Greta Thunberg has a crisply articulated demand

Originally published at:


Greta Thunberg is an absolute star - I admire her tremendously. However, as she says, nothing has changed, and I am old enough and cynical enough to suspect that nothing will change, except the climate, which will get worse and worse until it starts to crimp the lifestyles of enough rich people that they start to care, by which point it’ll be waaayyyyy too late (if it isn’t already, which I personally reckon is the case). Bluntly, we’re done. It’s crap, but it’s our crap, we’re all to blame and we’re all going to pay. The worst of it is that the people who did the least damage will pay the highest price. The Earth will survive; life will ‘find a way’. But us? Hopefully not.

I chose not to have children, I don’t fly, and I’m a vegetarian teetering on veganism. Does this make me more ‘environmentally sound’? Relative to other people in post-industrial nations, probably. Relative to humanity as a whole? Not a chance. Sometime I wonder why I make the effort, when I see some expletive deleted in an SUV driving their children the half a mile to school, or throwing polystyrene into the cardboard recycling (again - can’t you READ, you expletive deleted?) The whole thing could be incredibly depressing, but then I think of the Universe, and how insignificant we are, and how none of it really matters. These days cynicism and nihilism are the only things that keep me sane(ish).


Nuclear disarmament was big.

We walked for two months, Montreal to NYC, ariving on June 7th, 1982. Just about every night there was a potluck supper, and someone showed up to drive our luggage to the next location. Actually, every night tgere was something, but I think a few times it was more a few people rather than an organized group (often a religious congegation).

And that was just us. Another leg started the same time from Maine, we combined before New York City. They started from San Francisco and Los Angeles on the previous Oct 24, combining along the way, and there was at least a feeder from Toronto. And another leg from New Orleans, starting in early January I think it was.

Not a lot of people walked the full length, but as time progressed more people joined, so by New York City we had a good total mass. Along the way people would walk for a few days and then leave. There were even a few who walked a bit, then showed up in the last few days to finish it off.

But it was the people who fed us or housed us each night which seemed the indicator of something big.

And then on June 12, they said 500,000 people at the rally in Central Park.

There were some kids, especially for a continuous protest that ran constantly in. NYC, and some of us were twenties, but there were a lot of people who’d been against the Vietnam War (I think some of the logistics were based on previous long walks) and some were “even older”.


Please let Greta win a Nobel Prize, it would send tRump over the edge.


Great job with the Toyota ‘Gigantic fossil fuel burning’ truck advertisement across the bottom of her picture. At least for me that is what I see. Your keyword algorithm seems to be taking the piss.


Came to comments to mention the same.
Dishearted, but not disappointed


[quote=“Dust_Devil, post:2, topic:159331, full:true”]
…when I see some expletive deleted in an SUV driving their children the half a mile to school…[/quote]

The problem is often more systemic than we tend to think. Driving can be the only option in areas where walking along the road is not safe and bus service has been removed. Very few places I’ve lived make any allowance at all for pedestrians, and in a number of them walking beside the road is almost guaranteed suicide. Obviously, sidewalks and bike lanes would help a great deal, but we need communities willing to take on that cost.


[quote=“8-p, post:7, topic:159331, full:true”]

got me a little battery car for quick trips around the city. Runs on 0.2KW of solar panels. When we go into the mountains gotta crank up the subaru though, electrics I don’t quite trust yet in the snow. I feel for my cousins int he country though, who have to emit several metric tons of carbon just to go to the grocery store and school and work every year, but I doubt they think about that sort of thing. Most of them are more concerned about paying for the groceries, being to work on time, and getting those kids where they need to be instead of the consequences of their way of life.

1 Like

Algorithm is f8cked. Should advertise Nissan Leaf

1 Like

Driving can be the only option

Not where I live - I specifically called out people making short journeys in unnecessarily polluting vehicles. And not where an awful lot of other people live, in (sub)urban areas with wide, tree-lined footpaths, etc., etc. The problem is the “don’t care, got mine” attitude of the people driving ersatz off-road vehicles as their day-to-day car. I’m sure some of the people who have just lost people and/or their homes in the recent Australian bushfire disasters and those still struggling in the aftermath of the Paradise Fire would be delighted to hear about this sort of justification for business as usual.

And for every white, affluent individual seeing what they deem to be “sinful” behavior in others, there are hundreds of poorer families with fewer options who’d absolutely love to have “wide, tree-lined footpaths”, even in the suburbs. I live in a suburban area, and there are zero, absolutely zero, options for pedestrians(or even bike riders) to go pretty much anywhere. I think we can agree that well-to-do people driving monster SUV’s to take a single kid to their upscale school are wasteful, but I’ll continue to argue the bigger problem is community layout. When a single mother has to drive their kids to school in a used van or SUV because a car is too small to hold them and the groceries, shaming them is not the solution. Blame the corporations which still pollute far more than all individuals combined, as well as the governments that toady to the wealthy and demand austerity from the poor.


I’m feeling cynical in a different way, based on the promises and plans various countries/companies have made relative to decarbonization: things will change, but the changes will happen about 60 years after they should have happened.

Yeah, individual actions really don’t matter when the problems are structural to the society and economy in which we exist. Choices are heavily constrained and the choices that are available are less meaningful. E.g. having a lower carbon vegetarian diet that was flown from halfway around the world and raised via carbon-intensive industrial agriculture; driving (and a gas-guzzler no less) because that’s the cheapest safe vehicle and there’s no reliable/convenient public transport, and street designs make walking/biking actively dangerous; not flying but everything you buy and do has (unnecessary) large carbon costs built into them, etc. And, of course, normalizing destructive behavior to the point where no one thinks about it is a structural issue, too.


@orenwolf can comment in more detail, but this is my periodic reminder that the ads you see on BoingBoing are ones that get served up based on your history (or lack thereof if you’re blocking history), not based on anything BoingBoing serves up.


Haha no. I work in ad tech but at the infrastructure level. I don’t pretend to (nor want to) understand the targeting layer. :wink:

But in short, yes - in a programmatic ad world, we don’t choose what ads go where, the advertisers and ad networks do based on how they target you as a user. In a perfect world a semantic ML engine would analyze a post and set ad restrictions accordingly, but we’ve seen from google’s attempts with bots how well that works (spoiler: it sucks).


I gave up my fossil fuel vehicle after hearing Greta’s U.N. speech. Sold it to the state to be scrapped. Feels good.


Must have been my search history for Tesla just keying off cars. I have been drooling in anticipation of and electric car.

1 Like

With all due respect I think it’s time for anyone cynical and nihilistic enough to believe nothing can change to step down and let people like Greta steer the conversation.

Are we fucked beyond all hope? Quite possibly. Is proclaiming “we’re fucked beyond all hope!” more helpful than coordinated action demanding immediate, global change? Absolutely not.


I mentioned the ozone hole in a related thread. The governments of the world didn’t solve (or at least drastically reduce) that problem by educating individuals about the dangers of the hairsprays and coolants and adhesives they were using and encouraging consumers to make more responsible decisions about the products they bought. The governments of the world addressed the problem by taking coordinated, global action to get those ozone-damaging chemicals off the market entirely.


The CBC has a photo of Autumn Peltier onstage at Davos with Greta.

It’s even worse with carbon, because it’s like being educated about the dangers of coolants and hairsprays… and then not being given any real alternatives.

1 Like