yes Jerry, if anyone is in any doubt about the complete lack of balance in climate reporting check out the formidable Covering Climate Now organisation. This outfit is the main source for climate propaganda, the lengthy list of “partners” includes your Guardian and BBC. A global Ministry of Climate Truth?
The partners have committed to a campaign to induce fear, compliance and capitulation in the people using CCN methods and resources. No questions to be asked, no dissent tolerated,

Allie McBeth
Allie McBeth
2 years ago
Reply to  David George

Exactly what i thought!

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Morgan

Dude: take two aspirin, rest in bed and read “Unsettled” by Steven Koonin, and call us in the morning.

Anna Jacka-Thomas
Anna Jacka-Thomas
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Morgan

You need to read Bjorg Lomborg
to find out a bit more about the subject before you make such criticisms

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Morgan

Why is climate change a serious problem? Are you scared the sky is going to fall on your head?

David Bell
David Bell
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Morgan

Interesting to hear a voice from the other side of the barricade. The world’s climate is in constant flux so we must and are working on ways to cope with the change. The Dutch are a great example of how to tackle flooding. Attempting to act God and turn the climate around is sheer fantasy and a gigantic waste of resources.

Last edited 2 years ago by David Bell
Peter Morgan
Peter Morgan
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Morgan

It would be great if Unherd was consistent in its advocacy of science. By reaffirming the science of sex, which is logical, and then casting doubt on what about 97% of climate scientists are telling us about the climate, which is not, Unherd shows us that their aims are more ideological than truth-speaking. Fellow commenters, did you know that some people still think the Earth is flat? Perhaps Unherd will write about that soon as well.