Letter to the Editor: Greta Thunberg travelling by plane wouldn’t gain publicity

Letter to the Editor: Greta Thunberg travelling by plane wouldn’t gain publicity

In recent weeks, Greta Thunberg has exploded on to the public stage like a modern Joan of Arc.

Who is Greta Thunberg?

A 16-year-old schoolgirl. Has she conducted original research into factors impinging on climate?

No, but she sailed across the Atlantic in a yacht costing $4m in order to reduce her carbon footprint.

One suspects, on the basis of normal airline statistics, that there were hundreds of vacant seats on transatlantic flights while Greta was battling with wind and wave.

Presumably, those who sponsored her sea voyage would have known that.

Oh I forgot, a teenage girl flying on a stand-by seat would not gain much by way of publicity. Mind you, her carbon footprint would have been considerably less had she flown.

Arrived in New York, Greta gave an impassioned speech to the UN in the course of which she said: “People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing, we are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and the fairytale of endless economic growth. How dare you?”

Her speech got global media coverage. Greta is in a state of panic and she wants all her peers to panic too.

I sincerely hope that all of this pressure and worry will not damage her psychologically.

Professor Richard Lindzen, an American atmospheric physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has spent 30 years studying climate and sees no cause for panic. In his view, climate has been changing ever since there was a climate to change and what is happening now has all happened many times before.

Nils-Axel Mörner is the former head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University. Having conducted voluminous research on changes in sea levels, he had this to say: “All handling by the IPCC of the sea level questions have been done in a way that cannot be accepted and that certainly does not concur with modern knowledge of the mode and mechanism of sea level changes.”

He worked for the IPCC until it emerged that his findings did not support their agenda.

Is it not puzzling that serious scientists who deal in facts do not receive a fraction of the attention given to those who promote unsubstantiated emotional claims? Not really.

It is well recognised by psychologists that emotion is a more powerful motivating factor than are scientific facts.

In philosophic terms man is described as a “Rational Animal”.

In the current environment, might it not be deemed more appropriate to change the appellation to “Irrational Animal?

Steve McGarry

Bishopstown

Cork

This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on 28 September, 2019.

More on this topic

David Attenborough: Greta Thunberg’s rise due to passion and concern for futureDavid Attenborough: Greta Thunberg’s rise due to passion and concern for future

Jane Fonda returns to civil disobedience over climate changeJane Fonda returns to civil disobedience over climate change

Twice as many people commute to work by car in Cork than in Dublin; CSO publish annual yearbook Twice as many people commute to work by car in Cork than in Dublin; CSO publish annual yearbook

Piers and Susanna boil over as ‘Mr Broccoli’ protester given TV grillingPiers and Susanna boil over as ‘Mr Broccoli’ protester given TV grilling

More in this Section

Kurds move puts Trump in dangerous territoryKurds move puts Trump in dangerous territory

'The New Thing party I’ve just arrived at unnoticed, is the audiobook''The New Thing party I’ve just arrived at unnoticed, is the audiobook'

'It’s not a beautiful word, is it, Munster?''It’s not a beautiful word, is it, Munster?'

Brexit: A deal would begin a long, difficult processBrexit: A deal would begin a long, difficult process


Lifestyle

'When a role became available in The River Lee following the refurbishment, I jumped at the chance!'You've Been Served: Sinead McDonald of The River Lee on life as a Brand Manager

It’s the personal stories from Bruce Springsteen that turn his new ‘Western Stars’ documentary into something special, the director tells Esther McCarthy.Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars documentary more than just a music film

Apart from the several variations in its spelling in Irish and English, Inishtubbrid, Co Clare is also recognised by three other names: Wall’s Island; O’Grady’s Island and Inishtubber which surely puts it up there as the island with most names — not counting say Inisvickillane, Co Kerry which has about 33 variations to that spelling.The Islands of Ireland: In search of tranquility

More and more communities and volunteers are taking on environmental tasks around the country. In Clonmel, Co Tipperary, for example, people have united to get rid of Himalayan balsam, an invasive plant, from the banks of the River Suir.‘Bashing’ invasive plants

More From The Irish Examiner