Thunberg accuses leaders of creative public relations

In an Associated Press article called “Teen activist accuses leaders of ‘creative PR’ at UN climate talks” by Aritz Parra and Frank Jordans, Greta Thunberg did not shy away from calling leaders on the carpet. The activist who was recently awarded the Time Magazine Person of the Year for 2019, “accused governments and businesses of misleading the public by holding climate talks that are not achieving real action against the world’s ‘climate emergency.'”

Using a multitude of scientific facts, Thunberg “told negotiators at the UN’s climate talks in Madrid they have to stop looking for loopholes and face up to the ambition that is needed to protect the world from a global warming disaster.” It should be noted, the US is present, but its attendance is on the shoulders of lower level folks who cannot make decisions. Unfortunately, sans the US leadership as one of the two biggest polluters, other countries did not send decision makers either.

“‘The real danger is when politicians and CEOs are making it look like real action is happening, when in fact almost nothing is being done, apart from clever accounting and creative PR.’ said Thunberg.” Even at age 16, she is savvy to an age old practice by leaders to look like they are doing something when it is all a part of a subterfuge.

There was a positive action last week, “where the European Union announced a $130 billion plan to help wean EU nations off fossil fuels. German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said she hoped the “European Green Deal’ would ‘give the discussions here (in Madrid) a boost.'”

“Some experts echoed the activist’s concerns about lack of progress. ‘In my almost 30 years in this process, never have I seen the almost total disconnect that we’re seeing in Madrid, between what the science requires and the people of the world are demanding on the one hand and what climate negotiations are delivering in terms of meaningful actions,’ said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a US based non-profit group.”

The lack of leadership on climate change is appalling and was a major concern of mine if the current US president won the election. Good things are happening in the US in spite of his naysaying efforts, but the world needs its leaders of the bigger polluters to be part of the solution. Thunberg is well deserving of her honor and continues to speak truth to people in power. It is sad that she knows far more about this topic than many adults who could make a difference. That would include the US president who is more concerned with perception and awards than helping the planet address this pandemic-like issue.

14 thoughts on “Thunberg accuses leaders of creative public relations

  1. You’re right that some good things are happening in the U.S. regarding the environment, but I think more bad … really bad things are happening as a result of a president who is in bed with the fossil fuel barons and stubbornly keeps rolling back the regulations that were in place. The fact is that he is working against certain states who are trying to reduce carbon emissions despite Trump’s ignorance, such as California. I think it’s inevitable that nations like Germany and others who truly are trying to save the environment will ultimately take action against the U.S. until we wake up and work with them instead of against them. This is a global problem that requires the attention of EVERY nation, not just a few.

    • Jill, you are right, but one thing that the president cannot stop is the free flow of ideas that save money, help the environment and create jobs.

      The best ideas are created around the world and are being shared. I can think of tidal energy success in Scotland, battery storage for solar to power a province in Australia, and a mechanically powered system to power a hoist in Kodiak Island off Alaska to load and unload goods from ships. Also, what over 700 cities have done, of which Michael Bloomberg is a key player, is share traffic flow, road construction and building practices to save and measure energy.

      There is a good book called “Climate of Hope written by Bloomberg and Carl Pope (former head of the Sierra Foundation) on good practices around the world.


      • Thank you, my friend, for reminding me that there is hope, that there are those who are dedicating their lives to saving life on this planet, even though the ‘man’ who should care the most, doesn’t. I sometimes get mired in the detritus and forget to look at the bigger picture.

    • Erika, so true. What has gone less noticed is the cost of renewable energy is more on par and in some measures better than fossil fuel when all the costs are factored in.

      So, the naysaying that continues is funded by the fossil fuel industry who has benefitted over time more than any other industry by government subsidy and it is not even close. As an example, there are 700 scientific peer reviewed sites on the causes and solutions to global warming. There are 30,000 non-peer reviewed sites on nay-saying global warming. This is why it is so easy for nay-sayers to find info to cite. It is not true or taken out of context.


      • Oh, yes, absolutely. There is a lot of evidence to the fossil fuel industry which confirms how they tricked us successfully over the decades because of their hunger for power and money. It is unbelievable how little they cared for their own children and grandchildren to live in a good invironment. It is shocking how money blinds!

      • Agreed. Coal has been harmful for decades upon decades. One of the best tactics in the first decade of the 2000’s, was forcing the closure of dirtier coal plants, when cleaner ones were built. This was a huge, but mostly unheard of series of actions. Before then, utilities had carte blanche with various states. Now, any new coal plant will be obsolete before it is finished, so why spend the money?

    • Hugh, she is indeed. I saw where she is getting flak for using a Swedish expression in her translated speech. The expression of “standing someone against a wall” means to ask them questions. Well, the English translation means something different, so her opponents are arguing a sixteen year old girl is suggesting violence. People need to think. When an opposing argument relies on name calling, finger pointing, and denigration, it is not really an argument. Of course, this is a metaphor for the president who sells of props. Keith

    • Janis, sadly, pessimism is easy to come by. But, we must still try. Look at the note I wrote to Erika about closing coal plants. This made a huge difference and made the utility companies take notice. Hugh and I have chatted about this before, but do you know what scares the crap out of utilities? Many of the solutions need not be huge scale projects. So, if they do not invest in renewables, they could forsake their market share. Keith

      • Our utilities have a pretty aggressive renewable energy goals here in California. In fact, there was a very interesting article in today’s paper about how customers with rooftop solar are being subsidized by non-solar (often lower income) households. Answers aren’t easy but it’s obvious that new business models have to be developed. Btw, I agree that we still need to try (I think being environmentally aware is in my DNA). I just wonder if it will be too little too late by the time big industry makes any substantive changes. I hope I’m wrong.

      • Janis, renewable energy offers some conplications,but the upside is huge. Here, energy companies want to buy surplus electricity at a cheaper rate than they seel it to you. This needs to be worked out.

        I also share your hope. Keith

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