Greta Thunberg has a clear messge, but some climate change denialists are trying hard to discredit her voice. In the process, however, they demonstrate their own ignorance and complete lack of understanding of both Greta Thunberg’s message about the central importance of science and the broader climate movement she has inspired among youth around the world.
Her accomplishment stands out in stark relief to the myopia of her detractors. She has inspired tens of millions of students across the globe to ask the obvious question: What good is schooling if the prospects for human survival are rapidly collapsing and may not afford them any future worth living. As she points out because of the mindless pursuit of endless growth strategies by corporations and corporate-states national policies are driving increased fossil fuel consumption all around the world just when every school student has learned in elementary science classes that this will destroy civilization as we know it. What use, they ask (quite reasonably) is further education if all it leads to is making extinction more efficient. Surely, they assert, shouldn’t we all be engaged in emergency action to get off our dependence on fossil fuels that are killing the prospect for a survivable future for everyone.
Greta’s critics have clearly lost the argument. They have been reduced to repeating textual passages recorded by scribes in the late bronze-age in the Palestinian hill country. They act as if those “sacred” texts indicate that humans will be exceptions to the oncoming climate catastrophes because their “God” is reputed to have “promised” that the global ice caps will not melt and flood the world’s coastlines.
The sweeping scope of this arrogance is truly breathtaking. One is reminded of St. Augustine’s observation, often cited by the Reverend William Sloane, Coffin, Jr.
“We humans never do evil more cheerfully than when we do it in the name of God.”
Sadly, this combination of ignorance and arrogance has been the major theme of Republican political figures for decades, many of whom have claimed personal and privileged divine guidance in arriving at their political decisions:
Yale Class of 1968
43rd President of the United States
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
- The Roots of Evangelicals’ Political Fervor | Retro Report
- Religious Politics and Secular Values – Part 6 Jeff Sharlet
- Big Think Interview with Jeff Sharlet
- BookTV, Jeff Sharlet, “C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy”
- Exposing the Secret Christian Group Seeking Political Power
- The Secret Political Reach Of ‘The Family’
- The Secret Political Reach Of ‘The Family’ : NPR
- How America Got Divorced from Reality: Christian Utopias, Anti-Elitism, Media Circus | Kurt Andersen
- The Dark Side of Religion in Christian America: Chris Hedges on American Fascists (2007)
The more direct connection between the political right and the white evangelicals has been discussed elsewhere.
- How White Evangelicals Sold Their Soul to Donald Trump To Bring About Armageddon
- Review – Waiting For Armageddon, Scary Documentary
- Waiting for Armageddon
For many who believe they will be “saved” when the armageddon comes, there is a feeling that the devastation that is anticipated from coming changes in climate may actually be beneficial since it will hasten the arrival of the moment of salvation for the “chosen people.” Since the “chosen people” will be exceptions to the devastation wrought upon the Earth in general, ominous climate news actually under girds their “exceptionalist” religious narrative about those who will be “saved.”