A group of minority rights activists are challenging the anti-climate change movement’s unquestioning embrace of sixteen year old Greta Thunberg and calling support for Thunberg over “woker” eco-spokespeople “racism,” and evidence of “white supremacy.”
A New Zealand news outlet reports that activists who push for greater rights for indigenous peoples — some of the very same activists who are at the forefront of the global anti-climate change movement — are concerned that putting a young, white teenager at the helm of a movement that largely affects the third world sends the wrong message, especially since indigineous people have been pressing the same message for decades.
The activists took to social media to express their distaste in light of Thunberg’s recent appearance in front of the United Nations.
“Y’all need to ask yourselves why you find it so much easier to hear from white people, regardless of age, when it comes to the violence they have caused across the world,” one tweeted. “Our GOBAL climate is in CRISIS. We need EVERYONE to care about this & take action. With that said, it is high time that the very people who have caused such problems STOP getting praised & recognized for finally doing the RIGHT THING.”
“It is a SYMPTOM of global white supremacy that certain people are HEARD & given a platform, certain people have access to the RESOURCES to be the HEROES that the world will pay attention to,” said another.
“Greta should have grabbed some children from Flint or NJ and took them to the UN. They are impacted right now by environmental terrorism caused by racism, White Supremacy, and racialzed governance. Greta at the UN was the epitome of White Privilege/White power= Save white kids!” tweeted another.
Across the board, these activist say that Thunberg is benefitting from a global system of “white supremacy,” and that decisions made based on Thunberg’s speeches will undoubtedly benefit white people over minorities and residents of developing nations.
Others say the widespread embrace of Thunberg’s message is evidence of colonialism and white people making decisions for others on the theory that they simply know better: “We need to question why Greta — in one year — has got attention from the whole world while indigenous/first nations — who have been protecting and sustaining Mother Earth — have been ignored and killed for centuries. #colonialism #whitesupremacy”
Thunberg is, of course, expected to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her work spreading the message that the Earth has only precious few years to go before the damage caused by climate change is irreversable and humanity heads for an unavoidable extinction, often in those exact, apocalyptic words. Most recently, Thunberg traveled to the United States by boat in a show of solidarity against carbon-spewing airplanes (even though the boat had a backup diesel engine), and delivered a fiery speech to members of the U.N., opening chastizing them for “ruining” the planet for her generation.
Although the activists criticizing Greta Thunberg are definitely operating off a “woker than thou” mentality, they aren’t necessarily wrong about the global anti-climate change movement. A worldwide ban on fossil fuels and a near-total disruption of technological advancement would undoubtedly harm developing nations who would be forced to forgo the survival of their own populations in the name of preserving the planet.
The global anti-climate change movement is also very much an anti-capitalist movement, despite evidence that Communist and socialist societies are far more industrialized — meaning that, historically, they produce far more pollution.