There are a lot of people angry at climate activist Greta Thunberg. In response to the animosity and confusion being spread, what I write here will not be popular for many of my colleagues. But those who know me will understand. Greta Thunberg is not the common enemy you think she is. She’s someone to be admired and supported because of her message, and because she is a child who managed what all the Barbie doll activists could not. Hate me or love me as you will, here is my view on humanity’s most pressing issue.
“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau
When I was a kid living in Florida back in the 1960s, I believed anything was possible. My best friend Craig Stutzman, who lived next door, did too. So did all our schoolmates, the teachers, the coaches, even the newscasters we watched on TV, and the spacemen we watch blast-off from Cape Canaveral for the stars. I hope some reading this are willing to remember nostalgically, a time when America truly was about possibility. I also hope everyone reading this will come to terms with the fact we ventured far off the path to greatness.
We landed on the moon in 1969, we watched TV shows like Star Trek, and we dreamed great big about what the future would hold for us as grownups. By the 21st century, most of us figured we have colonies on Mars. I remember, there was this geology teacher who told us energy and other much-needed commodities would one day be free for all. And no, he was not a communist sympathizer even though a Cold War raged back then too. By now, many of the pressing problems we had in the 1970s should be ancient history. But the most critical ones are not. Regardless of what you think, read, hear, or watch, there is only one reason for this. We did not want to defeat hunger, cancer, or to have everlasting peace. And with regard to Greta Thunberg and Climate Emegency? Well, the majority never gave a damn about that, now did they? Let’s take off the kid gloves.
My stepmother, who was a shining example of everything that was once good in America, she had the sweetest way of getting her points across. I remember her getting onto my brother Paul and I over leaving messes in our room, and inconsiderate things like leaving empty milk cartons in the fridge, wasting food, and so forth. One night, when Paul and I headed off to hit the sack, we discovered a wooden plaque Dallise had nailed over our bedroom door. The comic little placard read:
“Our motto is: Eat it up, Wear it out, Use it all.”
Laying It On the Line
I’m an American, leveling with everyone who reads this. I know my country and her people better than I know the back of my hand. I do not have to be a rocket scientist, I was the cable technician once, witness to everything everybody does. The motto of America since its foundation has been manifest destiny. We ate it up, wore it out, and now we have almost used it all. And along comes a little girl who’s an idealist. Greta Thunberg is not unlike many catalytic personalities. Somebody thrust into the limelight, part by chance and part by design, in order that humanity can wrestle with its most pressing concerns. While many of my colleagues make Greta’s addresses at the UN and her climate strikes into a gigantic conspiracy, the reality is far more simple We are the conspirators, and the vitriol and venom you see clawing at Greta Thunberg, it has little to do with the environment. Some of you will hate me for saying this, but the climate change free for all we are witnessing is society self-destructing. Our civilization is no longer civil. We have been trained to or self-conditioned ourselves to be contentious and to hate whatever is convenient. Humanity has lost the capacity to reason, to compromise, to self-regulate. Sadly, we’ve also lost all hope.
“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.” Carl Sagan
Some of you reading this will have already written me off as “ill-informed” or just plain stupid. In the last week, I’ve been insulted, threatened, unfriended, blocked, and damned into the immortal pit of hell for asking people to think. And by people who had “befriended” me when my message was the one they wanted to hear. You identify I am sure. But I am a scientist of social media. My job has been public relations and marketing, and as a journalist analyzing technology. A “first adopter” is what we used to be called when Facebook, Twitter, and 100 other social startups were launched. Testing, figuring out the DNA of how people “tick” in the digital realm. This is where your social media sharing and your “voice” came from. Me, and about 50 other tech gurus, we were the test rats and evangelists of a communication revolution. Now, the cable guy who installed your internet and set-top-box for entertainment, he’s inside your head in the traditional world and cyberspace. And what he sees is catastrophic.
Facts, Figures, and the Fact of the Matter
You may not believe this, but I have written the article you are reading six times. I pecked out and deleted almost 10,000 words already. At first, I was writing a dissenting view against some of my colleagues. The first and second drafts contained everything from NASA data to geopolicy analysis, and even obscure climate and environmental data from decades ago. As I typed, I could not get a handle on any feasible way I could convince people that we should help Greta Thunberg. In between the lines comrades in the fight to save Syria insulted me, Serbians who liked me when I decried the loss of Yugoslavia, called me vile names and spewed hate toward me. The people made more famous by my bestselling book, Putin’s Praetorians, nearly everyone turned a cold shoulder when I asked for data on the source of Greta hatred. Instead of assistance, I got blocked, insulted, and a stream of ad nauseam propaganda bites. Witnessing the vile seething ignorance, laziness, and hatred unfold like typing in a command prompt window, I became afraid for the very first time in my life. Really. We are on the threshold of moral cannibalism.
Flashback to the 1960s again, if you will. The so-called “Ad Men” were selling us everything from huge hunks of Cadillac steel to laundry powder that could kill ever fish in the seas. The Cold War was raging white-hot. Missiles could have eradicated all life on Earth at any instant. Vietnam was making the military-industrial complex the only force in America that mattered. But nowhere, out of no mouth on the street, not in any locker room, nor inside the brain of any decent human being was there a hint of the nastiness and cruelty we are leveling on once another these days. And what’s worse, we have no loyalty or honor about it. We’re fickle, omnidirectional, lost, beating at the walls of an invisible prison and shattering anything that gets in our way. We are only colleagues when our selfish needs are served. Disagree, just once, and the ties can get cut. Over what?
Enter little Greta Thunberg. She’s now the most dangerous human being on Earth. My first drafts showed both sides of the argument over Climate Change. On both sides, there are heavily vested interests. Of course there are, what else could happen when the whole world is involved? The anti-Greta gang is comprised of primadonnas of the environmental movement morphed into anti-war queens and princes. Pseudo-intellectuals who got a voice, and who don’t want to lose that all-important “audience.” Yes, I said audience.
“The squandering of oil and gas is associated with one of the greatest tragedies, not in the least resolved, which is suffered by humankind: climate change.” – Fidel Castro
On the other side, there are the monied narcissists and the far-left Hillary sad sacks, good old George Soros, and the technocrats too. But then, they are on all sides. For every Masha Gessen (Putin hater #1) friended by Greta, there’s a Canadian feminist or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia in Cory Morningstar’s Twitter world. I left off the names of most of the participants in this inhumane brawl, but Morningstar can no more escape than Greta. Every-single-solitary-one of the Greta social media critics in my sphere, and all the journalists who are my colleagues, cite Morningstar as the “best” source of damning evidence on Greta and her movement. Like Greta’s plight, Cory’s is no easier task. She hates it that the “wrong” kind of planet will evolve from the “wrong” kind of activism. And her supporters “know” how the world should look. But, more than half of Morningstar’s alt news contingent believe like Trump, that climate change is a hoax! Confused yet? Does anyone truly know the “right” green path? Questions, questions, more questions than answers.
The Nature of Us Beasts
A little girl, out of nowhere, shakes her fists in the faces of the world’s leadership. Her addresses to the UN, the U.S. Congress, and other leadership bodies are unprecedented. And yes, the mainstream media is playing a role in this, which makes Greta’s ideals and ideas suspect for all of us who’ve witnessed the lying and cheating of the media. This runs to the core of my argument. Is the mainstream and the elite world order supporting Greta trying to usher in an unprecedented takeover by what Morningstar terms the “Non-profit Industrial Complex?” Of course. What else would the dying growth economic cabal be doing? And here’s where none of the “big brains” out there seem to be worried about. We need to understand that the hedge fund Wall Street wolves are not just betting on Greta’s movement winning. They’re focused on killing many birds with the Greta stone.
“Climate change does not respect border; it does not respect who you are – rich and poor, small and big. Therefore, this is what we call ‘global challenges,’ which require global solidarity.” – Ban Ki-moon
For instance, take my situation with the people I referred to as “Putin’s Praetorians.” These are people the western mainstream referred to as Kremlin Trolls. Remember all the New York Times mumbo jumbo about the St. Petersburg troll factory, and how Vladimir Putin was personally running Russia’s internet propaganda war? These people were simply the alternative voice running against an unreasonable narrative manufactured by Washington. Geopolitically, this alternative voice canceled out media like the BBC, CNN, FOX, or any you can name. “Fake News” – remember Trump Tweeting this over and over? So, what if the corporate-controlled mainstream media can take back the credibility? What if, at the same time, the elites can do exactly what Morningstar says they’re doing? And, what if the shakeup redistributes communication and influence power like we’ve never seen it shift? Intriguing, yes?
Setting a New Course
What do we do when everybody is right, and everybody is wrong? In the past, as now, we all speak of peace, while our mistakes (and our hypocrisy) loom larger and larger. Caught in the great unknowing, humanity is at a crossroads. Who do you believe? Take this Strategic Culture Foundation story about catastrophic climate change. Can you trust in the reality that Europe may burst into flames soon? Or, will you adopt the views of the foundation’s “Matthew Ehret?” Will you be led to believe that Greta Thunberg is “a cardboard cutout,” who resembles bonny Prince Charles, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or George Soros, more than she does Mother Thersa? This is the gist of the Alt News narrative.
Will you being fulfilled if Greta and climate change are judged as baloney? We seem blind to the fact that Greta’s detractors rant about companies wanting to monetize and capitalize on sustainability. When corporate support and survival will be key to any collective bargain we may strike for humanity. Don’t you find it ironic that almost all of Vladimir Putin’s and Russia’s friends in media seems to hate Greta Thunberg? If you do not, it’s ironic because Vladimir Putin’s plans for mediating climate disaster are a pragmatic approach involving advanced green technologies, monetization, and optimization of the unavoidable aspects of global warming, and what he terms “green-friendly.” Allow me this quote from Mr Putin at the UN:
“We propose convening a special forum under the U.N. auspices for a comprehensive consideration of the issues related to the depletion of natural resources, destruction of habitat and climate change. Russian would be ready to co-sponsor such a forum.”
Greta says growth economics, or in short supercapitalism, is going to destroy the world as we know it. Putin has declared the liberal order dead. He has not, as yet, declared capitalism dead, but I expect him to soon. I find it funny, that I’ve written so many articles about Vladimir Putin and the so-called “Third Way.” Now Greta Thunberg seems to be proposing another way too. Here is what she said in the forward to this highly criticized handbook:
“The climate crisis is both the easiest and the hardest issue we have ever faced. The easiest because we know what we must do. We must stop the emissions of greenhouse gases. The hardest because our current economics are still totally dependent on burning fossil fuels, and thereby destroying ecosystems in order to create everlasting economic growth.”
What is this? How can we get all the parties to the table without discussing compromises and viability? So Greta has to scream “DESTROY THEM ALL” at the UN, or she is not viable? We are biting our own paws off to get out of a perceived trap, or a real one. For me, the course seems clear. The environmental concerns should lead all stakeholders into a higher level of cooperation. This cannot ever happen if we are locked in an ever-intensifying war against one another. A war, I might add, that includes every stinking facet of our daily existence. Look at how the battle lines on Greta are being drawn. Today, as I type this, activists in the people with disabilities realm, alongside Michael Bloomberg and his “market forces” are throwing their hat in the ring. It’s a potential meltdown that makes the fall of Rome look like a drunken weekend.
Stop Hating – Start Fixing Our World
Our contentiousness, our anger, our fear, and every facet of being human has been “stirred” like warriors get worked up in blood rituals before going to battle. I can see soldiers in social media drinking the blood of animals and smearing it all over their Twitter profiles. I know many of you can too. The tribes that set out to be the “alt news” have their power dynamic. Greta Thunberg and Cory Morningstar vie for tribal prominence, whether they see it or not. The liberals and the conservatives are realigning, prancing and waving arms, chanting “Trump and the wall,” across the battlefield from lunatics wearing vagina hats and making their sexual preferences “cool” – we are going stark raving mad right in front of one another.
Some of you will determine this is all by design. Others will write off my comments here to me being either naive or stupid, or both. What you are witnessing is exactly what I said. The polarizing effect that gave us a choice of either crazy Hillary Clinton or crazy Donald Trump should have been a wakeup. The liberal-conservative war raging, as people come to grips with the failures of the liberal world order, leaves a point of desperation for the elites who’ve run this show since before World War II. Putin, interestingly, is the one world leader who seems to understand what is happening. It’s crystal clear that we cannot go on like this. That “Third Way” I reported on, it may be our only hope now.
Please, just remember that compromise is the only civilized path. And that hate only leads to destruction. Understanding, tolerance, and determination are the way. Let’s make the world what it could have been all along.
“If we were logical, the future would be bleak, indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope, and we can work.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”