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We need to free Greta Thunberg She is now too old to serve her purpose

All grown up (Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

All grown up (Tim Whitby/Getty Images)


January 5, 2024   6 mins

Greta Thunberg has never been a party animal. In a 2021 podcast, she said she had never been in a bar, spending “all my waking hours when I am not in school constantly working and being an activist”. She also said she had no desire to ever get drunk as this is “not who I am as a person”. So when she turned 21 on Wednesday, it feels safe to say that celebrations won’t have been raucous. And there definitely won’t have been candles — just think of the carbon footprint.

It’s easy for jaundiced old gits like me to laugh at the serious-minded puritanism of today’s youth. But Thunberg seems to arouse far stronger and darker emotions in many than a desire to gently take the mick. On the one hand, there are those who fawn excessively, treating her as a tiny omniscient oracle. And on the other are the people for whom the mere mention of her name leaves them purple with fury, putting them in mind of everything they hate about modern progressivism.

Many of her most ardent fans in the first group are well into middle age, and their veneration is frankly a bit weird. Take the 40-something British novelist Elizabeth Day, interviewing Thunberg for the aforementioned podcast with cringing deference, describing herself as a “stan”, and introducing her interviewee to listeners as “a global icon, an inspiration to millions, and still only 19”. At one point, Day exclaims covetously: “I wish I had your mind”.

Meanwhile, in a scene from the 2020 documentary I Am Greta, MPs Ed Miliband, Layla Moran, Caroline Lucas and John Bercow cluster round the awkwardly unsmiling youngster in Parliament. Almost genuflecting, Moran prevails upon Thunberg for a selfie, while Bercow, ignoring her evident discomfort, stares into her eyes and pumps her hand for just a little bit too long. In a scene shortly afterwards, the Pope does pretty much exactly the same thing.

Newton’s Third Law tells us that for every force there is an equal and opposite reaction; and this seems to be true in the cultural world just as much as in the natural one. Accordingly, Thunberg has acquired many detractors, particularly among Right-leaning politicians and commentators with aspirations to populism. Perhaps some are envious of her influence; others see political opportunity in bashing a soft and easily mockable target. A number of her most prominent critics in the documentary also come across as somewhat unhinged. Trump encourages supporters at a rally to boo her. Bolsonaro calls her a “brat”, while the Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles calls her “a mentally ill Swedish child”.

Yet it is clear to anyone not already lost in projection that neither the adulation nor the demonisation is warranted. Whether or not you agree with Thunberg’s conclusions about the environment, she is usually just repeating activist talking points inherited from other people. The school strike which kicked off her fame was the idea of a different Swedish campaigner, and the resulting publicity was not particularly grassroots, but due to a well-connected media entrepreneur. And given the history of horrible bullying and social isolation which dogged her in early puberty — eventually causing her to become anorexic, depressed and selectively mute — avoiding school to protest climate injustice can’t really have been that much of an altruistic sacrifice. Whenever she goes off-piste from environmental matters, as she did last month on Palestine, here too she says exactly the sorts of things you’d expect from the average Left-leaning young person these days, complete with preferred pronouns.

But these are not reasons to start frothing at the mouth either — quite the opposite. The point is that this is a young person of a totally predictable type: intelligent but also dogmatic, emotionally immature, somewhat socially challenged, and as yet unaware of the world’s ethical complexity. Her intense idealism, pomposity and black-and-white thinking are all developmentally appropriate, and especially so for someone on the autistic spectrum. And nor is it her fault that her mother is an opera singer, nor that her middle name is Tintin, nor that impressionable idiots keep nominating her for Nobel Prizes, nor that UN officials and world leaders seem desperate to make a heady symbol out of her.

Now that she has reached maturity, the bad news for Thunberg is that it seems likely her detractors will soon outnumber the adulators. For her star power has always been inextricably bound up with youth. Partly this is because the uncompromising purity of her vision initially appealed both to young contemporaries of hers and to fairly simple-minded elders — and many of the former, at least, are by now growing out of it. More fundamentally, it’s because for older fans, her gawky, impassioned protests have made her thrillingly emblematic of children everywhere. Once she is no longer perceived as a child, this particular source of attraction is going to lapse.

Among the liberal middle-classes, we are currently witnessing an outpouring of sentiment about children on a scale last seen in the most saccharine passages of Dickens’ novels: think of angelic Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop, beset on all sides by the sins of adults and hurtling towards tragic destruction because of it. On this view, kids are not so much young and undeveloped humans with varying destinies ahead in life as a pathos-saturated victim class — alternately to be pitied, madly identified with, or revered as saintly. And for a while now, Greta has been its star.

The interesting questions, then, are not about her, but about us. In particular, why is there an apparently increasing tendency for adults to identify uncritically with the concerns of children and teens? This is not a question about why many of us care about the environment, or why we worry about what to do about climate change or the fate of future generations. We may even reach roughly the same conclusions as Thunberg, after some thought. The question is more about why some of us ever wanted to switch off our brains and let a 15-year-old do the thinking and feeling for us.

The very same phenomenon is evident in the relatively recent phenomenon of parents, teachers and even trained clinicians uncritically going along with sexual and gender identities that miserable teenagers originally invented on Tumblr, while their unhappy, confused charges head towards the hospital with adult blessings ringing in their ears. No doubt the question is overdetermined, but I think one answer is this: by means of an adult’s elaborate psychological identifications with a childish and simplistic worldview, he advertises to the wider world how babyish, harmless and ultimately blameless he is too. In other words, it’s a good way to rid yourself of felt responsibility and guilt, either for the state of the planet or anything else.

Along with Greta-worship, manifestations of this regressive impetus seem to be everywhere among those of a certain age and income bracket. So many gestures and behavioural choices seem designed to advertise your good intentions and basic unthreatening niceness, imploring the observer not to take you very seriously because you aren’t really an adult either — and certainly not one of those adults who has power or agency over anything important. The desire not to be mistaken for someone with responsibility, I assume, partly lurks behind childless trips to theme parks, adult onesie-wearing, putting cartoon filters on Instagram posts, the ever-growing popularity of Halloween, gaming, and the stockpiling of Star Wars toys. It’s part of the basis for embracing mind-numbingly simplistic instructions such as “be kind”, or the idea that we should just “listen to experts” like obedient little children. It is embedded in silly adolescent swearing, and in the wearing of twee Christmas jumpers, and Mary Jane shoes, and much more besides.

Thunberg was such an effective emblem of this, not just because of her unusually youthful looks and her original Pippi Longstocking aesthetic, but also because her autism makes her un-self-conscious and causes her to appear extra child-like. In I Am Greta, she dances naturally on camera, or cries or sulks or fights with her father, not as a narcissist aware of being filmed might, but like someone who doesn’t yet understand what others see when they look at her. No wonder she has reportedly struggled to understand why no meaningful changes have really happened in climate policy despite the huge hype around her protests. It will perhaps take a few years more for her to understand that many enthusiastic supporters were never really focused on climate action at all, but rather upon getting themselves off the hook.

As with Oscar Wilde’s response to Dickens’s depiction of Little Nell, it would take a heart of stone not to laugh at the most extravagantly fulsome paeans to Thunberg over the past five years. But the real savage mockery should be reserved for those progressives who canonised a precocious, stroppy, literal-minded child for basically self-interested psychological reasons. And we should also reserve some derision for those bitter Right-wingers so consumed with rage at the former group, that they can’t help but hate her for it too. If we can’t give Thunberg carbon neutrality or an end to deforestation for her birthday, a nice consolation present would be to commit to remembering that she is only 21 — and that we are not.


Kathleen Stock is an UnHerd columnist and a co-director of The Lesbian Project.
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Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
6 months ago

Thunberg has acquired many detractors, particularly among Right-leaning politicians and commentators with aspirations to populism.

A perfectly ridiculous sentence. It has become evident that each Unherd article must have at least one. I think “aspirations to populism” is the real low point.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
6 months ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

To me it seemed a totally valid, and true, statement.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

What part of that sentence do you disagree with?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You don’t need to be “right wing” to decide Thunbergs parroting of convenient model-based predictions needs to be heavily criticised.
The label “right wing” has become the go-to term for left-wing authors to use when the population at large disagree with them.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
6 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

“Right wing” or “populist”. So overused, so misused.

Tony Price
Tony Price
6 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

And the label ‘progressive’ has become the go-to term for right-wing authors to use when the population at large disagree with them!

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
6 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

The difference is that Progressives proudly declare that name to describe themselves. I’m not aware of many people who self describe using a pejorative like “right wing”.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Are “left wing” or “far left” terms that many apply to themselves? Because that is the proper one-to-one comparison.
Liberal is surely used in a hollowed-out or overbroad sense about as often as Conservative too, with a shifting balance depending on location. Here at UnHerd, cheap disparagement of anything to the left of the right-middle is far more common than the reverse. In “mainstream media” except Fox News (very mainstream, the most popular on cable) and a few other places, the reverse is true.
One-sidedness is in the eye and ear of the beholder. Terminological drift goes every which way.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
6 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

If you used the label ‘snowflake’ you might be nearer the truth. As it is, you are not correct!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

You’re correct that you don’t need to be, but I think we’ll all agree it’s generally those on the right of the political spectrum that do so?

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Wrong again Billy Boy, since no one seems to agree with you.

Jane H
Jane H
6 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

It makes a refreshing change from being called a conspiracy theorist.

RM Parker
RM Parker
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I think some people just have a hair trigger for certain key terms. Unfortunately that leads them off on witch hunts as soon as they see the bad word(s). It also leads them away from the topic of discussion, which is a sad waste.
I have my opinions, and I’m happy to read opposing views here and elsewhere, as long as they’re expressed politely – or at least entertainingly. I’m certainly secure enough to let others differ, and having seen many of your comments, I think that goes for you too.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
6 months ago
Reply to  RM Parker

My hair trigger is just lazy use of the English language by Unherd contributors.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago

What was lazy about it? I’m struggling to think of two many on the left that personally attack Thurnberg in the same way as several on the right tend to do, so to me the description of those doing it is broadly accurate.
I never understand why those that lean right get so upset about being labelled right wing. Many of my views are would lean right on the political spectrum so it makes sense to describe them as such

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The term right-leaning is not an exact synonym* for right-wing, Mr. Bob. Perhaps that’ll become more clear after comparing left-leaning with left-wing.
*Or even a near synonym: Compare “off-center” with “extreme”.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

So some people are further away from the political centre than others? I still fail to see what it is exactly people are complaining about

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The prefix “far” and the suffix “wing”. The majority, who dwell between the outer fringes on most issues, understandably dislike such terms being flung their way. You may see or hear “wing” as synonymous with “side”, but I’m with those who hear “outermost point” or “fringe”. Granted, some people are just complaining as a reflex, or because they have a very skewed idea of terminological fairness: nuance and benefit of the doubt for me; none for thee.

Tony Price
Tony Price
6 months ago
Reply to  RM Parker

Spot on! Whenever one has a view or opinion, on anything, one should seek out opposing views in order to test the validity of one’s own. Sadly the interweb’s algorithms, and internal biases, militate against that far too often.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
6 months ago
Reply to  RM Parker

Cheers. To the extent your self-assessment is accurate–and I’ve seen nothing to contradict it–your frame of mind is in increasingly short supply. Even here at UnHerd.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I disagree with the whole sentence, not just part of it. What does “right leaning politicians” mean? Those who disagree with the whole climate hoax, opposing to rely on disastrously expensive intermittent solar and wind energy. They refuse to believe that renewable energy will take us into a new bright future, where Climate miraculously won’t change anymore and will be subdued to our will like an imaginary global thermostat.
And why name them “Commentators with aspiration to populism”? In my opinion they are realists, who are concerned, that the future of our children will be bleak without proper and plenty of energy, which is so far based on fossil fuels, until some scientists will discover a new source of reliable cheap alternatives.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago

Right leaning politicians means politicians whose views generally lean to the right rather than the left, I’d have thought that much was blindingly obvious.
As for populism we all know what is meant by it, even if the dictionary definition doesn’t always tally up exactly with that meaning. The same is true of Liberals who often propose policies that are decidedly illiberal, and calling Thatcher a Conservative when she set out to conserve absolutely nothing.
These words are used imperfectly at times but if you wanted the writer to break down every description of every leanings of every political group each article would be 50 pages long

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
6 months ago

The term ‘right leaning’ is virtually never used. The term ‘far right’ or ‘extreme right’ is the go-to expression even when describing moderate conservatives. It tends to be used, almost universally as a perjorative or inflammatory term.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
6 months ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

I disagree . It’s a perfectly reasonable description. It doesn’t apply to all right-leaning politicians, nor to those (often right-leaning) who genuinely hold political convictions that chime with the masses.

‘Aspirations to populism’ refers to politicians who support populist political ideas, not because of a deeply-held conviction but because they think that doing so will increase their chances of becoming popular and hence powerful.

Keir Starmer is an obvious example of a man with ‘aspirations to populism’: apparently willing to demonstrate his support for almost anything that will win him votes. This leads to some spectacular inconsistencies, regular u-turns and much unattractive toadying to the masses.

Nigel Farage is not: one gets the feeling he would still be vehemently pro-Brexit even if he were the only person in the country to feel that way.

Trump? A bit of both, I’d guess.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
6 months ago
Reply to  Roddy Campbell

That’s it exactly.
Well done for deconstructing the Myth of Sisyphus.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
6 months ago
Reply to  Roddy Campbell

In the sentence it referred to ‘commentators’ not politicians.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
6 months ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

not even sure what ‘aspirations to populism’ really means in this context..

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

Welcome back!

Anders Wallin
Anders Wallin
6 months ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

Of course there are aspirations to populism, whatever people say, left or right populism. But also well balanced critique. From left and right.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
6 months ago

She has adulators, not out of spite or irony? Living, breathing humans who think Greta isn’t a complete fabrication and disingenuous hypocrite manipulated by conniving and overbearing parents? Cripes!

Kevan Hudson
Kevan Hudson
6 months ago

As an environmentalist who neither worshipped or hated Greta I just wish her the best going forward. Thankfully the focus on her has ended.
Glad that the article pointed out that the worship of Greta was adults refusing to adult. In so many ways society in the West is letting our kids down. Let kids be kids and let the adults deal with environmental and other issues.

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
6 months ago
Reply to  Kevan Hudson

Adults refuse to adult, children refuse to child, articles refuse to article, the West refuses to West. Finally things are obvious.

starkbreath
starkbreath
6 months ago
Reply to  Fafa Fafa

They’re obviousing.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
6 months ago
Reply to  starkbreath

Things are refusing to thing…

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
6 months ago

Nouns verbing . . .

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
6 months ago

Is there no end to this insaniting?

Katalin Kish
Katalin Kish
6 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Ends refusing to end ¯_(ツ)_/¯

RM Parker
RM Parker
6 months ago
Reply to  Kevan Hudson

Fair comment: I quite agree. I’ve squirmed with embarrassment and fervently wished, for a long time, that people would just leave her alone to do her thing and learn her own lessons, as we all must.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
6 months ago
Reply to  RM Parker

Her parents thrust their autistic child into the global spotlight for money and fame. Whatever becomes of her starts with them.

Jae
Jae
6 months ago

Thank you. I’m surprised Kathleen didn’t address this in the article. The parents, the so called adults in Greta’s life, are aberrant teenagers themselves who never grew up and haven’t still. Quite pathetic really.

Or maybe not, maybe they saw a way to make money and appear saintly at the same time by using their child for the purpose. I wonder if they got what they wanted out of it.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
6 months ago
Reply to  Jae

An extended 15 minutes of fame and lots and lots of cash so yes they probably did get precisely what they wanted out of it.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago

Funny, I was convinced she came out of test tube in Wuhan.

starkbreath
starkbreath
6 months ago

The WOKE KID virus.

Adam Huntley
Adam Huntley
6 months ago
Reply to  Kevan Hudson

There are basically two Gretas- the one who symbolises all that is good and noble about environmentalism and the real life three dimensional one that Kathleen has accurately described. Too many confuse the two. It was when a new director joined the place I work at and was asked to describe his hero and he said Greta Thunbberg, I knew he was a wrong ‘un.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
6 months ago
Reply to  Kevan Hudson

“Adult” is not a verb.

Anders Wallin
Anders Wallin
6 months ago
Reply to  Kevan Hudson

”Adults”… could mean Putin och average Joe och Joanna. Thing is – its difficult. Thats what adulthood learns. Young people like to think ”revolution” or ”handle like a crisis”. When growing up learns you that difficult questions are difficult to fix. And there is no glamour in it.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago

I’m sorry, but adults have utterly abandoned children. They have been used and discarded to advance the ideological agendas of net zero, covid and transgenderism. Greta is just the most famous example: Our failure to protect and nurture children is one of the most despicable and egregious aspects of our crumbling society.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

In USA 50% of Black babies are aborted, and of those making it 72% grow up in homes without a father.

Yea, it must suck to be Greta…..

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago

How on earth have you managed to link the poor rates of family breakdown of an ethnic group in America with an autistic Swedish girl?

jane baker
jane baker
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Everything is interconnected now.

Stephen Feldman
Stephen Feldman
6 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Depends who does interconnection.

RM Parker
RM Parker
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yeah, I baulked at that one too. Some people seem to live by the code of the non sequitur. Whataboutery reigns supreme.

mike otter
mike otter
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Hey if nofunberg wants to identify as black thats up to her, many a pot smoking Eton boy does that so i think she should be allowed to as well. On a related note i think she is one of the very few ppl who may actually benefit from some limited marijuana use.

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

He’s responding to a post which says ‘adults have abandoned children’

Mangle Tangle
Mangle Tangle
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

He’s making an ironic point. Clumsily, but appropriately.

Keith Merrick
Keith Merrick
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Monomaniac, I suspect.

mike otter
mike otter
6 months ago

Wow that 50% stat is pretty scary and worse than even Soviet babies. I am not doubting it but are there refs/DOIs available?. I think “no-fun berg” as she’s know in my circle actually has significant mental health issues, possibly even a personality disorder – she seems so much like Joan of Arc. She was clearly being used by creeps like Moran and Bully Boy Berkov. Miliband is a Napalm Death fan, so shouldn’t really be that gullible (or creepy) – Perhaps he likes the music but never read the lyrics!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
6 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

*Bully Boy Bercuckold.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
6 months ago

*In USA 50% of black babies are aborted

Rob C
Rob C
6 months ago

I’ve never read a statistic that 50% of Black babies are aborted. Source for that?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob C

*I’ve never read a statistic that 50% of black babies are aborted. Source for that?

Stephen Feldman
Stephen Feldman
6 months ago

Most abortions in first trimester. There are no “babies” aborted at that point.

H H
H H
6 months ago

I suggest you don’t try that line on women who have miscarried in the first trimester, Stephen. Their grief is very real, and for you to gaslight them by refusing to refer to their unborn children as babies is frankly despicable. Indeed, even women who voluntarily choose abortion for whatever personal reasons also have to grapple with complex feelings in the aftermath. Maybe stop trying to be a male feminist and start trying to be a nice man.

El Uro
El Uro
6 months ago

Let them eat cake…

Katalin Kish
Katalin Kish
6 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

Indeed. Thank you for your comment.
The same mentality applies to Australia’s authorities having no idea about the actual range, spread, and volume of crimes, including acts violating the Geneva Convention* even in a suburb of million $ homes where I have owned my home since 2001. Authorities’ wilful blindness** to crime & corruption is perhaps the longest non-Aboriginal tradition of Australia.
* https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/perfect-crimes-y-australia-katalin-kish
** Victoria Police Corruption. (736 pp.) Kotabi, 1999. ISBN 0-9586769-6-8 scanned into pdf in full and shared with the author’s permission
in full – one large file, needs a fast Internet connection
https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:ef8f1806-0cfc-417c-8def-68349ad37aa7
chapter by chapter with foreword from Katalin Kish
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JldNgl6U-OvI8yOEPAdKxwrPzzgPjxgZCLudLiAbrFE/

Marc Miller
Marc Miller
6 months ago

“The abortion rate in the United States varies by race and ethnicity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2020, there were 24.4 abortions per 1,000 non-Hispanic Black women1. This is higher than the rate for Hispanic women (11.4 per 1,000), non-Hispanic White women (6.2 per 1,000), and women of other races or ethnicities (12.7 per 1,000) in the same age range).”

This is from Bing.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
6 months ago
Reply to  Marc Miller

That would be roughly 2.5%, not 50% then.

c hutchinson
c hutchinson
6 months ago

No.. The 24.4 abortions are for 1000 women of child bearing age (15 to 44). The question is how many of those women are pregnant in an average years? 20? 30? 50? 100? If it’s 100 pregnancies, then 24.4/1000 becomes 24.4% of pregnancies aborted. If it;s 50 pregnancies, the 24.4/1000 becomes 48,8% aborted..

j watson
j watson
6 months ago
Reply to  Marc Miller

Thanks MM. And thus miles off the 50% twaddle the character at the top of this stream alleged and then that some others delighted in without any thought to check, making themselves look total berks too. Just shows the cesspit in which some subscribers are prepared to go.

Sandra Pinches
Sandra Pinches
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Please note my reply to Marc Miller: The percentage of abortions per total number of pregnancies is at most 33% for Black women, and would be slightly lower if we added spontaneous miscarriages and stillbirths to the total number of pregnancies. This is still a very high rate of abortions.

Sandra Pinches
Sandra Pinches
6 months ago
Reply to  Marc Miller

The original claim was that 50% of Black babies are aborted. The CDC data you quote actually doesn’t measure what per cent of pregnancies are terminated by Black women in the U.S.. It compares the number of abortions per ethnic group without including the number of pregnancies per ethnic group.
I found information that Black women have 474 abortions, relative to every 1000 live births. This stat is 8 years old, and more importantly, it leaves the number of spontaneous miscarriages and still births out of the calculation.
https://www.congress.gov/115/meeting/house/106562/witnesses/HHRG-115-JU10-Wstate-ParkerS-20171101-SD001.pdf
Taking it as it is, the total number of pregnancies is 1474, with 474 being aborted, indicating 33% of pregnancies are aborted by Black women. If we knew the number of miscarriages and stillbirths, we could add it to the total number of pregnancies. This would lower the percentage of abortions relative to the total number of pregnancies.

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
6 months ago
Reply to  Marc Miller

You have failed statistics. See comments below.

Robbie K
Robbie K
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Such cynical nonsense. Children enjoy the highest standards of living in human history and have freedoms, health and wealth far in excess of previous generations.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Where was that freedom during Covid? Freedom not to attend school? And net zero will destroy whatever wealth we have left. Sounds wonderful/

Robbie K
Robbie K
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Covid restrictions weren’t exclusive to children. What is exclusive however is their future and their own children’s, which will be very bleak without addressing climate change.

Jake Prior
Jake Prior
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

But they were completely unnecessary for children who were clearly at extremely low risk from the virus from the start. I’ve seen the impact it’s had on my friends children and it has been psychologically devastating. We sacrificed the good of our children on the alter of the old and fat. We demonstrated to them extreme cowardice and selfishness that I expect – and almost hope – will come back to haunt us when we need their care in our own dotage.

Robbie K
Robbie K
6 months ago
Reply to  Jake Prior

Of course it was necessary, they are filthy little vectors.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Only the most rabid of Covidties still pretend that it was necessary to apply Covid restrictions to children.
And yes their future will be very bleak if we persist with this net zero nonsense

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Necessary how? Children were at virtually no threat at all from Covid. None. And that was clear from the beginning when the at-risk groups were identified. In the aftermath of what you call “necessary” is a rash of excess deaths, new health issues within populations not noted for these conditions, plus the lost learning time that isn’t coming back.

Ddwieland
Ddwieland
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I give you a thumbs-up for sarcasm.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Jake Prior

As an old person (64), but not fat, I resent your comment that my life is worthless.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I will be 60 next week, am not fat, and don’t resent his comment.

Jake Prior
Jake Prior
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I did not say, or imply, your life was worthless. But the fact you jump to that conclusion rather than address the actual point I was making makes me reconsider my position. And your resentment makes me smile.

ian Jeffcott
ian Jeffcott
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

You are not old

Ddwieland
Ddwieland
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

What desperately needs to be addressed is the unhinged fear of “climate change”. No one who has any understanding of climate buys the “climate crisis” notion, but the believers just put misplaced faith in alarmist propaganda. That belief is apparent in Stock’s essay and taints an otherwise valuable perspective.

Juliet Boddington
Juliet Boddington
6 months ago
Reply to  Ddwieland

I’m with you there!

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago
Reply to  Ddwieland

35 years of failed predictions and some people still can’t give up the hysterical nonsense. Meanwhile, I’m considered a denier even though I believe CO2 is warming the world and poses a problem for the future. It’s simply not an existential crisis.

Madas A. Hatter
Madas A. Hatter
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I agree. I lived through the Cuban missile crisis and the Cold War. I abandoned my law studies and went travelling, expecting on the best informed predictions that I was wisely using the last years of my and everyone else’s lives. That was an existential crisis. Climate change is going to put a huge number of people through a lot of hardship, but the species is not even vaguely threatened, Mankind will endure the pain and adapt. I sure wish it wouldn’t happen and do what I can to avoid it, but the end of the world it’s not.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

That was arguably true 15 years back, esp. here in UK after we’d benefited from a decade of competent goverment under Tony Blair.
It’s not remotely true now. Take hunger among UK children for example. Even by 2017, over 3 million UK children were found to be at risk of hunger during school holidays. By 2020 UNICEF started funding UK food relief charities for the first time in hisotry. According to a study release by The Food Foundation a couple of weeks back, nearly a quarter of UK households with children experienced food insecurity druing 2023.
This isn’t to mention things like the rise of MOPs, often with severe black mold or insect infections that afflict health conditions on children. Or the fact studies now consistently find young people have historically unparralelled levels of poor MH.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
6 months ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

What’s with the acronyms? They only serve to make your comment difficult to understand. I’m guessing MH is mental health, but have no idea what a MOP is.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Actually, MH is an initialism, not an acronym. Most people don’t know the difference between the two.

Yvonne Hayton
Yvonne Hayton
6 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Members of Parliament?

mike otter
mike otter
6 months ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

Not from where i am standing – selfish parents and chronic partying are the only things i’ve seen create food poverty in the modern era. – 20kg of rice is still only £14 at the asian stores and the local very posh farm shop does 5kg of any 9 veg for £4. So just add water and flavour and thats 4 fed for £18 pw – albeit on a Buddhist diet. We live in a posh toen 30m from central London so i guess its cheaper in the provinces. I have a some HMOs and agree some are slums but its too risky as a business to cut corners on gas, elec and structure/fabric. You can’t collect rent if you’re in jail or involved in blook feud with some outfit from the Greater Ottoman area. Any business that immolates or poisons their tenants (who are their clients) is rotten from the off. When i was young (living up north in the provinces) we used to take veg and occasionally meat from farmers fields to supplement income – it meant we could afford tobacco and some alcohol and a small amount of drugs if we were flush

James P
James P
6 months ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

Because they are surrounded by wokies

jane baker
jane baker
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

So why are the streets where I live full of cars but silent and empty of children. Just passers by walking to and from,as I do. Yet old film from the 1920s even up to the 1960s shows streets swarming with kids,all playing in that nightmarish fashion kids do. And I even at my advanced age can recall how much of that “innocent play” was also subtle gauging of the other kids talents and abilities,jockeying for social positions,working out who was top,and who was the one to kick around. Who was stupid and able to be tricked,who was the clever b*****d. Are children really free when even 12 year olds are usually accompanied by a parent these days and a child out alone is vulnerable to a sexual predator,men who get their excitement out of transgression. Is it a coincidence about the first syllable of that word.

Jae
Jae
6 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

The problem is we’re willingly duped, mostly by social media and media in general to think a sexual predator lurks around every corner. They don’t according to Jonathan Haidt in his rigorous studies. But we’re too far gone to believe it now.

El Uro
El Uro
6 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

The fact that I survived my childhood is incredible luck, if you list the games we played, the construction sites we ran through, the bombs we blew up. However, it was a completely ordinary childhood, only a few lost partial vision or some fingers

Jerry K
Jerry K
6 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Da kidz is in da bedrooms on da fonez an da gamez. Another 5 years, when VR and AI take over, goggle box will have an entirely new meaning.
God help us all…

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

If the streets are full of cars, the children would be wise to stay off them.

Mangle Tangle
Mangle Tangle
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Exactly. That’s what they are told to do and that’s what is wise to do. Lots more cars. Faster, too.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
6 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

They’re indoors playing war games on their computers/phones. Come AI and its plethora of ‘add ons’ and headsets they’ll never leave their rooms again…

Anders Wallin
Anders Wallin
6 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Because they are at their screens

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

“health and wealth” yes, Freedom definitely NO!

Robbie K
Robbie K
6 months ago

Depends on your interpretation of freedom – do they do what they want? Undoubtedly, even if though that may clash with utopian ideals of playing outdoors.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

More Enid Blyton are LESS ‘health and safety’ might be a good start.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
6 months ago

Totally.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
6 months ago

Let kids be kids, let them play in the mud, climb trees and play kid games.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

Why would they want to do that when they can destroy entire planets on their computer screens?….he said cynically

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

They don’t want to do that – they want to stare at their electronic devices.

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Why the downvotes?

Robbie K
Robbie K
6 months ago

The audience prefers an echo chamber.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I wouldn’t call a utopian ideal, but back in the sixties and seventies we sure had fun. Lots of adventures and fresh air. We learned to negotiate, set rules and give bullies the cold shoulder ( sometimes things got a little out of hand). I don’t remember one kid who was overweight. I feel sorry for kids today. The only adventures they have are video games and those aren’t real.

Robbie K
Robbie K
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

That was indeed the point I was making.

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
6 months ago

I wouldn’t be so sure about the “health”. Obesity in children, mental health issues… “wealth”, yes, it seems even children who are considered poor these days have more in terms in of access to electronic goods and so forth than most kids did even a decade ago.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Caty Gonzales

Agreed, I really used H&S as a euphemism for far too much MOLLYCODDLING, and general risk avoidance.
As to child obesity, what an absolute nightmare it is to see these lumpen dwarfs on every corner.

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
6 months ago

Yes, I agree. Risk avoidance in turn leads to less play, less time outside and unhappier kids.

John Galt Was Correct
John Galt Was Correct
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

There’s a lot going on and a lot to unpack. The UK (at least) is very divided. Those at the ‘bottom’ are not in a good place. The level of malnutrition, multi-generational educational failure and social inadequacy is astonishing. It can be debated all day long the extent to which it is bad parenting or societal failure at large, but what is happening is that large swathes of UK cities are feeding children by free to use breakfast clubs (often funded by a combination of council and private donation by food companies such as cereal manufacturers). There is the issue of the ‘Covid kids’ where some of those that were toddlers during the lockdowns are badly damaged by the lack of interaction and have badly underdeveloped social skills. Some can barely interact with other children and have to have 1:1 teaching because they attack other children. My wife is involved in this and it is staggering the extent to which these problems exist.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
6 months ago

When patents earning in excess of £4000 a month find it hard to feed their kids. At the other end of the scale, there are parents who are doing without every day to make sure their kids are fed, watered and warm. So what is wrong with the country? Too long people have been told they can have it all without personal responsibility. Well, gues what, they cant. It is not up to me to pay my taxes so every working parent gets free nursery places for their children and free food at school. We need to get back to means testing so only those in genuine need benefit from the taxes of others. .

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
6 months ago

I have to say that your comment aligns rather curiously with your username.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Freedoms or lack of parental care?

Simon Templar
Simon Templar
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Please stop replying to Robbie K. He is simply a troll who says provocative nonsense to inspire downvotes. It’s really tedious, actually Robbie.

Robbie K
Robbie K
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon Templar

You’ve misinterpreted my post completely.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Thus providing further proof, if any were needed, that “standard of living”, veiwed as an economist would, is not a good measure of well-being or thriving.

mike otter
mike otter
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

yeah but you can’t have conversations with 90+ % of them – when i was young the number able to communicate with adults was 50% plus in a town full of heavy industry where only c20% went to university or polytechnics.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
6 months ago
Reply to  mike otter

Virtually nobody under the age of 25 reponds to a ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Hi’ when I’m out walking the dog.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

They can’t hear you I fear Peter they all have earbuds plugged into their ears banging out later in life hearing issues..in twenty years time even sans the earbuds they still won’t hear you greet them..

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Children are ruled by their electronic devises. That’s not freedom, though they think it is.

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

We’ve abandoned them, and many people don’t seem to like or want them, given our falling birth rates.

Jae
Jae
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I think we “protect and nurture” children to the point of insanity, as far more eloquently identified by Kathleen Stock in this article.

Jane H
Jane H
6 months ago
Reply to  Jae

I was horrified when my 12 year old grandson said he’s looking forward to having a mobile phone when he starts secondary school and doesn’t mind at all that his parents will be able to track wherever he is!

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
6 months ago
Reply to  Jane H

My grandchildren also get mobile phones when they go to secondary school. However, the parental controls enable their parents to limit the amount of screen time available. (I think it has been set at 2 hours daily.)

Jane H
Jane H
6 months ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

My point was that he’s not bothered about his parents knowing his whereabouts at all times. He’s only 11 but I imagine that will change when he’s older…. I hope so!

Mrs R
Mrs R
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

On a trip to the California a couple of decades or so ago I was appalled by the infantile and breathless delivery used by News readers but all too soon the same absurd intonation and dumbing down was being applied in the U.K. – look at how adults are often portrayed in television commercials these days too. We saw where this led during the pandemic when the general population were literally grounded like children as they simply could not be trusted to behave and obey.
We are in the dense woods of the Age of Stupid and I’m not seeing much light being shed on the way out of it yet.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Agreed. I read that 1 in 5 UK children have nightmares about climate change due to school indoctrination.

john d rockemella
john d rockemella
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Totally agree, unfortunately children are being manipulated, and great is autistic which has been used to manipulate her further. The WEF are the main driver in this, and it goes to show you how the corporate world are happy to manipulate very young children for greed and control. Our capitalist system has become corrupted by the powerful. And it’s sick, we must protect our children, and advise them for the future, as we need change, and the future is dependent on them having the skills and gumption to stand up for what’s right.

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I also took issue with that point, but not because of the relatively recent things you listed. Society encourages people to be more self-centred now, and has done for several decades, and if you’re more self-centred you are by definition less concerned with the welfare of others, including children.

Anders Wallin
Anders Wallin
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Thats maybe true for parents not born in communities where daytime work for wages are the answer to the question ”what to do with life”. Job job working parents, I claim, have not abandoned their children. To grow up to become a responsible, caring, critical and well-functioning Citizen is – i think and hope – still the way working for wages people address their children.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I wrote my comment before I saw you’d said it much poor pithily. Anyway – ‘what Jim said’

Peter Principle
Peter Principle
6 months ago

In a recent op-ed, Greta informed us that “there is no climate justice without human rights” (meaning Israel can’t take preventative action against terror). I would say almost the opposite. If we are concerned about climate, we need to think again about the scope of “human rights”. In particular, mass migration is a flow of people from countries with a low per capita carbon footprint to countries with a high per capita carbon footprint. So the liberal elite need to recognise that the “right” to free movement is trashing the planet.

jane baker
jane baker
6 months ago

That’s the whole point of it,it was planned and implemented for that very purpose. After the Yids have exterminated the ones they stole the land off they’ll be coming for us.

Doug Shannon
Doug Shannon
6 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Get a grip of yourself. And flagged for racism.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
6 months ago
Reply to  Doug Shannon

I flagged it too.

Mark Obstfeld
Mark Obstfeld
6 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Most racists at least TRY to cover it up.

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Obstfeld

Poster is not clever enough.

martin cole
martin cole
6 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

When you use those kind of terms to describe people you give up any credibility

Pedro the Exile
Pedro the Exile
6 months ago

there is no climate justice without human rights” (meaning Israel can’t take preventative action against terror)
Sorry but I don’t get the original statement or your interpretation of it-its just meaningless word salad using undefined terms-wtf is “climate justice” and by what tortuous process is it equated to “human rights”?

Peter Principle
Peter Principle
6 months ago

Hi Pedro. The reason those phrases are in quotes is because I am quoting St. Greta of Thunberg. Thse are her phrases. I totally concur with your points, i.e. there is no such thing as “climate justice” and even if there were, it would be a very totuos process that linked the notion to “huma rights”.

Jae
Jae
6 months ago

He’s quoting Thunberg.

El Uro
El Uro
6 months ago
Reply to  Jae

Yes, he is! 🙂 “climate justice”. Of course, this is words salad, but they talk and think (!) this way today

Peter Principle
Peter Principle
6 months ago
Reply to  Jae

Not even the ex-President of Harvard knows about quotation marks.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago

Whenever someone appends “justice” to a subject that has absolutely nothing to do with justice, a grift is afoot.

Martin M
Martin M
6 months ago

Greta has always struck me as a Joan of Arc-like figure.

AC Harper
AC Harper
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

I think of her as a fluffy mascot bound to the grille of an activist juggernaut a la Mad Max.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Perhaps the same fate awaits her?

Isabel Ward
Isabel Ward
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Sort of but I think Joan of Arc had a bit more about her and more courage.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Isabel Ward

Agreed and hence her canonisation.

r ll
r ll
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

and look what happened to Joan of Arc, she met her fate, and the world moved on to other causes and wars over religion, food, and borders.

Robbie K
Robbie K
6 months ago

Greta is one of the world’s most popular and influential people and has the foundation to reinvent herself. She is a power for good and I have no doubt will remain so.

R Wright
R Wright
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

What has she achieved?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

ZILCH!

jane baker
jane baker
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Popular?

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Sorry Robbie. Kathleen is right. Greta is probably past her sell by date. A few years ago the bigwigs at the UN were a bit embarrassed by an angry 16 year old telling them they stolen her future. As an angry 25 year old saying the same thing, she’d have been told to shut up & get a job.

Robbie K
Robbie K
6 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

She clearly has to move on from Skolstrejk för klimatet, but she is uniquely talented and will always hold a huge influence. People will always listen to what she has to say. Apart from the kind of crusty old goats in this audience of course ;o)

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

What exactly is her talent? She lives a life made possible by the very things she claims to hate. That seems more like delusion that talent, but perhaps I’m missing something. What is this unique skill that you see in her?

Juliet Boddington
Juliet Boddington
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

She has no talent.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

People have stopped listening already. Soon the frustrated activists trying to circumvent democracy will find another unimpeachably innocent champion to push their beliefs.

And since when was bunking off school a noble sacrifice?

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

That is always assuming that she is not just saying what she is told to say. She has not actually achieved anything so I am unable to assess her talents.

jane baker
jane baker
6 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

She’s not even qualified to clean toilets which would be an environmentally friendly job.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

You mean rather like Joan of Ark?

(apologies to Martin M! I didn’t immediately see your post!)

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Come off it RK! That’s just a ‘wind up’.

A A
A A
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Troll. You, I mean, not Greta. Well also Greta, but in a different way.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

You may be right. Today’s climate justice warriors are tomorrow’s eco-fascists.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Satire?

AC Harper
AC Harper
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Her celebrity may have generated a career – but would you want to make a living preaching Armageddon to small rooms of the already fervent believers?

jane baker
jane baker
6 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

The Quaking Brethren of Cold Comfort Farm indulging in the orgiastic pleasure of being told how wicked they are.

Anders Wallin
Anders Wallin
6 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I am absolutely sure she means to be a power for good, but her later avtivist turn is not really helping her initial initiatives