Greta Thunberg and the trouble with changing the world

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg arrives to the podium to speak as she takes part during the Climate Strike, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

It is a refrain among many young people today and an unquestioned good that they want to change the world. This statistically significant surge in things like volunteering, donating and civic engagement has been celebrated as a virtue of millennials and our successors, Generation Z, compensating for our digital addictions and other shortcomings. It has been encouraged by teachers and other elders, perhaps especially by those at a loss about how to change the world themselves.

After a few decades of inhabiting this doctrine wholeheartedly, those words—“change the world”—have come to feel exhausting. Maybe this is the inevitable aging of an early millennial, slightly ahead of a curve, that will soon be a generational about-face; maybe it is the sigh of a faint heart. But no: Now, to me, it is talk of changing the world that sounds faint.

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For one thing, the phrase always seems to come at the end of a sentence—change the world, period. Change the world how? Fortunately, young people in America have grown freer from the alleged permanence of capitalism, but the revolutions on offer tend to fall short of, say, those of Karl “the point is to change it” Marx. When explained further, the world-changing I hear about typically involves a targeted intervention on the order of what a tech startup or a particularly effective N.G.O. might achieve.

The phrase always seems to come at the end of a sentence—change the world, period. Change the world how?

The implication seems to be that any change is better than none. The world is that bad, I guess.

As with all lazy talk about generations, there is a missing story here of class divides, where the supposed universal is actually a particular. Some kids are told they can and should change things, while others are told to keep their heads down no matter what. Heard that way, the rote dream of world-changing bears echoes of old tropes of the “white man’s burden,” idolatrous saviorism and the so-called philanthropy that Anand Giridharadas has rightly called “the elite charade of changing the world.”

Saviorism should seem especially repulsive among Christians, followers of a Messiah who defied expectations that he would upend the political order in specific ways. Instead, he was killed. It took a few hundred years for people claiming his mantle to witness the fall of the Roman Empire, right when they thought they had conquered it for themselves.

Greta Thunberg has recently landed by sailboat on our shores, Jonah-like, to speak sense to our calamitous leaders.

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What the world might need most is for people to do less. I have several international flights ahead of me before the year’s end, all in the service of dubious world-changing; isn’t it probable that my greater contribution to planetary survival would be to cancel them? My students tell me about the crushing burden of expectation they feel when social media feeds bombard them with the amazing doings of their contacts; might we all be healthier if we accomplished and broadcasted less?

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I do not want to give up on vigor entirely, however. That part of our humanity, along with leisure, is a gift. Courage, perseverance and vision are fearsome things, as you know if you have ever beheld them up close.

Those characteristics bring me to Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swede who has recently landed by sailboat on our shores, Jonah-like, to speak sense to our calamitous leaders.

To be a healer means your motivation begins like this: What do you love, what do you protect, what do you refuse to harm?

She might seem like a poster child for world-changing of the kind I have been talking about. But she and her popularity (including with my own children) suggest my accusations against the young may be unfounded. Ms. Thunberg rejects saviorism at every turn, insisting that she would much rather be back at home in school and be done with this climate crusade. She also appears less concerned with changing the world than with articulating a rather conservative desire to protect it—to protect species from dying out, to protect a habitable world for future human beings, to protect the dignity of scientific reason from further assaults by greed. Yes, addressing climate change requires radical upheavals in how we live and what we prioritize, but that is not her fault. She would prefer that being good stewards of the Earth were easier.

Rather than saviorism, I think of Ms. Thunberg’s ethic as following the Jewish notion of tikkun olam, or healing the world. To heal means focusing first of all on protecting what one loves, what we know to be good. If doing so requires drastic change, as Thomas Aquinas would put it, that is that.

To be a healer means your motivation begins like this: What do you love, what do you protect, what do you refuse to harm? What is worth more than the illusions we cling to? “We are at the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth?” Ms. Thunberg demanded at the United Nations on Monday. She allowed that world leaders might be “evil”—if they knew the consequences of their inaction and still did nothing—but chose to believe that they are not.

Healing begins not with disruption or innovation but with listening, with a humility that knows the body is its own best healer. Healing is enabling and rousing, not imposing. Perhaps Ms. Thunberg testifies that when other young people talk about changing the world, what they mean is actually more along the lines of healing what they inherit.

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Douglas Fang
4 weeks ago

...And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re goin’ through...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chUolMjZyHc

David Bowie - Changes

Christopher Scott
4 weeks ago

The easy availability of drugs helps account for why there are certain portions of Bowie’s career he doesn’t remember, including, according to Rodgers, recording his 1973 album “Pin Ups.”

“That was specifically about drinking and drugging,” says Rodgers. “He told me there are years of his life that he doesn’t remember. He said, ‘I know that’s me singing, I know that’s my record and my picture, but I don’t remember writing the songs, I don’t remember going into the studio.’ ”

How drugs played a key role in Bowie's early success

https://nypost.com/2014/11/15/mountains-of-cocaine-played-a-crucial-role-in-bowies-success/?utm_source=email_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site%20buttons&utm_campaign=site%20buttons

J Cosgrove
4 weeks ago

Changing the World? To what? With poverty disappearing from the world, what is the new vision? The world was extremely unjust for all of history till 200 years ago and is gradually getting much less so. Mr. Schneider's vision is unclear does he want to go back to this unjust world?

Is Greta an example of Child manipulation? Is promoting her a form of child abuse? Who are her handlers?

Peter Schwimer
4 weeks ago

I'm not sure what world you live in, J Cosgrove. But in my world poverty is relative and it isn't going away anytime soon. And gradually getting less unjust doesnt help the folks for whom it is injust right now.

J Cosgrove
4 weeks ago

But in my world poverty is relative

In a world of billionaires, millionaires will be poor. So you are not happy with the progress from 98% extreme poverty for 10.000 years to less than 10% in about 200 years. Unfortunately a lot of the world lives under non Democratic governments. But down substantially from 200 years ago. I'm sorry if no one has a magic wand to make you happy.

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

That IS a problem, isn't it? Poverty seen as "relative." I'm relatively poor compared to people, like anyone you can name almost, who'd be considered kingly in their possessions in another day and age. Relative or actual, let's go with ACTUAL, poverty is diminishing and has been, for a couple of centuries now and accelerating. Also, the air in notoriously bad (by "relative" standards for USA) Los Angeles is now quite good, and NOT by accident. Liberal "crusaders" are hell bent, it seems, on making "the perfect" the enemy of "the good." Utopianists are always wrong, and always unhappy, and they are not "happy" unless you share in their misery.

Jim Smith
4 weeks ago

I expect he lives in the same world as I do, the world where Jesus was born and taught us some infallible truths. One of them being "The poor will always be with you" from Deuteronomy and quoted in both Matthew and Mark.

He wants us to be generous and charitable towards the poor, that would be practising virtues.
When someone tries to make elimination of poverty a commandment and an issue of justice, they have departed from the Way.

Ellen B
4 weeks ago

As long as you are bringing up handlers, who are yours?

J Cosgrove
4 weeks ago

My wife, but I am also older than 16. Do you not care who is controlling her?

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

Mr. Cosgrove: How dare you (to borrow a phrase from ... mmh....somewhere) bring up child welfare and plain old common sense in the same breath. Have you no shame man!! This child is a genius, and she grits her teeth enough to let us all know (and bother her dentist) what "real" passion is all about. Again, how dare you!!! You and Kirk need to be locked up for even suggesting kids are "the problem." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dtaAcg7OEw&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR38VbmaFS-dWWCosHmPzhPnOfTXkegaePD93a7aBh-bgJ1KOp_H0B-bDQw

Colette Verdun
4 weeks ago

You say that this child is a genius. I would have been more impressed if she truly was the lone child trying to make a difference in the world. But I noticed that both parents are professional actors and have other experiences in the media world. Soon we will see Greta calendars and tee shirts and a run for political office or better yet an appointment to a government office where she can make and enforce laws to enforce her beliefs. I think we should do more, much more to protect the environment. However, I do not want to be manipulated by a teen-anger who uses anger and tears and insults if anyone tries to disagree with her. And I will be even more impressed if she goes to China and talks to their leaders.

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

Sarcasm alert! (re: child genius)

Terry Kane
3 weeks 6 days ago

I don't know if Greta is a child genius, but I do know she is an actress.
Greta has a theatrical agent, a publicist and a page on the IMDb site.
Both her parents are performers as well.
As for poverty, didn't Jesus tell us that the poor will always be with us?

Ellen B
3 weeks 2 days ago

As a senscient being, she is able to control her own thoughts. But why focus on "who is controlling" and not what she is saying? Or don't your talking points cover that?

J Jones
3 weeks 5 days ago

Ellen, here are "the handlers" for these grown men (and some women) who are losing their minds over a young girl's criticism:

https://www.mediamatters.org/dinesh-dsouza/right-wing-media-launch-unhinged-attacks-greta-thunberg

https://newrepublic.com/article/154879/misogyny-climate-deniers

Ellen B
3 weeks 2 days ago

I knew the answer. Wanted to see if Commenter #1 would cop to it. Of course not.

E.Patrick Mosman
4 weeks ago

"Gee—where would these kids have learned these ideas about our despairing future?"
The following were suggested " any eco-tract, university course, or leading politician"
but it starts much earlier.
Why are preteens and teenagers who are not a scientists, have no scientific standing and are simply regurgitating what they been taught by climate change, global warming zealots given TV times and media interviews?

Children spouting AGW climate change propaganda is the result of indoctrination in schools using State mandated curriculum . Man-made climate change as a fact has found it s way into practically every subject in public and even many private school systems here and even in Europe.
"Before labeling young environmental activists as ignorant and brainwashed, perhaps" one way is to prove by asking them questions:,such as:
-What was Climategate" Who were involved? What was being hidden?
-Who are Judith Curry and Roy Spencer and what do they know about their work?
-What has NASA been doing with past and present temperature data which cools the past and warms the present?
-What do they know about the IPCC position as described by Mr. Ottmar, co-chair of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015 and Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, on the subject: “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” and “the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”
This should only the start of questioning their knowledge.

Ellen B
4 weeks ago

Are you seriously complaining that kids are taught science in schools?

Jeffrey More
4 weeks ago

No, I think he’s complaining that crap is taught in schools.

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

Where are all of these people coming from? I mean, this is AMERIKA, not Wall St. Journal. Climategate? Global Warming, erh, Climate Change not really a thing??? Next thing you'll be suggesting is Area 51 is "nothing to worry about."

E.Patrick Mosman
4 weeks ago

If only they were there would not be all the nonsense they are spouting about the end of the world. Unfortunately they are being indoctrinated into the phony doctrine of climate change,nee global warming and then used by green energy advocates, green energy companies and green energy politicians whose subsidies keep them in business.

Judith Jordan
4 weeks ago

E.Patrick Mosman--

James Powell conducted a survey of scientific papers regarding the topic of anthropogenic global warming by searching Web of Science for scientific papers published from 1991 to 2012. There were 13,950 papers that supported that humans are the primary cause of climate change and only 24 papers that dissented. He updated his survey in 2014 to include 2,258 studies published from November 12, 2012, to December 21, 2013. Only one study published during this time argued that global warming was not caused by human activity.

Powell is a former geology professor, a member of the National Science Board, and the executive director of the National Physical Science Consortium, a partnership among government agencies and laboratories, industry, and higher education dedicated to increasing the number of American citizens with graduate degrees in the physical sciences and related engineering fields.
https://scienceprogress.org/2012/11/27479/

Scientists publishing in the peer-reviewed literature overwhelmingly agree (90% - 97%) that Earth's climate is warming and being affected by human activities. This is also supported by scientists’ professional organizations. People have been misled that there is strong disagreement over global warming within the scientific community; this is not true. The oil industry and other industries who stand to lose money if the U. S. takes action over global warming has spent millions of dollars hiring pseudoscientists and others to deny the warming is caused by humans.

https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/306/5702/1686.full

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

Oh, gee, another arguing from the "i don't care where the money trail leads" position. Also laced with "appeal to authority" (logical fallacy) appeal to the crowd (logical fallacy).. One of my wise college profs once suggested that "the crowd" thruout history has most often been wrong. It was "the crowd" that was against Gallileo, not just the Church, but academics and scientists as well. He was upsetting their "cash cows." Sound familiar.

I hope you don't think, or maintain with any sort of super confidence, that those who stand apart from you particular point of view could not rustle up some well credentialed and robust rebuttals to sll of your citings. I know whom I dealing with here. This is a "true believer" There's absolutely nothing to be gained by engaging such. When the water reaches your doorstep, you can call me and tell me I was wrong. Meantime, we've got our hands full trying to keep idiots like yourself from trashing Western Civilization in your quest to meet out the "just tribute" due to maintain your schemes.

Judith Jordan
3 weeks 4 days ago

Jay Zamberlin--

"I don't care where the money trail leads?" My issue is what the scientific experts say.
Appeal to authority? No, appeal to people who are experts on the climate.
Appeal to the crowd? I don’t know what you are talking about.
“Galileo?” We can all pull out an anecdotal story of everyone opposing someone who is correct. However, most of Galileo’s opponents were religious and rejected science…just like we have people today rejecting science about global warming. Many scientists and astronomers supported Galileo’s views but were afraid to say so publicly. Jesuits also supported him.
Robust rebuttals? There is no double the other side can pull up a rebuttal…they always do. They are in the minority and I would want to know their credentials and who supports them.
A “true believer?” If you are saying I listen to scientists about science, yes, I am a believer. Are you telling me you are not a “true believer” on your side?
“Trash western civilization?” Your criticism doesn’t always make sense. How is trying to save the planet trashing western civilization?
“To meet out the "just tribute?" Again, what are you talking about?

“When the water reaches your doorstep, you can call me.” Water has not reached my door step. You should call the businesses, the elected officials, and the residents of Miami who are upset that sea water is backing up into their drains. Since you have such strong feelings on this issue, I would think you would know that. Links below.

Finally, calling me an idiot is rude, childish, and the lowest form of debate. People resort to ad hominem attacks when they have no substance to their arguments.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170403-miamis-fight-against-sea-level-rise

https://www.businessinsider.com/miami-floods-sea-level-rise-solutions-2018-4

E.Patrick Mosman
4 weeks ago

The conclusion of an article entitled "climate-change-no-its-not-97-percent-consensus-"" is:
"Given the politics of modern academia and the scientific community, it’s not unlikely that most scientists involved in climate-related studies believe in anthropogenic global warming, and likely believe, too, that it presents a problem. However, there is no consensus approaching 97 percent. A vigorous, vocal minority exists. The science is far from settled."
The factual studies supporting this conclusion are to lengthy to quote herein but can be found at:
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/425232/climate-change-no-its-not-97-percent-consensus-ian-tuttle
And here is more information:

https://cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions

https://www.breitbart.com/environment/2019/09/20/nolte-climate-experts-are-0-41-with-their-doomsday-predictions/
https://www.climatedepot.com/2019/09/09/climate-warriors-filming-documentary-stuck-in-arctic-ice-all-16-climate-activists-evacuated-from-ship-by-helicopter/
‘Climate Warriors’ filming documentary Stuck In Arctic Ice – All 16 climate activists evacuated from ship by helicopter

By: Admin - Climate DepotSeptember 9, 2019 9:32 AM
16 climate activists evacuated by helicopter after ship gets stuck in Arctic ice
https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2019/09/08/climate-warriors-stuck-in-arctic-ice-that-all-melted-years-ago/
By Paul Homewood
Arctic tours ship MS MALMO with 16 passengers on board got stuck in ice on Sep 3 off Longyearbyen, Svalbard Archipelago, halfway between Norway and North Pole. The ship is on Arctic tour with Climate Change documentary film team, and tourists, concerned with Climate Change and melting Arctic ice. All 16 Climate Change warriors were evacuated by helicopter in challenging conditions, all are safe. 7 crew remains on board, waiting for Coast Guard ship assistance

Judith Jordan
3 weeks 4 days ago

E.Patrick Mosman

With all serious due respect, I have a question. Do climate deniers research the sources they use. So many of their sources are organizations that sound benign, even very good; but, when one researches them, many of them are funded by right wing donors who represent or have connections to the oil industry, etc. I am curious about that.

Below I have responded to your sources.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/425232/climate-change-no-its-not-97-percent-consensus-ian-tuttle
National Review states that the claim is 97% of the scientists agree. No, the claim is not scientists as a whole, but that the climatologists agree. Climate issues are within their expertise. Not all science specialties are involved with climate change.

https://cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions
Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is an advocacy group with long ties to tobacco disinformation campaigns and to climate change denial. It is an "associate" member of the State Policy Network, a web of right-wing "think tanks." It receives funding from The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. Harry Bradley was an original charter member of the John Birch Society.

https://www.breitbart.com/environment/2019/09/20/nolte-climate-experts-are-0-41-with-their-doomsday-predictions/
Breitbart is a notoriously unreliable source. It has also offered itself as a platform for the alt.right, an organization which has groups such as neo-Nazi and white supremacists groups.

https://www.climatedepot.com/2019/09/09/climate-warriors-filming-documentary-stuck-in-arctic-ice-all-16-climate-activists-evacuated-from-ship-by-helicopter/
‘Climate Warriors’ filming documentary Stuck In Arctic Ice – All 16 climate activists evacuated from ship by helicopter

What is the big deal here? There was more ice there than they had expected. So what? Does that prove there is no global warning. This article is by Paul Homewood, a person with no credentials that anyone can find. He does not even post any credential on his own website. He is known for cherry picking and revising others' comments. Just silly.

Scientific endeavors are not just straight lines to victory. They make mistakes, readjust, and move forward. This article is like laughing at the errors scientists make when trying to find a cure for any disease. Most successful scientific endeavors were trial and error.

This reminds me of Stephen Jay Gould, a paleontologist at Harvard. He is now deceased, but he used to debate with the people who denied evolution. The deniers complained because the evolutionists would change, amend, or revise their positions. Gould responded, yes, that is what we do in science. We discover new things that alters an idea and we follow where the science takes us. There are always going to be changes.

Have a beer anyway.

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

You deserve a beer.

FRAN ABBOTT
4 weeks ago

Man-made climate change IS a fact.

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

Really? Is the climate changing for the better or worse? When you get that figured out, call us. Worse? did you say? Really? How so. Be precise so we'd know you spent even two minutes considering that obviously important parcel of info.

Terry Kane
3 weeks 6 days ago

The climate does change.
Long Island is the result of climate change. L.I. is a terminal moraine - the end point of a glacier's advance. When the glacier recedes, that material which it pushed with the front edge of the ice is deposited.
Nobody can say for sure what causes climate change, and the predictions are wildly incorrect. Here is an example which was broadcast by the ABC network:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_WHQkPrhjg

Bill McGarvey
4 weeks ago

Well said Nathan. Many thanks for saying it. Bill

FRAN ABBOTT
4 weeks ago

Well said Bill.

Colin Jory
4 weeks ago

Ms Thunberg’s publicity posturing and demagoguery might be wonderful for her manipulators, but it is disturbing for the ordinary person everywhere because it is obviously so inappropriate for her age (sixteen going on fourteen), developmental stage, and state of knowledge. She shows not the faintest sign of knowing or being even remotely interested in the complexities of the issues on which she pontificates so volubly, and comes across simply as an immature, self-opinionated brat with messianic delusions. It’s not good for her.

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

Colin, and there are just enough self unaware, highly opinionated fools and perpetually bratty adults who can't get enough of this "empty barrel." Since we are talking of a person of a certain age, I won't make any direct nominal references, as I have actual respect for children and don't need them to "represent" my opinion, as if only "true" wisdom can thus emminate. What a load of manure. What a twaddle fest.

rose-ellen caminer
4 weeks ago

If the world does not end in 12 years ,MS. Greta may be the head of the IMF one day. lol [Just kidding]

Though I am an admitted; man- made- catastrophic -apocalyptic - global -warming /climate change, denier, I admire MS. Greta and the other young millennial crusaders.If we get clean water, and air and sustainable agriculture for all, and the better treatment world wide of animals out of their grand cause, these are good things to come.If this ideology which has all the tropes of a millennial apocalyptic religious hysteria[ they occur every thousand years or so apparently [lol], unifies today's youth trans nationally [similar to the crusader children] it's better being unified around tending our home then around "how much we hate those people" or more hyper capitalism! I agree with her that we need another paradigm for the future then ever growing GNP's. [Though many countries still need just that!].

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

The cause of humanity is never advanced by way of "cult of personality" type antics tied to hysteria. "The medium is the message"is really what we ought to be paying attention to. Who manufactured this "star?" Did she just drop off a space ship? Why is she the one we'd need to listen to? Are there not plenty of similarly philosophically orientated adults with greater pedigrees who can argue that case, and indeed, have been for decades? Did not Voltaire suggest one need to live first, before philosophying. "A child shall lead them" would never include, to my way of understanding that idea, a petulant brow beating authoritarian glare. That's not how the "saints" did it, and that's the status people would want to confer here, otherwise, sans some sort of divinely infused (or extra terestial) aspect, why would one invests one minute of one's time listening to such clap trap. Science is not crayola coloring "by the numbers." WE don't trust persons who've not mastered high school geometry with the keys to Congress, the UN and the media espousing and pontificating on ANYTHING remotely related to real intellectual disciplines. Really people, the Emperor has no clothes, honest to goodness.

Stanley Kopacz
4 weeks ago

Ms. Thunberg is scientifically and morally correct, cutting through the nonsense promulgated by the principalities and powers in their own short sighted and selfish interests. Perhaps her different mind, labeled a deficiency, enables her to see through the sophistry and propaganda the way camouflage, created to fool a full trichromat, doesn't work on the color blind.
Ms. Thunberg's greatest scientific enemy may be medical science which permits brain-calcified old scrotes to live and vote way past their expiration date.

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

Principalities, ....and Powers......and rulers of spititual wickedness in high places.....For goodness sake!!! Speaking "truth to power" - power to the people, free Stokely Carmichael and Angela Davis while you're at it. Che Guevarra was actually a nice guy. Bashear Al Assad IS gassing his own people and Iran IS the world's greatest exporter of terror in the world today, and NO, Islam is NOT selling slaves in open markets in Libya. Sweeden is NOT the rape capital of the Western world. We need to get behind the Muslim Brotherhood, they are for positive change, man. The Lolita Express was just a name, means nothing. And NO, the Clintons did NOT rape Haiti, nor put out a hit on anyone, and their foundation is perfectly legit.

Stanley Kopacz
4 weeks ago

Your barrage of ideological hysterics have nothing to do with this problem. CO2 is a "greenhouse" gas. We've burned mountains of coal and oceans of oil, increasing the CO2 content from 280ppm by volume to 415ppm presently and still increasing. This has led to untoward climate changes that are already visible. The fossil fuel companies have known this for decades and chose PR techniques developed by the tobacco companies to deny the connection between cigarettes and illness. "Principalities and powers" seems to me a rather accurate way to characterize them. Greta Thunberg is right. The old men here are wrong and not even scientifically grounded.

Christopher Lochner
4 weeks ago

And your real world answer would be to, what, have another press conference? Calling you out. What do YOU think should be done, other than attacking people. (I'm not prejudiced, I just hate old people.)

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

Ideology has a lot to say about all of this, whether we like it, or approve, or not. For example, we may get past our ideological differences and go with Trump's idea, for example, of taking care of air and water, and you don't get 100 percent of your "wish list", but you take it, even temporarily, for what it's worth. But ideologues shut down Trump's plan to reign in China, to force them to actually play by the rules, because they simply dislike him (Trump), and voila! ....the greatest poluters, by far, on the planet have, once again, thwarted efforts to be placed under any sort of "reasonable" controls. Kudos to the leftist "ideologues" who ALWAYS place ideological "perfection" against some sort of actual progress. And they will then turn and rail against Orange Man Bad and call themselves "victorious." Yeah, right.

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

What are "untoward" climate changes. Who gets to make that assessment? How do you know, really, seriously, that if WE ARE indeed changing the climate, that it would not be much WORSE (per the same assassment tools) if we simply gave up cars n shit. I'm going to suggest THAT is an unknowable, but IMPORTANT noneeheless, and just as amorphous as your idea that the changes, whatever they'd be, are somehow "untoward." Let's get to that idea....go ahead....I can't wait.

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

What are "untoward" climate changes. Who gets to make that assessment? How do you know, really, seriously, that if WE ARE indeed changing the climate, that it would not be much WORSE (per the same assassment tools) if we simply gave up cars n shit. I'm going to suggest THAT is an unknowable, but IMPORTANT noneeheless, and just as amorphous as your idea that the changes, whatever they'd be, are somehow "untoward." Let's get to that idea....go ahead....I can't wait.

rose-ellen caminer
4 weeks ago

Stokely Carmichael were/and Angela Davis are great human beings.Assad you are correct IS gassing his own people and the US has not stopped his holocaust against Sunni Syrians.for all the talk of opossing him we have not really opposed him.When Putin got Obama out of that red line ultimatum gaffe[he had no intention of wanting to stop Assad from massacring Sunni Muslims s ever] Putin was hailed as some great leader by both the left and the right and the holocaust continued.The reason there exists a Muslim brotherhood is because of regimes like that one.The Muslim brotherhood ARE freedom fighters opposed to all such regimes; supported propped up by either colonial western powers or the soviets for OUR interests such as for past cold war benefits, at the expense of the indigenous people there. The primary identity was religious in the pre western carving up of the ME and propping up police state secular dictators Hence the freedom fighters called themselves muslim Brotheshood. The Christians were quite privileged in despotic secular regimes we or the soviets supported.if Muslim brotherhood freedom fighters clung to their backwards ways, if they were fanatic in their resistance to these brutal secular dictatorships [ we or the soviets propped up] and wanted to impose a Muslim theocracy,with Christians as second class citizens but not at war with them as existed prior to the secular western backed regimes, it is because there was a moral code to their religion as backward as their codes were. unlike secular police state regimes where your life and freedom was totally at the whim of the corrupt totalitarian police state.In lawless states militias and gangs exist that do atrocious things. They exist right here in the western hemisphere too.Trafficking and enslavement of migrants as occurs in Libya by traffickers is not unique to there.Trafficked migrants get enslaved in many places. Which is why ngo's,international laws exist to fight such global abuses of migrant/refugees.
Today they are really a civil rights organization and not necessarily even adherents of fundamentalism.[ which is why even Christians of Egypt voted for them after that uprising against their government].They get a bad rap today because they support the Palestinians;everyone gets a bad rap who supports the Palestinians. The power of propaganda.

Jay Zamberlin
4 weeks ago

It seems that you would be against a sort of Western imposed and particularly American directed hegemony in the Middle East. We'd be in agreement.
So why are you about trouncing the secularist dictators? You prefer Caliphates......really?? to what end? You are simply regurgitating the commonly held shiboleths of the day, which, pretty obviously, I mock. Those who know, know. You've got no real depth of understanding on the whole arena of topics. I am going to suggest you check in with Bolivian activist and film maker Carla Ortiz, on the whole subject of Syria and the White Helmets and whose who and who's doing what to whom in Syria. Even Tulsi Gabbard sort of gets it. (and she pays a helluva price for "getting it.") Calling the Christians of the ME "privileged" is some sort of bad joke, like calling the Jews of 1940s Germany privileged. The genocide against such is internationally recognized. Ask about how priviliged Christians fared in Lebonon, what was Beruit then and now, how Christians are treated in Egypt. How Christian Armenians fared in Turkey.
YOu think Muslims are native to those countries??? Libya, Egypt, Morrocco, Lebanon, etc. Those were ALL completely Christian countries, overrun by barbarous Muslims.....Know your history. Why don't you go grab a Burka, (or bikini, since it matters not one whit) and your Hertz mileage plan, and move to Saudi Arabia, rent a car there, then talk to us all about freedom and rights and who is who.

rose-ellen caminer
4 weeks ago

Tulsi Gabbard has no problem with Muslims killing Muslims; she's an Islamophobe and that's why she has a hands off policy regarding Assad/Putin and their campaign of mass murder of Syrian Sunnis, which has resulted in millions of refugees and millions?killed.. And that's why she is a darling of the Islamophbic right wing Reps.Fox loves her.I am trouncing secular dictators because they are dictators. Arabs should live under totalitarian dictators?That's why[Islamic] terrorism exists today because that has been our policy for the middle east. The natives got uppity.Why is a believer in democracy defending totalitarian regimes?Whether secular or theocratic, people should not it be forced to live under totalitarian governments.

My father was a Syrian Christian; we go back to the first Christians, from Aleppo.[ when he visited his sister in Alexandria Egypt back in the 60's he was arrested and thrown in jail, accused of being an Israeli spy. that's another story].The Muslims were NOT enemies of Christians or Jews historically.Neither were NOT considered infidels by the Koran. THAT is propaganda.We pray to the same God. Today's ME Muslims are themselves descendants of people who were either Jewish /Pagan or Christian before they converted to Islam.The Alawite sect is a mixture of christian pagan and Islam. What is Judaism, but un reformed primitive[laws and penal codes] Judaism? The Christians of the ME WERE quite privileged historically[my family and all the ME Christians we knew were] .by secular regimes, by western christian colonialist power, and before that they, and Jews, were allowed their own laws in conformity to their beliefs, in the Ottoman empire.This Christian /Muslim divide today is the result of these western powers and dictatorships,European/Russian American Zionist settlers in the case of Jews. You are buying the Putin Assad propaganda about white helmets. They were heroic first responders and it is really shameful that you are denouncing them as rescuers by day and stealth isis by night.Assad /Putin label anyone who opposes that police state; isis, Alquada or some terrorist group.[ there's your Russian interference in the US].And the anti Muslim people like yourself and Gabbard buy that;the only good Muslim who opposes Assad/Putin is a dead one,You, like Gabbard are dupes of Assad /Putin.
Your critique of Saudi Arabia is spot on. Alquada recognized that regime as corrupt and oppressive too as it did all these regimes. We supported them and still do. Alquada should have been our natural allies if we oppose brutal regimes. Fundamentalist Islam had nothing to do with Alquada terrorism; they saw themselves as freedom fighters against our propping up of these police state regimes for our purposes at the expense of the people there. [among other very political/not religious reasons]. They too opposed isis. ISIS is a bunch of mostly western many internet converts, many psychopaths and other marginalizeded fringed disaffected young people who took advantage of our indifference to Assad/Putin's attack on Sunni Syrians, to start their cult when no one was looking.They gained support in Iraq because Sunni Iraqis were also being persecuted by the Shia /Kurd government we installed there after we cleansed Baghdad of its Sunnis; we murdered them all and prohibited Sunnis from being part of the new government .So much for equal rights for all,and democracy.Today there are millions/of Sunni Iraqis and Sunni Syrians living in horrific conditions in camps , controlled by Kurds or Shia militias[death squads?] who believe in collective punishment and collective guilt .Human rights for all;except if we really hate you!

E.Patrick Mosman
4 weeks ago

The following comment or parts appeared in a number of websites shortly
after the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Egypt. The conclusion is
as valid today as it was then.
"It seems that no one in the Obama administration has
ever studied or even read about the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood
its philosophical foundation, its ultimate goals and writings of the
Brotherhood's Sayyid Qutb who remains a significant and influential
thinker in the Muslim world to this day. Professor Muhammad Qutb,
Sayyid’s brother, was a teacher and mentor to the young Osama Bin Laden,
who has grown to lead the radical Islamic terrorist movement. Today’s
radical Islamic groups, such as al-Qaeda and Islamic Jihad, have
borrowed much from the thought of Qutb in justifying their vision for
the world and the violence they promote.
The Thought of Sayyid
Qutb: Radical Islam's Philosophical Foundations Statesmanship Thesis
Recipient of the 2004 Charles E. Parton Award by Luke Loboda.
http://www.ashbrook.org/pub...
Qutb's writings influenced Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri an Egyptian
and follower of Sayyid Qutb who is currently the leader of Osama bin
Laden's al Qaeda organization.
By the age of 14, al-Zawahiri had
joined the Muslim Brotherhood. The following year the Egyptian
government executed Qutb for conspiracy, and al-Zawahiri, along with
four other secondary school students, helped form an "underground cell
devoted to overthrowing the government and establishing an Islamist
state." It was at this early age that al-Zawahiri developed a mission in
life, "to put Qutb's vision into action."
These are the people who once
held powerful positions in Egypt supported by President Obama and his diplomats who ignored, or more likely agreed with, the Brotherhood's past, present and future goals the destruction of
Western civilization and the ultimate rule of Islam."

rose-ellen caminer
4 weeks ago

Anyone opposed to these totalitarian rulers were tortured and killed.Of course they saw their religious identity as a replacement for these regimes. Religious identity was primary to these ME people.There is nothing unreasonable about that.The nation state cobbled by colonial powers was not organic to people of the Levant.[ Egypt had its own identity].It was an imposition.Their idea of secularism is allowing each religious sect to have its own justice system. That the MB or any of these freedom fighters wanted to impose Islam on the west is absurd. They had no interest in destroying western civ..That is a self serving narrative to deny that our policies in their homelands came back to bite us. Terrorism in the west is the result of US supporting the very regimes they opposed. And of our invasion and occupations of Iraq.[ As wrong as the Iraq invasion was[Osama wanted to topple Saddam regime] it may have brought stability had we not excluded Sunni Iraqis from being part of the new Iraq. That was discrimination, exactly what we purport to abhor as civilization people!Terroism over there is the result of such political upheavals.The MB has evolved from being fundamentalist to more enlightened. Core Alqauda were never fundamentalist fanatics.

E.Patrick Mosman
3 weeks 6 days ago

Read Qutb: Radical Islam's Philosophical Foundations Statesmanship Thesis which presents The Muslim Brothrhood's aim and it was proved by the short period of time they were in power in Egypt and its treatment then and even now of the Coptic Christians. Islam has never been "peaceful" since the death of Mohammad as described by

Harvard's Professor Emeritus Samuel P. Huntington's 1996 "Clash of Civilizations" -- concludes "Islam's borders are bloody and so are its innards"
(Note: Huntington included the following footnote comments on the same conclusion of his article published in a Foreign Affairs: No statement in my Foreign Affairs article attracted more critical comment than "Islam has bloody borders." I made that judgment on the basis of a causal survey of intercivilization conflicts. Quantitative evidence from every disinterested source conclusively demonstrates its validity" - Huntington.)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Princeton's Islam expert Professor Emeritus Bernard Lewis 2003 "The Crisis of Islam - Holy War and Unholy Terror"
Even Princeton's Islam expert Professor Emeritus Bernard Lewis' in his 2003 "The Crisis of Islam - Holy War and Unholy Terror" acknowledges the seriousness of the Islamic problems (not only al Qaida) existent in the Islamic world and how these problems manifest themselves worldwide. One of the book’s concluding sentences .....
“ Sooner or later, Al Qaida and related groups will clash with the other neighbors of Islam -- Russia, China, India -- who may prove to be less squeamish than the Americans in using their power against Muslims and their sanctities.”
The Chinese are proving the point by their re-education treatment of its Muslims.

rose-ellen caminer
3 weeks 6 days ago

The christian west's innards are bloody too.So too the history of secular nation states. Alquada core were freedom fighters,not fundamentalist fanatics though no doubt they were included in their ranks. And contrary to the serving narrative, we were not attacked for our secularism.Less squeamish? What are you proposing? Genocide, forced conversion?So you concur with alquada that they are waging a defensive war as they are existentially threatened ? Anti Semitism will always be with us apparently; you and your "experts"on Islam, are the latest manifestations of it.But as Tulsi Gabbard and all of em who signed up to go to Iraq,Afghanistan with visions of turning the place into a parking lot dancing in their heads realized ;it's not so easy to commit genocide.The good news is,though we murdered with impunity too many innocent Muslims over there, here in the US, and on the streets of Europe, when you see one on a street in full Muslim garb[you must love that] it is you, good christian as you are, who if you lay a hand on one, will be arrested for a hate crime.Keep dreaming.your anti Semitic genocidal thoughts a la the governments of China, Russia and India[ those are governments an American and professed Christian should look up to] .Those Muslims are still there, how many? a billion of em?And As Jesus and all Middle East Semites say; Peace be with you!

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