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To Critics Who Say Climate Action Is 'Too Expensive,' Greta Thunberg Responds: 'If We Can Save the Banks, We Can Save the World'

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/10/critics-who-say-climate-action-too-expensive-greta-thunberg-responds-if-we-can-save


I love Greta, and we do need to dismantle the fossil fuels grid, but any discussion of climate change that leaves out human population overload and the resultant anthropogenic mass extinction we’re causing is woefully incomplete.


One thing that is over-look with neurodivergent people is that they have rational logical minds. They get thrown off by irrational thinking and actions so they get shunned or made fun of. Spock is a good example, it does not compute. What Greta is saying IMHO is this does not compute and here is how to begin to set it right. Disclaimer: I am bias with good reason(s) :-)))


Exactly Greta but I would go further with … If we can save the banks and spend trillions on stupid wars then it should be possible to find something for saving the habitat that all life depends on for it’s existence


YES! to Greta and all the Climate activists fighting against the power of fossil-fuel money, corrupting political-tool influence, and blatant BS lies, and diversionary propaganda!
The bankers were bailed-out but we don’t have the money to fight an extinction-level event?? WTF!? We don’t have the leaders or resolve!

NO, we don’t have the honest people of wisdom, and science-based system in place, we have Vulture Capitalism!

Those “critics” who claim “climate action is too expensive” are not the people/victims adversely affected by continuation of business-as-usual causing accelerating Climate Change and its consequences, they are lobbyists paid by the fossil-fuel conglomerate and their crony allies!

Industry execs get spots on corporate media to shift the narrative from solutions to BS excuses why we cannot!

The industry causing Climate Change is relentless in pushing false info re causation and attempts to slow or halt the slide into oblivion, and politicians are their tools as well as the army of lobbyists paid to misinform (read, lie) and muddy the water of what can and must be done!

Even when some oil industry players seem to be pro-active, they are still pushing a false diversionary narrative - that is their training and function - their nature. The linked ex-BP exec John Browne interview with Christian Amanpour is illustrative. (sorry about the advert and source)

"More than $2 billion was spent on lobbying climate change legislation in the United States from 2000 to 2016, with the fossil fuel industry, transportation companies, and utilities outspending environmental groups and the renewable energy industry 10 to 1, according to a new analysis published in the journal Climatic Change .

That $2 Billion paid to lobbyists was from inflated oil costs taken from the public! They charge us to kill us via corrupt political influence!


BERMIE 2020 - for real climate leadership!


The fossil fuel lobbyists hate/fear Greta for precisely the reason you elucidate:
A 16-year-old has the power to turn the tide against a well-funded pro-carbon propaganda machine.

The tragedy is, it took the first undeniable stirrings of climate catastrophe to set the stage – and it’s too late to stop the worst of it, and half of all the world’s former population of wild mammals are already dead.


In counterpoint I’d add that predatory capitalism and its propaganda are essentially, irreducibly based on coercion, linguistic and conceptual manipulation to IMPLEMENT THE INTERNALIZATION of LOYALTY to an external object (product). This is why in technocracies like the tech monopolies the CONSUMER is the product. Hence the predatory version of the Ouroborus ‘feed-back loop’ is being ‘closed’.
Sometimes the mythological accounts really do provide insight into the human condition.

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It is funny, in a way, how we view myths, like when the myth of monotheism and the Christ over took magic. Buffy St Marie, god is a live and magic is a foot :-))) or Merlin and the sword Excalibur. I get so much info from John Boorman’s Excalibur it’s amazing to me, even after 100 viewings :-))) Myth’s do have their place and I try very hard not to perpetuate them.

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So much clarity and wisdom from a 16 year old. The Senate and White house are populated by 3 year olds.


The fossil fuel industry receives a lot of criticism these days, and rightfully so. But in the final analysis, we are the ones who support the energy industry and it is our standard of living that will need to change. So contemplate what you can do for the cause

Personal Actions

End our love affair with the automobile

Ride more trains and buses

Car pool

Walk and bike more

Turn off the air conditioner in the summer and dial the thermostat down in winter

Become vegetarians or vegans

Refill plastic water bottles with tap water

Discontinue using aluminum cans with and without carbonation

Maximize use of reusable bags and products

Recycle junk mail

Forego fast junk food

Go to “slow food”;

Recycle maximally, especially aluminum cans

Drive and accelerate more slowly

Climb more stairs

Plant more trees

Forego use of spray cans

Ride more trains and buses

Repair, mend and alter as much as possible

Buy solar panels

Compost as much as possible

Last person out of the room turn off the lights

Eat and farm organic

Ride more trains and buses

Fly fewer planes

Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings

Use manual tools instead of power tools

Share more

Use rakes rather than leaf blowers

Decrease use of bottled water and refill plastic bottles with tap water

Maximize reusable bags and products

Push rather than power small mowers

Replace lawns with vegetable gardens

Stop fertilizing and mowing lawns

Compost as much as possible

Minimize use of disposables (Pampers);

Maximize high efficiency LED and solar powered lighting;

Limit endless gadgets

Use motion lighting, where appropriate

Decrease consumption

Limit family size

Buy smaller cars

Local Government Actions

Reorganize cities, building taller residences with a smaller footprint (the end of suburbia)

Institute a carbon tax

Promote car pooling subsidize and expand mass transit

Expand bike paths

Have shareable (zip) cars

Ban electric outdoor signs;

Eat and farm organic

Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings

Eliminate approximately 50% of all street lighting and office lighting in unoccupied buildings

eliminate “fast junk food”; go to “slow food


Federal Government Actions

Eliminate subsidies to fossil fuel corporations

Ban gasohol

Rein in the militaries for defense only and outlaw war

Further shrink nuclear arsenals and increase treaties

Discontinue night baseball

Promote making electronics, house wares, furniture, etc to be as durable and long-lived as possible

Promote recycling

Set standards for making appliances to be as energy efficient as possible

Discontinue single use aluminum cans

Ban electric outdoor signs

Subsidize solar and wind power;

Change from petroleum based fertilizers to regenerative agriculture

Reverse deforestation, plant more trees

Restrict spray cans

Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings

Promote zero population growth with free condoms and family planning world-wide

End yearly auto model changes;

Mandate making smaller cars

Proscribe junk mail

Scrap the mission to Mars

Adjust tax laws to limit family size


Ms. Von der Leyen says she wants europe to be the first “climate neutral” continent:

Overpopulation is a myth that was debunked 60 years ago, David.

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The argument is stupid and a cop-out. We spent a lot to “save the banks,” which we shouldn’t have done. And we spend too much on our military. But both would be dwarfed in comparison to the amount contemplated for the GND. Sanders’ plan is $16-$17 trillion, which of course is probably way below what the actual amount would be. You have to be able to explain how you’re paying for it. You can’t just come up with cop-out answers.

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“You have to be able to explain how you’re paying for it.”

Maybe answer your own damn question by studying how the damn government creates money. It pays for it by politicians in government deciding to pay for it. The MMT economists explain this well, so maybe don’t ask others to teach you via online forums. And Bernie does have a plan on how he wants to pay for it in a relatively revenue neutral way, although it being a rough plan, the particulars would be worked out if the legislation was ever actually created. You are welcome to read it.

First off, environmental impacts are not priced, and there are major difficulties in pricing these things. You can put out some huge number, and I can point to the damn science. What does it say we need to do to avoid collapse, because the environmental crisis is far beyond carbon emissions. In fact, when economists try to price these non-market impacts, two methods they use are contingency valuation surveys (basically, give out surveys to people and ask how much they are willing to spend), another is to just point to the cost of healing ecosystems, and that becomes the “value” of the ecosystem.

The science says what the science says though, so you are essentially just citing the massive scale of the problem, and a strong case can be made that Bernie doesn’t go far enough. If an asteroid was coming to the Earth and could wipe out Earth, you might as well just run in an ask, “Hey, what about the possible impact of inflation, if we pay for a missile to shoot that asteroid down?”

Few other things to think about. The government doesn’t need you tax dollars to spend. We can debate whether it should spend money on fending off the collapse of human civilization, we can debate that if you want. But, if the government spends, it also isn’t as if that money then disappears into a black hole. The money gets thrown out into the economy, increases effective demand, it could be the means of people paying the bills. We have to shrink the size of the human economy relative to the larger system, the ecosystem, all the damn science shows this. But, if we want to do it in an equitable way (I am sure you are indifferent on that), we do so by also giving money and power to working people that will plant the trees, building the renewable energy infrastructure, will make the agricultural system more sustainable, among other things. Just throwing out the number isn’t an argument. You could just be throwing out the number, which you are, that it will take to deal with a crisis that poses an existential threat to us all. If you want to debate that, send on some hacky right wing, oil industry funded science that shows otherwise. It would be one thing if private interests and private banks were up to the task, but they are not, for a number of reasons.


Just once! I would like someone in the White House or in Congress to say the same thing about the trillion $$$$$$$$$$$$ military budget! Just imagine if the military budget was transferred to addressing the coming climate catastrophes!


SOS - our world is dying and it was here before money was ever thought of …


Sander’s $16 trillion 16 year plan is $1 trillion per year. The US spends $1 trillion per year buying fossil fuels. Technically, Sander’s plan is net zero cost.


Well thought and comprehensive list. Reminds me of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi saying: " BECOME THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD".


The world spends 1.5 Trillion $ on weapons of offence and defence each year.
It’s lack of will not money.
90 or so corporations are producing 75% of all CO2 emmisions .
Profit survival mentality.
The solutions are spiritual and can only be solved that way.
All For One and One for All .


What about sex?

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