EDINBURGH City Council’s decision last week to only allow one authorised absence per year for climate strikes, did not go down well with the growing movement school activists at the heart of Scottish Youth Climate Strike, many of whom have been committed, week-after-week to striking from school on a Friday. Among them is 15-year-old Sam Boyd, who has been striking since March, and describes the move as “disappointing”. “We are determined,” he says, “to not stop until we see this issue fixed, because otherwise we are going to not have a future, and there’s nothing else we can really do. Absolutely we’re never going to stop an that’s the general feeling for most strikers.”
Herald 18th Aug 2019 read more »
The Greta phenomenon has also involved green lobbyists, PR hustlers, eco-academics and a think tank founded by a wealthy former minister in Sweden’s Social Democratic government with links to the country’s energy companies. These companies are preparing for the biggest bonanza of government contracts in history: the greening of the western economies. Greta, whether she and her parents know it or not, is the face of their political strategy.
Times 18th Aug 2019 read more »
Nigel Farage and his hangers-on need a new rallying cause, so they’ve turned on this 16-year-old with frightening vitriol. Something about female eco-warriors seems to bring out the worst in a certain kind of man. It’s selfishness, rather than misogyny, that is surely the root cause of this rage at the very idea of being asked to give up any individual freedom – to fly, drive, eat a steak, carry on with our oblivious lives as if nothing was happening – for the greater good. But female climate campaigners are perhaps uniquely prone to press the buttons of what might be called toxic libertarians; people who combine a burning desire to do what the hell they like with fury at the very idea of being nagged, nannied or told what to do, especially by women. There is still a perfectly legitimate political argument to be had about the need to secure democratic consent for sweeping changes in people’s lives. But those arguments are giving way to something altogether nastier: not climate crisis denial, so much as climate crisis nihilism. The nihilists don’t necessarily deny that the planet’s frying but, essentially, they refuse to feel bad about it; they want their sunshine holidays and their 4x4s, come hell or (possibly quite literally) high water, and screw anyone who gets in the way. If Brexit is any guide – and there is an interesting overlap with the sort of hard Brexiters who no longer argue for no deal on its merits, but solely on the grounds that it’s what they wanted and they’re damn well going to have it – they will increasingly use social media to bully their opponents out of the public sphere and embolden their supporters. We are watching a new front open up in the culture war, and its timing is probably no coincidence.
Guardian 17th Aug 2019 read more »