Greta Thunbergs Fan Club

How to link the panic in pandemic with the climate crisis? The Guardian (who else?) shows the way:

Pandemic shows climate has never been treated as crisis, say scientists. Letter also signed by Greta Thunberg urges EU leaders to act immediately on global heating

Greta Thunberg and some of the world’s leading climate scientists have written to EU leaders demanding they act immediately to avoid the worst impacts of the unfolding climate and ecological emergency. The letter,which is being sent before a European council meeting starting on Friday, says the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that most leaders are able to act swiftly and decisively, but the same urgency had been missing in politicians’ response to the climate crisis.

It is now clearer than ever that the climate crisis has never once been treated as a crisis, neither from the politicians, media, business nor finance… Net zero emissions by 2050 for the EU – as well as for other financially fortunate parts of the world – equals surrender,” they say. They add that the target is based on a carbon budget that gives only a 50% chance of limiting global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the figure set out in the 2015 Paris agreement.

That is just a statistical flip of a coin, which doesn’t even include some of the key factors such as the global aspect of equity, most tipping points and feedback loops, as well as already built in additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution. So in reality it is much less than a 50% chance.”

The letter also argues that the climate and ecological emergency can only be addressed by tackling the underlying “social and racial injustices and oppression that have laid the foundations of our modern world”. It says the EU, with its political and economic clout, has a moral obligation to lead the fight to create a fair and more sustainable world.

Thunberg and the other signatories – including the scientists Michael Mann and Johan Rockström – call on EU leaders to immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction and end subsidies. They say the EU must advocate to make ecocide an international crime and establish annual, binding carbon budgets.

The title and first sentence in the above article are outright lies. The letter wasn’t written by Greta Thunberg and some of the world’s leading climate scientists, but by Thunberg and three fellow climate strikers, aged 17, 19, 19 and 24. This is made clear in a second Guardian article:

Thunberg, 17, and other leaders of the school strikes movement across Europe said the package was inadequate. Luisa Neubauer, 24, a central figure in Germany’s school strikes movement, said young people were becoming increasingly frustrated with politicians… Another prominent school striker, Adélaïde Charlier, 19, from Belgium, said politicians who adopted the language of climate action without following up with urgent policy measures were worse than climate deniers… The group has written an open letter to EU leaders demanding they act immediately to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis.

The Group” which wrote the letter consists of the above three teenagers, plus Anuna de Wever van der Heyd, aged 24.

The letter, signed by 80,000 people including some of the world’s leading scientists, argues that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that most leaders are able to act swiftly and decisively when they deem it necessary, but that the same urgency has been missing in the response to climate change….The letter argues that the climate and ecological emergency can only be addressed by tackling the underlying “social and racial injustices and oppression that have laid the foundations of our modern world”.

The letter is on the site of Climate Emergency Europe. In fact, it’s the only thing on the site, that and the names of 80,000 signatories, plus an invitation to create your profile picture.”

Among the other demands to global leaders made by these four Girl Guides are the following:

– halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels.

– advocate to make ecocide an international crime at the International Criminal Court.

-design climate policies that protect workers and the most vulnerable and reduce all forms of inequality: economic, racial and gender.

– safeguard and protect democracy.

– treat the climate and ecological emergency like an emergency.

But this is not enough of course:

There is one other thing that has become clearer than ever: Climate and environmental justice can not be achieved as long as we continue to ignore and look away from the social and racial injustices and oppression that have laid the foundations of our modern world. ​The fight for justice and equity is universal. Whether it is the fight for social, racial, climate or environmental justice, gender equality, democracy, human-, indigenous peoples’- LGBTQ- and animal rights, freedom of speech and press, or the fight for a balanced, wellbeing, functioning life supporting system. If we don’t have equality, we have nothing. ​We don’t have to choose, and divide ourselves over which crisis or issue we should prioritise, because it is all interconnected.

That these 17 and 19 year olds can discern and analyse the interconnections betweens the rights of us enlightened Europeans to bugger whom we like, and of animals and indigenous people to do whatever animals and indigenous people do, and my right of freedom of speech, is admirable. What this has to do with keeping the average global temperature down to less than half a degree more than what it is today is not clear.

We are facing an existential crisis, and this is a crisis that we can not buy, build, or invest our way out of… Our current system is not ‘broken’ – the system is doing exactly what it’s supposed and designed to be doing. It can no longer be ‘fixed’. We need a new system… We need to end the ongoing wrecking, exploitation and destruction of our life supporting systems and move towards a fully decarbonised economy that centres around the wellbeing of all people as well as the natural world… When you read the IPCC SR1.5 Report and the UNEP Production Gap Report, as well as what you have actually signed up for in the Paris Agreement, even a child can see that the climate and ecological crisis cannot be solved within today’s system. That’s no longer an opinion, it’s a fact based on the current best available science.

Even a child can see…That’s no longer an opinion, it’s a fact based on the current best available science.”

Sorry, no. that’s an opinion – the opinion of a child, and of three friends not long out of childhood. The fact that Leonardo di Caprio agrees with you doesn’t alter the fact that you’re still a child in law, and that your opinions aren’t worth a shit, except in the minds of the di Caprios, McKibbens and Monbiots listed below.

Because if we are to avoid a climate catastrophe we have to make it possible to tear up contracts and abandon existing deals and agreements, on a scale we can’t even begin to imagine today. And those types of actions are not politically, economically or legally possible within today’s system. In order to limit global heating to 1,5 degrees, the upcoming months and years are crucial. The clock is ticking. Doing your best is no longer good enough. You must now do the seemingly impossible. And even though you might have the option of ignoring the climate crisis, that is not an option for us – for your children. Right now, there is no place on earth where children face a future in a safe environment. This is and will be very much a reality for the rest of our lives. We ask you to face the climate emergency.

by:
Luisa Neubauer

Greta Thunberg

Anuna de Wever van der Heyden

Adélaïde Charlier

The organisation consists apparently of the above mentioned young women, aged 24, 17, 19 and 19.

Among the 80,000+ signatories are:

Michael Mann , Distinguished Professor, Penn State University and Member of the National Academy of Sciences

  • Coldplay

  • Mark Ruffalo, Actor, Justice Activist

  • Greenpeace

  • Hans Joachim Schellnhuber , Atmospheric Physicist and Founding Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Scientist

  • Emma Thompson, Actor

  • Naomi Klein, Author, Rutgers University

  • Margaret Atwood, Author

  • PETA

  • Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change, University of Manchester

  • Annie Lennox OBE, Singer, Songwriter, Activist

  • Russel Crowe , Actor

  • Stefan Rahmstorf, Professor of Physics of the Oceans at Potsdam University

  • Bill McKibben , Author and Founder 350.org

  • The 1975

  • Daniel Ellsberg, US Economist, Human Rights Activist and Right Livelihood Award Laureate

  • Björk, Artist

  • Juliette Binoche, Actor

  • 350.org

  • George Monbiot, Writer and Activist

  • Nicolas Hulot, Author and Former Minister for the Ecological and Solidary Transition of France

  • Lily Cole, human being

  • David Suzuki, Academic and Activist

  • Mercy For Animals

  • Jane Fonda, Academy Award-winning actor, founder of Fire Drill Fridays

  • Kate Raworth, Author Doughnut Economics University of Oxford

  • Stella McCartney , Designer

  • Beabadoobee, Artist

  • Brian Eno, Music Producer

  • March For Science

  • Arizona Muse , model

  • Dr. Lucky Tran, March For Science, Managing Director

  • Hunter Lovins , Natural Capitalism Solutions, Right Livelihood Award Laureate

  • Mercy For Animals

  • Extinction Rebellion

  • Bianca Jagger, Founder, President and Chief Executive, Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, Right Livelihood Award Laureate

I’ve selected a sample of signatories, either because I‘ve heard of them, or because their simple existence seemed telling in some way. That Scientists might want to March for Science seems reasonable, in these demonstrative times. That they should have a Managing Director named Lucky Tran seems more than a satirist has the right to expect. As for Hunter Lovins of Natural Capitalism Solutions, read her CV, ye mighty and despair. 

Many signatories claim to be Right Livelihood Award Laureates (more than 30, according to the Right Livelihood Foundation.There’s a separate list of 320 scientists who have signed, almost all of whom are German-speaking and members of the organisation “Scientists for Future.” They have a website with the usual Zombie Blog (an article every three months, and no comments except ping backs from other articles) It costs 60 euros to join (or whatever you can afford.) [Coincidentally, that’s what it costs to join Cliscep. And we have comments on our blog articles.]

And Arizona Muse has 265,000 followers on Instagram.

How did these four schoolgirls (OK, ex-schoolgirls) get so many famous people to sign up to a statement like this?

If we are to avoid a climate catastrophe we have to make it possible to tear up contracts and abandon existing deals and agreements, on a scale we can’t even begin to imagine today. And those types of actions are not politically, economically or legally possible within today’s system.

[I’m all for that. Let’s “tear up contracts and abandon existing deals and agreements, on a scale we can’t even begin to imagine.” Starting with the contracts that guarantee the above mentioned signatories comfortable incomes, whatever their carbon footprint, even if it’s “not politically, economically or legally possible within today’s system.” Starting with George Monbiot’s contract with the Guardian, Michael Mann’s with Pennsylvania State and so on.]

Did the Famous Four get in contact with all these stars of Stage, Screen and Twitter? I don’t think so. More likely the Michael Manns and Bill McKibbens and George Monbiots have been hanging round the stage doors of Greta and her colleagues (well, Greta, in fact) and our girls simply emailed their fans, asking for endorsement. Which they got.

The letter was addressed to 27 EU leaders a week ago. Apparently not one of them has replied. Oh dear. It’s great to have a fan club when you’re a Twitter star. But when you want to change the way the world works, you need something more.

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July 22, 2020 at 06:47PM

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