Why I Don't Support Greta Thunberg

By Anceeta Martis - October 15, 2019


While environmentalism is something I can completely get behind, Greta Thunberg is not. The Swedish teen who took the UN by storm by her passionate speech about climate change to the world leaders is as useless as last year's calendar.

She blames world leaders for caring about money and economic growth while coming from a rich, privileged family and a rich, developed nation. Does she realise the daily struggles of people around the world? Money makes the world go round and if people had enough money, they too can afford things that aren't hazardous to the environment because let me tell you that paper straws cost more money than plastic ones. Disposable (free) coffee cups are easier to use than taking a reusable cup home. And how are we going to afford this? Money. And economic growth helps that.

Secondly, as policymakers (out of which most, if not all, are investors in some form or the other in various industries) will not ban plastic and chemicals until there is an option out there that is cheaper as well as environmentally friendly that is cost effective to switch to. Companies will not make the change because of the infrastructure they have invested in will not be useful anymore.

I also think eco activitism is a trend. Just like fanny packs were popular in the 1980s and 1990s, and are making a comeback now, environmentalism that gained popularity about 20 years ago is coming back. Everywhere I look people are trying to show how eco-conscious they are.

While I would not leave the tap running or the light turned on even if I am not paying for it, I don't think people at the grassroots level are going to make a difference. Governments and industries of the biggest polluters in the world such as China, India are quiet and this is where the problem lies. My using a paper straw is not going to negate what a factory in India does when it releases chemical waste into water bodies. While I am not discouraging anyone from doing their bit and while I do my bit (without going overboard), don't think that we make a difference in the grand scheme of things.

If you, Greta Thunberg and I try to save the environment by planting 10 trees a day but there is one person poisoning the water source, our efforts are futile. And this is what's happening at the grand scale. It is easier to destroy than to create and humans are the masters of destruction.

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