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The Cult Of Greta

April 24, 2019

By Paul Homewood



Brendan O’Neill attacks the cult of St Greta:


Anyone who doubts that the green movement is morphing into a millenarian cult should take a close look at Greta Thunberg. This poor young woman increasingly looks and sounds like a cult member. The monotone voice. The look of apocalyptic dread in her eyes. The explicit talk of the coming great ‘fire’ that will punish us for our eco-sins. There is something chilling and positively pre-modern about Ms Thunberg. One can imagine her in a sparse wooden church in the Plymouth Colony in the 1600s warning parishioners of the hellfire that will rain upon them if they fail to give up their witches.

t actually makes sense that Ms Thunberg – a wildly celebrated 16-year-old Swede who founded the climate-strike movement for schoolkids – should sound cultish. Because climate-change alarmism is becoming ever stranger, borderline religious, obsessed with doomsday prophecies. Consider Extinction Rebellion, the latest manifestation of the upper-middle classes’ contempt for industrialisation and progress. It is at times indistinguishable from old fundamentalist movements that warned mankind of the coming End of Days. I followed Extinction Rebellion from Parliament Square to Marble Arch yesterday and what I witnessed was a public display of millenarian fear and bourgeois depression. People did dances of death and waved placards warning of the heat-death of the planet. It felt deeply unnerving.

Read the full post here.

  1. April 24, 2019 11:08 am

    There’s also an excellent article at the Spectator:

    For those without access, here it is:

    “The trouble with Greta Thunberg

    In popular mythology Greta Thunberg is a one-girl revolution who has inspired millions of young people into action by being able to see what adults refuse to see. But her promotion as global statesman is really a well-crafted piece of PR. Those on the Left who seek to use climate alarmism to further their war on global capitalism know full well that the likes of Robin Boardman-Pattison, the Bristol University graduate with a private education and fondness for foreign holidays, who stormed out of the Sky News studio last week when Adam Boulton accused him of being middle class, is a liability to their cause.

    But allow Thunberg to speak for them by proxy and, well, who will dare criticise a 16-year-old girl with Asperger’s? The success of this strategy can be seen from this morning’s Today programme. The BBC, which apologised for not challenging Lord Lawson in an interview on climate change, was nevertheless happy to give Thunberg the prime 8.10am interview slot. And not once did the normally inquisitorial Nick Robinson ask her an even slightly difficult question. It is not hard to imagine the mass outrage which would have followed had he dared to do so: middle-aged man bullying a schoolgirl and the like. As a result of Thunberg’s perceived untouchability, the climate alarmists have managed to promote their views in a way which would not have been possible had an adult spokesman of Extinction Rebellion been on the air – Nick Robinson’s interview with ER’s co-founder Gail Bradbrook, was actually rather robust.

    Sorry, but the fawning attitude towards Thunberg is not going to extend to me. If you are going to be given an international stage to call for a general strike, as Thunberg has done, you deserve to be challenged – whether you are 16 and wear pigtails or not. If the BBC, or anyone else, is going to offer a platform to Thunberg, these are the questions she needs to be asked:

    1. Do you really think it is possible to eliminate carbon emissions by 2025 – the target of Extinction Rebellion, whose aims you have endorsed – without crashing the global economy? That wouldn’t just mean the end of air travel, which you personally shun, it would mean the end of your favoured high speed rail travel, too. While great efforts have been made to switch to renewables, we do not yet even nearly have the technology to turn to a fully fossil-free world and to pretend that we do so is fanciful.

    2. If governments are supposedly ignoring the science, how do you explain, then, that those same governments set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) more than 30 years ago specifically to advise them on climate change – and have continued to seek its advice ever since, most recently asking it what would need to be done to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 celsius?

    3. You want a general strike, but why do you think workers will want to join one when your demands would mean an end to many of their jobs? It is one thing for schoolchildren to go on strike – taking a day off is always very exciting for them. You might have a harder job convincing industrial workers whose jobs and living standards ultimately depend on the cheap source of energy which you want to take away. I know campaigners keep going on about ‘green jobs’ but it is no consolation creating 1,000 jobs in green energy, or whatever, if your unrealistic carbon reduction targets are going to destroy 100,000 jobs in heavy industry. How are you going to convince those employed in the latter to join your strike?

    4. You said this morning that you think you can see the issues more clearly because you see things in black and white. But isn’t that the problem? There are great complexities in how to balance economic and environmental needs. The idea that the issue of climate change can be reduced to two choices – environmental destruction or purity – is nonsense. What we need to solve climate change is people who can see the issue in a rich spectrum of colours, not black and white, wouldn’t you say?”

    • quaesoveritas permalink
      April 24, 2019 12:28 pm

      Quite right.
      The trouble is, nobody is prepared to challenge her statements in a really robust manner.
      I am afraid that they are scared of being accused of bullying if they reduce her to tears in the robust questioning which is required.

    • mjr permalink
      April 25, 2019 1:35 pm

      I didnt hear the Today programme referred to with Greta . However I did hear the interview on Monday morning – again Nick Robinson – with Bill McKibben. This was equally without challenge and turned into a vehicle for his extreme views.
      I did complain.
      The BBC response was
      “In light of the recent Extinction Rebellion protests, author and environmentalist Bill McKibben was invited on to the programme to discuss the current debate on climate change.
      In a fast-flowing interview situation, it may not always be possible for an interviewer to cross-check every statement and claim that is made by a guest, we’re sorry this spoiled the interview for you. We always seek to ensure that the interviewer’s particular question is answered by the guest first and foremost.
      That said, Nick Robinson raised numerous questions with his guest and challenged Bill McKibben’s support of Extinction Rebellion when asking “Do you really need to cause chaos in order to get us to focus?”
      It is important to note on the wider point that the BBC takes its editorial responsibility seriously when reporting on climate change. We acknowledge the weight of scientific consensus around climate change and this underpins all of our reporting of the subject. The scientific community has reached a significant consensus on man-made global warming. We therefore reflect that with due weight when discussing the science involved.
      This does not mean, however, that we should never interview someone who opposes this consensus, especially if they are influential in the debate about how to tackle climate change. There are times when it is editorially appropriate to hear from a dissenting voice. There’s no obligation to include an alternative viewpoint within each and every individual item or programme.
      Rather, we achieve due impartiality on the political angles – when required – over a reasonable period of time. The merit of doing so is decided by the editor with the specific context in mind on each occasion.
      The Director General has explained: “Our impartiality does not mean that we strike some sort of false balance – but that we reflect all contributions to a debate, and give each of them their due weight… We won’t give in to pressure to silence dissenting voices – nor allow those voices to be seen as mainstream.”
      We do appreciate your points about this, as we remain absolutely committed to bringing the user the most comprehensive, impartial, factual and fair news reporting.”

      So that was the most critical question they could quote. So no bias there then!!

      • John189 permalink
        April 25, 2019 2:36 pm

        But the Director General’s position as outlined above is untenable. It means that the BBC has to act in accordance with a pre-judged posiiton of its own making. The BBC decides what is correct and then offers a puppet show to the viewer/listener, scripting a result in line with BBC policy. I am shocked at such an open and self-satisfied display of arrogance.

  2. Joe Public permalink
    April 24, 2019 11:21 am

    Ma Thunberg:

  3. Mike Jackson permalink
    April 24, 2019 11:54 am

    I repeat a comment from elsewhere on this morning’s reports:

    Final evidence that British politicians have lost their marbles. Not only have they drunk deep of the climate Kool-Aid they are now allowing autistic 16-year-olds to set government policy!

    Whom the gods wish to destroy …

  4. TinyCO2 permalink
    April 24, 2019 12:03 pm

    Like the teenager Elizabeth Hubbard at the heart of the Salem Witch Trials. With a load of slightly pervy adults all too eager to follow the direction to condemn.

    Greta’s cult is a death cult, pumping out despair. We can’t come even close to her demands, even if the whole World acted with us. If adults are taking her messages seriously, what will kids think they have to live for?

  5. April 24, 2019 12:26 pm

    I find this ER situation more sinister than just a climate matter which is merely a strategic cover for initiating political change. For me the whole situation exhibits the methods and strategies used by the far left (aka: communism) that I have witnessed in the past.
    The political purpose of those behind and driving the process feeds off the chaos being deliberately created.
    Most of those taking part are merely tools, manipulated to believe in the hysteria of climate change whilst remaining innocent of the true objectives.

    Fortunately, at my age, I will not be around to witness the full force of the consequences should this movement not be brought under control so we can return to sanity.

    Meanwhile our currently duff set of politicians are in total disarray.

  6. April 24, 2019 12:29 pm

    Let’s see, most recently we had the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary Extinction ca. 65 mya when the dinosaurs bought the farm. Prior to that we had the Triassic-Jurassic Extinction some 200 mya.

    And just where was Greta? We want to know.

  7. April 24, 2019 12:31 pm

    The end of the world?

  8. Sam Duncan permalink
    April 24, 2019 3:56 pm

    “There is something chilling and positively pre-modern about Ms Thunberg”

    Why the surprise? This “post-modernism” that’s been all the rage for the last half-century or so is simply warmed over pre-modernism. The counter-enlightenment is in full swing, and it’s winning.

  9. europeanonion permalink
    April 24, 2019 5:06 pm

    Post modernism has a lot to answer for in establishing that individuals cannot be challenged even for their impoverished contribution, the abandonment of critique. This has given us no platforming and burgeoning university grades. The ‘point to which picture’ methodology, choose one answer from three, is that of life when you can get by on luck. The damage that has been done to art is irreparable and as Jonathan Meades averred it is the output of a large body of people with no talent who just like the life style. Add that to Meades’s other profundity, “Liberals want to you to be like them. They want you to be grateful to them”.

    It is to our relief that bodies like ER are but an extension of CND and other more obscure sects. It is a generational thing where families have a history of turning-out whatever the issue. The thing that turned up in Brexit was that those opposing the notion knew more than those in favour, it seems such hauteur stretches to a swathe of understandings.

    The problem that we face is that refutation has to be a careful and precise tool; it is that of winning every battle, lose one and that seals the deal for us. Slow research and the process of writing it up cogently is a lengthy business by the time it is public-ready the machine putting the detritus into the media channels has generated a whole lot more silt to wade through. We are always behind the eight ball. Add to that that the BBC is a political entity and has control of a substantial part of popular media. This a putsch!

    If walruses, whales, porpoises or Polar Bears die today the fact that they are better protected than ever makes less inroads into their numbers. This may be a fault as in an increasingly developed world the poor things from Wildebeest to Walrus are getting pinched for space. Being kind is insufficient when through that generosity we make life meaner. But one can almost hear the sound of whale oil coming back into fashion. Already the production of palm oil has had a devastating effect and wood burning power stations are anathema. Millenarianism has that within it about the second coming. Can you believe it, a crowd of sun worshippers talking about a return to Eden and a sinless condition, about faith? There appears to be a dichotomy here.

  10. Ian Wilson permalink
    April 24, 2019 5:25 pm

    I understand she won’t meet Donald Trump (would he want to see her?) ‘because he will not listen to the science’. That’s ironic when Trump has done precisely that whilst she has signally failed to do so.

  11. Stonyground permalink
    April 24, 2019 8:54 pm

    The obvious question to ask is that, if she has this magical ability to detect lying, why can she not tell that the AGW alarmists are such consistent liars?

  12. martinbrumby permalink
    April 24, 2019 9:53 pm

    Isn’t it wonderful.
    Members of Parliament- (including Gove, Minister of the Environment), the BBC and the rest of the MSM, the Good & the Great, can’t hear enough from this sad, damaged and mentally abused little girl with her extreme left and completely unworkable views.

    I wonder when just one of the tens of thousands of white and Sikh girls who have, for no fault of their own, been systematically groomed, raped, tortured, prostituted over thirty years, will be invited to give her story and address Parliament?

    The same little girls (and their frantic parents) who couldn’t get help from teachers, social workers, police, media and especially politicians (not infrequently part of the rape problem), all to avoid causing offence to the perpetrators.

    It really is time to drain the swamp.

    In the mean time, any news of when little Greta will be on the Beijing train, to point out their shortcomings to the Chinese Communist Party?

    • Andy permalink
      April 25, 2019 6:59 am

      So true. Very funny last paragraph!

  13. Mack permalink
    April 24, 2019 10:11 pm

    ‘The Cult of Greta Thunberg’. Indeed, alarmism has found a new standard bearer. A seemingly pre-programmed and disturbingly manipulated Green Reichsjugendfuhrer, who embodies all of the religious zeal of Joan of Arc, the charm of a Midwich Cuckoo and the naïveté of the leaders of the 13th Century Children’s Crusade. All of whom had a rather tragic end I seem to remember. What is even more disturbing than the credence this poor misguided and ill-educated girl is given by her peers is the fawning adulation given to her by the ‘so called’ grown ups who are meant to actually run countries and fully functioning economies. Insanity reigns supreme! Stock up on your loin cloths and clubs folks as the Dark Ages seem to be returning to the West at an ever quickening pace.

  14. April 24, 2019 10:29 pm

    Times Comment from @London Resident
    \\ Out of interest I read her speech to Parliament. It made a number of key claims:

    1) In ten years time (around 2030) there will be a chain reaction of climate devastation that will end human life as we know it. If we don;t act now.

    2) The emissions associated with climate change are so “a small number of people could make an unimaginable amount of money”

    2) The UK has a “historical carbon debt” thanks to our early adoption of the industrial revolution

    3) No one is doing anything, no one is acting, no one is listening to her

    4) Lowering emissions (e.g. switching from coal fired power to gas) is not good enough, they must be eliminated

    5) The steps the UK have take (lowering emissions by 37% since 1990) is creative accounting because it doesn’t take account of aviation (unspecified but presumably it doesn’t reflect inbound and outbound flights) and exports and imports – i.e. the UK hasn’t double counted the emissions it uses to export goods and the emissions created in other countries to manufacture goods the UK imports.

    6) That means the UK has “only” reduced its emissions (using her double counting method) by 10%

    7) You must act now and not give a thought to the political consequences.

    A speech that self-contradicts, demands obedience to her solution and damns political accountability. One that also singles out the UK and absolves other nations of responsibility. //

  15. April 24, 2019 10:44 pm

    Child Saint Greta of Westminster has had a vision
    … and now the metroliberal establishment are building a costly shrine.
    #EmotionalBlackmail #PRtrickery #GreenSupremacism

  16. April 24, 2019 10:52 pm

    I checked my own notes
    I see when I opened the Times today I wrote “cult”
    “it’s surprising how in cult like are the metroliberal establishment of MPs and journos are to Greta Thunberg”
    … Yet on Twitter and in Times paying reader comments Greta and the Times journos support of her was given a massive kicking by 85%

    Here’s a typical top voted comment from their PAYING readers
    \\ This is the fourth Times article I have read today about this juvenile activist.
    The stories about Aspergers and autism are irrelevant, what matters is that she is a child being used by manipulative adults to push their warped political agenda.
    Her message is incoherent, crazed and dangerous.
    She wants to spread panic and destructive economics.
    It is bad enough to see the BBC become the media arm of climate fanatics, but now we see MPs following this craze guru around Westminster like mediaeval sheep.
    And here we find a senior Times columnist completely given over to the gibberish.
    Is there anyone in the Times editorial team capable of standing against this febrile corrosive rot?
    … (actually Quentin Letts article does) //

  17. April 24, 2019 10:56 pm

    This is the actual leader column in The Times
    \\ The Times view on Theresa May’s snub to Greta Thunberg: Conservative Greens

    The Tory party is missing a trick by not embracing green issues.
    Conservatism should stand for conservation, and it can outflank the left

    For reasons of self-interest, as well as the national interest, Theresa May was wrong to decline a meeting with the climate protester Greta Thunberg.
    (.. that’s contradicted by other Times article which says Greta refused all the time slots offered)
    A Swedish 16-year-old, Ms Thunberg is one of the youngest people to be nominated for the Nobel peace prize.
    She leaves school each Friday to protest against global warming outside the Swedish parliament. In doing so, she has inspired thousands of schoolchildren worldwide. Yesterday in parliament she met Jeremy Corbyn, Sir Vince Cable and the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas, together with Michael Gove, the environment secretary. Mrs May, who in February scolded Ms Thunberg’s fans for skipping school to protest, would have been wise to have found the time.
    …. //

  18. April 24, 2019 11:14 pm

    Another Times writer thinks Greta is a Nobel Prize winner

  19. April 25, 2019 12:08 am

    Bolty’s guest
    “This is tragic , this cult is destroying the hope
    , destroying children’s dream of a better future”

  20. April 25, 2019 12:11 am

    From Russia Today

    • April 25, 2019 12:25 pm

      Hmm, RT seems to switch sides when it comes to fracking.

  21. April 25, 2019 12:17 am

  22. M E permalink
    April 25, 2019 12:26 am

    “When I was young” said the White Queen “I could believe six impossible things before breakfast” Through the Looking Glass. Lewis Carroll. She advised Alice to practice. These young people have practiced faithfully and are drunk with self righteousness. They don’t know History or they would compare themselves to Totalitarian Youth Groups of the 1930’s.

  23. smoke&mirrors permalink
    April 25, 2019 6:51 am

    Well, just wait. It won’t be long before she says something off-message and on-camera. Her minders, and all those who have accepted her words without question, will run for cover. If she’s still around when she reaches 18 and no longer a minor then she’ll have a very rough ride. Very sad exploitation.

  24. April 25, 2019 10:55 am

    Oops looks like I am taking over Paul’s post I put the rest of my links in a Twitter thread

    • April 25, 2019 11:07 am

      Finally : I did put a video there
      Note the Living Colour song does mention “Nobel Prize”
      “I sell the things you need to be
      I’m the smiling face on your T.V.
      I’m the cult of personality
      I exploit you still you love me
      I tell you one and one makes three

      Neon lights a Nobel Prize”

  25. April 25, 2019 2:57 pm

    Paul, you’re no doubt aware that this ER nonsense is getting shredded in a number of sensible places. Perry de Havilland at Samizdata also made a trenchant comment about Greta Thunberg, or more particularly the vapid fools who fall at her feet:

    Miss Thunberg has also come up on Climate Scepticism in the context of the recent BBC documentary on climate change:

    I left this comment at Cliscep:
    ht bobby b, a commenter at Samizdata, who provides this link to a sobering piece by Paulina Neuding in Quillette on Ms Thunberg . It’s written with no little understanding of the mental afflictions from which Ms Thunberg suffers, but makes it clear that serious adults would have nothing to do with her, her abysmally irresponsible family or the other puppeteers. Where are the serious adults, though?

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