42 votes

TIME's Person of the Year 2019: Greta Thunberg

22 comments

  1. Eric_the_Cerise
    (edited )
    Link
    I like her. I like that she's lit a fire under the next generation like nothing and no one else has been able to do. That said, so much of what I see about her in the news {ETA: Not this article;...

    I like her. I like that she's lit a fire under the next generation like nothing and no one else has been able to do.

    That said, so much of what I see about her in the news {ETA: Not this article; this is good.}, feels like ... I'm reaching for an effective analogy here ... "the responsible adults patting the precocious child on the head for her clever science project" before getting back to the Real World Issues.

    It's like the "real" leaders of the world are anxiously waiting for her 15 minutes to end already, so they can go back to their internecine bickering.

    I really hope her influence lasts.

    “The climate movement does not need any more awards." — Greta

    33 votes
  2. moocow1452
    (edited )
    Link
    I think Greta is person of the year, because she does realize that our days on this path are numbered, but hasn't embraced nihilism, or just getting by until she dies, and she's doing everything...

    “Learning about climate change triggered my depression in the first place,” she says. “But it was also what got me out of my depression, because there were things I could do to improve the situation. I don’t have time to be depressed anymore.”

    I think Greta is person of the year, because she does realize that our days on this path are numbered, but hasn't embraced nihilism, or just getting by until she dies, and she's doing everything she can to bring attention to the survival of the planet, and doesn't give a damn about anybody's sensibilities or properness. This is life or death, and whatever structures of society are being subverted are in service of there continuing to be a human populace. More power to her, and may she continue to be an inspiration to others, we're probably going to need it.

    23 votes
  3. [3]
    hamstergeddon
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    Looking forward to my conservative family losing their minds over this.

    Looking forward to my conservative family losing their minds over this.

    13 votes
    1. [2]
      envy
      Link Parent
      I suspect they are too busy freaking out over the FBI's FISA warrant to tap trump's campaign.

      I suspect they are too busy freaking out over the FBI's FISA warrant to tap trump's campaign.

      6 votes
      1. hamstergeddon
        Link Parent
        Yes, they do tend to desperately latch themselves to the smallest issue to justify ignoring larger, more glaring ones. Honestly I almost wish I hadn't closed my Facebook account so I could watch...

        Yes, they do tend to desperately latch themselves to the smallest issue to justify ignoring larger, more glaring ones. Honestly I almost wish I hadn't closed my Facebook account so I could watch it happen in real time.

        4 votes
  4. [3]
    Sand
    Link
    Fantastic article.

    Thunberg is 16 but looks 12.

    Fantastic article.

    13 votes
    1. [2]
      SleepyGary
      Link Parent
      Right? Why not give us the hard hitting facts like whose dress is she wearing?

      Right? Why not give us the hard hitting facts like whose dress is she wearing?

      5 votes
      1. stephen
        Link Parent
        Speaking as the owner of a male gaze I'm steamed they didn't spend more time unpacking the trends she was sporting this year. Such a waste...

        Speaking as the owner of a male gaze I'm steamed they didn't spend more time unpacking the trends she was sporting this year. Such a waste...

        2 votes
  5. [9]
    JoylessAubergine
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    I get the feeling i am in the minority here with my thoughts on Greta and so generally don't post my thoughts on her but i don't like her (as a "popular figure") and think she has been nothing but...

    I get the feeling i am in the minority here with my thoughts on Greta and so generally don't post my thoughts on her but i don't like her (as a "popular figure") and think she has been nothing but toxic to the entire climate change awareness movement that was growing steadily and organically before she was propped up as a figure head by the media and her parents.

    Frankly all her silly stunts and impotent ranting have achieved nothing but an entrenching of the deniers and giving the credit for a cross generational movement to a single person.

    8 votes
    1. Sahasrahla
      Link Parent
      I don't have an opinion on her personally or as a leader of a movement, but one thing I do dislike is this idea recently (which uses Thunberg as a figurehead) that the causes of and solutions for...

      I don't have an opinion on her personally or as a leader of a movement, but one thing I do dislike is this idea recently (which uses Thunberg as a figurehead) that the causes of and solutions for climate change come down to generational divides: that climate change was caused by the unique greed and immorality of the boomers (seemingly defined now as anyone over about 35) and it will be fixed by the unique virtue of Gen Z. This view is tempting—for younger people it allows righteous anger at inheriting a world in peril, and for older people it allows inaction and helplessness—but I think it misses the mark by not addressing the societal causes of fossil fuel use, denialism, and society-level-procrastination. Millennials and Gen Zs will age into the same structures of power and face many of the same incentives as previous generations, and the same problems will persist unless we address those root causes.

      The near messianic focus some have on the younger generation abrogates responsibility and kicks the can down the road on an issue that must be dealt with now. (Of course, Thunberg and her younger supporters wouldn't argue that—people are demanding action now—but there definitely is a narrative in some media of "look how great these kids are, they'll solve everything for us!")

      16 votes
    2. [3]
      moonbathers
      Link Parent
      What has she said that's wrong, though?

      What has she said that's wrong, though?

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        My guess is that Joyless has an issue with how she's saying things, not the fact that she's saying them, which is a classic centrist stand. There is definitely an argument to be made that some of...

        My guess is that Joyless has an issue with how she's saying things, not the fact that she's saying them, which is a classic centrist stand.

        There is definitely an argument to be made that some of the deniers can be converted, but to argue that she's causing more harm than good I think is a false one - she's drawing more attention to the problem and she's forcing people to confront it. Some deniers are going to always deny and the ones that can be converted can be converted by someone else. Nothing good comes of pointing fingers.

        I also disagree that she's taking any credit. If someone is falsely attributing credit to a single person for a global problem that's been brought up countless times by many other figures, that's their own problem. But also, who fucking cares about credit? We need to fix the problem, not fight over who's the MVP of fixing the problem.

        14 votes
        1. moonbathers
          Link Parent
          I agree. We need to be blunt about this because what we've done so far clearly isn't working. This has been a known problem for decades and even as we're starting to feel its effects not enough...

          I agree. We need to be blunt about this because what we've done so far clearly isn't working. This has been a known problem for decades and even as we're starting to feel its effects not enough people care to do anything about it.

          3 votes
    3. moocow1452
      Link Parent
      If someone had to be the face of Climate Change for a generation, I think she's a really good fit and her bluntness is really effective at getting at the site consiquences of waiting any longer....

      If someone had to be the face of Climate Change for a generation, I think she's a really good fit and her bluntness is really effective at getting at the site consiquences of waiting any longer. As far as her entrenching deniers, the haters, they will hate, and it is hard to have the moral high ground fighting with a teenaged girl on the internet.

      6 votes
    4. [3]
      Silbern
      Link Parent
      You're not the only one. I'm a young liberal guy, but her super combatitive rhetoric is annoying because it turns climate change into a polarizing topic. It's not supposed to be polarizing,...

      You're not the only one. I'm a young liberal guy, but her super combatitive rhetoric is annoying because it turns climate change into a polarizing topic. It's not supposed to be polarizing, everyone needs to be working together on it. She can rally people who already support climate change somewhat, but I don't really see her converting conservatives to supporting it. And in fact seems to be driving them further away. That's not beneficial and is actively hurting the movement IMO.

      And some of her stunts really rub me the wrong way too. Like when she came to the US and addressed the Democrats in the Senate, blaming them for being too slow on climate change, when anyone who understands the Senate legislative process should know why the Democrats can't do much until the Republicans lose their majority (and even then, really only if the filibuster disappears). It's this "both sides" BS I already hear about enough from our domestic news. Or when she's using her solar powered yacht journey to make the case that a sustainable trans-Atlantic journey is possible, which while technically true, is a really contrived and unrealistic thing to chide people over. The average person can't afford a solar powered yacht and take weeks to make a one way transatlantic journey, and it looks super out of touch.

      6 votes
      1. Greg
        Link Parent
        I entirely agree that factual information shouldn't be polarising, but people have been denying and ignoring the issue long before she came along. If anything, I read her combative tone as a very...

        I'm a young liberal guy, but her super combatitive rhetoric is annoying because it turns climate change into a polarizing topic. It's not supposed to be polarizing, everyone needs to be working together on it.

        I entirely agree that factual information shouldn't be polarising, but people have been denying and ignoring the issue long before she came along. If anything, I read her combative tone as a very direct result of this: it's anger at the people who already polarised the issue by denying the science.

        She can rally people who already support climate change somewhat, but I don't really see her converting conservatives to supporting it. And in fact seems to be driving them further away.

        I think anyone who still, at this point, ignores the global scientific consensus is very unlikely to change their opinion. If the soft approach hasn't made an impression yet, is there really a strong argument to keep trying it?

        And some of her stunts really rub me the wrong way too.

        That I can understand. I agree with much of what you say below this. I'm a cynic, and I'm all too aware of the power of the news cycle and the shortness of all our attention spans. If her stunts are what it takes to keep a conversation this important at the forefront of people's minds, I personally consider them justifiable.

        6 votes
      2. Gyrfalcon
        Link Parent
        I read the article yesterday, but I think they do quote Thunberg talking about how the yacht is totally impractical, but that's the point she's trying to make. If you want to travel to another...

        Or when she's using her solar powered yacht journey to make the case that a sustainable trans-Atlantic journey is possible, which while technically true, is a really contrived and unrealistic thing to chide people over. The average person can't afford a solar powered yacht and take weeks to make a one way transatlantic journey, and it looks super out of touch.

        I read the article yesterday, but I think they do quote Thunberg talking about how the yacht is totally impractical, but that's the point she's trying to make. If you want to travel to another continent, or even just a long way over land, there's not really a way that's both reasonable and sustainable. Hopefully in the coming years we can find a way to solve that problem, since aviation is a pretty big emitter.

        2 votes
  6. Bullmaestro
    Link
    If anything good has come out of Greta Thunberg's activism, it's that she's helped expose the toxicity and hypocrisy of the right wing skeptics that have targeted her. All her opponents have...

    If anything good has come out of Greta Thunberg's activism, it's that she's helped expose the toxicity and hypocrisy of the right wing skeptics that have targeted her.

    All her opponents have really done is throw personal attacks at her. As an Aspie myself, I actually find it outright disgusting how many people have used this against her.

    7 votes
  7. SleepyGary
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    It's too bad I wasn't able to make the rally when she was here in Alberta, it would have been great to see the fragile right wingers here losing their mind. She's an inspiration, and not just to...

    It's too bad I wasn't able to make the rally when she was here in Alberta, it would have been great to see the fragile right wingers here losing their mind. She's an inspiration, and not just to her generation.

    5 votes
  8. [3]
    bleem
    Link
    Say I am a pre-teen, how would I go about speaking on the UN floor?

    Say I am a pre-teen, how would I go about speaking on the UN floor?

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      SleepyGary
      Link Parent
      Pick a righteous cause and pursue it with zealous passion, to the detriment of almost all other things in your life.

      Pick a righteous cause and pursue it with zealous passion, to the detriment of almost all other things in your life.

      9 votes
      1. stephen
        Link Parent
        Also, having wealthy, well-connected parents doesn't hurt.

        Also, having wealthy, well-connected parents doesn't hurt.

        6 votes