AuthorTopic: OPEN LETTER TO GRETA THUNBERG  (Read 1090 times)


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« on: October 06, 2019, 06:57:14 PM »

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on October 6, 2019

Discuss the article at the Environment Table inside the Diner


by Geoffrey Chia, October 2019

Dear Ms Thunberg,

It is with some hesitation I pen this letter. If you ever read this, which is unlikely, it may seem but one more of numerous missives from complete strangers who feel entitled to write to you or about you because of your recent meteoric rise to fame. If you never read this, which is more likely, then what is the point of this letter? Hence I admit I write this more as a catharsis for myself (as has been the case for most of my articles) than as a means of communication. I do however hope and believe this note may also be of some value to others who may chance upon it.

Let me begin by congratulating you on your plain spoken address to the UN climate action summit last month, expressing your contempt for the empty words and meaningless gestures of hypocritical adults who either claim to address climate change but do nothing, or blatantly deny scientific reality to line their own hip pockets. Your powerful words and emotions thoroughly shamed all adults, myself included. I could not hold back the tears from my eyes apprehending your pain and anger while also wondering: what can we do to alleviate the distress of this young person and billions of children around the world like her? How can we offer you realistic hope? My honest answer, as someone who has studied the sciences regarding (un)sustainability for two decades now, is there is little to nothing I can offer. All I can offer you is an apology. If you peruse my articles on the web over the years, you will see that all my efforts to strive for state or national policy change and to fight against the fossil fool fraudsters have amounted to nothing whatsoever. A big fat zero. So why should you bother listening to me, a miserable failure? Perhaps because, quite apart from learning about successes, it may be even more instructional for you to learn from failures. And I am a failure.

You said that Asperger's syndrome was your super power. What a good description. Before your worldwide rise to fame, before today, now that every man, woman and dog tries to sidle up to you and garner a piece of your celebrity, I suspect you experienced social isolation. Your analytical brain enabled you to perceive crucial scientific Truths with crystal clarity, which the unintelligent deluded majority could not or would not see. As a result you found it difficult or impossible to hold meaningful conversations with so-called “normal” people. As someone who experienced the same, I personally found comfort in the words of Krishnamurti:

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society"

and Terence McKenna: "The cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation".

What do those quotes mean? They mean that you, Greta, represent the new improved Humanity version 2.0, I would describe you as a "super-sane" person. More about that later.

At the tender age of fifteen you struck a lonely figure sitting in solitude outside the Swedish Parliament in all weathers, surely pondering why none of your peers comprehended the existential crises that humanity faced, wondering why they did not join you in the most important struggle of our time, at that time. No longer. You have since opened the eyes of your generation and sparked a revolution among the young. I reckon your IQ is far above the 99th percentile for age. You have a logical mind which is receptive to facts and rejects lies: it cuts through bullshit like a hot knife through butter. You schooled yourself in the science of climate change which in recent years has accelerated beyond the worst expectations.

But far more important than your intelligence is your unshakeable moral compass. Stand firm Greta! Hold your ground! Dig your heels in and remain true to your principles! There are no end to the number of odious slimeballs in Right Wingnut Land who would like to destroy you, to see you stumble, to tear you down. You are a strong person Greta, you can stare them down, you can prevail! The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. You will be seen by future generations (if there are any future generations) to be firmly on the right side of history. You will be mentioned in the same breath as icons such as Rosa Parks.

There will be times when it all seems too much, too difficult, too overwhelming for a young girl to bear, especially when you may feel that all the world's expectations rest on your shoulders. You are still a child. It is not your personal responsibility to "save the world", it was the responsibility of older generations who not only abrogated their duty but cynically chose to accelerate the planetary destruction for a paltry few pieces of silver. Nature be damned, indigenous people be damned, minorities be damned, poor people be damned, children be damned. Who gives a shit. You know who I mean: people like Trump, Bolsonaro, Joko Widodo et al. So-called national leaders. It would be a mistake however to think that such individuals are the root cause and the only cause of our problems. They are merely the figureheads and ventriloquist dummies of shadier puppet masters who control the military-industrial-corporate complex: media magnates such as Rupert Murdoch, fossil fools such as Gina Rinehart and the Koch brothers1, Wall Street bankers, Arms manufacturers, the NRA, big Agrichemical businesses…the list goes on. Those nefarious power brokers have installed their political puppets into high office either by direct coups or by perverting the mechanisms of democracy. They have been incredibly effective in their use of propaganda to persuade the reptile brained majority to vote self serving psychopaths into positions of power. Psychopaths who work against the interests of ordinary people in favour of the filthy rich. Hence whether we like it or not, one major cause of our planetary devastation is the appalling gormlessness of the easily manipulated sheeple. To misquote PT Barnum, it turns out that you can actually fool most of the people all of the time2. Hoodwinking the lame brained majority3 is all that is required to pervert democracy. Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud, found that out more than a hundred years ago. A tiny percentage of people however can seldom or never be fooled. Super-sane critically thinking people such as yourself.

This brings us to the question of mental health. One Pox News useful idiot of the establishment recently accused you of being mentally ill, when in reality it was he who was without doubt a stark raving mad lunatic. I say this not just as a means of venting my spleen but as a qualified medical practitioner. It is my professional diagnosis regarding that person and those of his ilk. To justify such a comment we need to get back to basic medical definitions, which you will find in my article about the nature of mental health: which proves conclusively that your detractor meets the definition of being mentally diseased (having a mindset divorced from reality which is harmful to human wellbeing). You, on the other hand, going by the criteria described in that document, can be described as a super-sane person. You are not “normal” Greta, you are better than normal. And that, as you have already discovered, is to be celebrated. This is not flattery, this is a solid medical diagnosis arrived at by objective analysis of your words and behaviour.

Some Right Wingnut Australian jackasses such as Scott Morrison, Maurice Newman, Alan Jones and Andrew the Dolt have written or spoken complete rubbish and made outrageously unforgivable statements, told utter lies, about you. I refuse to give oxygen to their toxic claptrap by repeating any of it. At best, a jackass like Morrison can be described as a scientifically illiterate, sneering, condescending prick. At worst, a jackass like Andrew the Dolt, cheerleader for the invasion of Iraq, notorious racist and global warming denier can justifiably be described as a disgusting piece of shit, which however I am reluctant to do because that would be a grave insult to disgusting pieces of shit. I would not want to offend shit by comparing it with Andrew the Dolt.

Whether you choose to respond to such execrable scumbags, and how you choose to respond, is for you to decide in consultation with those you trust. I for one cannot abide the egregious lies spouted by self serving psychopaths going unanswered nor entertain the idea of those sanctimonious hypocrites getting away with their bullshit. I have been accused of using “intemperate” language in the past (which I still do), the argument (invariably coming from quisling establishment cowards and fossil fool collaborators) being that my harsh language detracts from the science based messages4. I disagree. We need to use BOTH unassailable logic and relentless denigration of those psychopaths. The science deniers hammer us with nasty invective, all of which is provably false. I do not believe in turning the other cheek, I believe in hammering them back with nasty invective which is all provably true. Withering ridicule to expose the untenable position of those scumbags is the only real weapon we have and I choose to wield it to maximum effect. It is not slander or libel if the accusations you make are demonstrably fact based and by the strictest of dictionary definitions, correct. You, Greta, on the other hand, being in the public spotlight, may prefer to use less caustic language and maintain the laudable poise and mature demeanour you have exhibited so far. I must congratulate you on that.

You are lucky to have enlightened and supportive parents. It will frequently be necessary to retreat into the fold of your family, to shun the spotlights, to gain counsel from those you trust and love and to recharge your batteries. There may be media hounds or even well meaning people incessantly pounding on your door to either provoke you to put a foot wrong or to seek some words of wisdom. Either way, you owe them nothing. You have a right not to respond. You owe it to yourself to have some quiet time to regroup your thoughts and rest your mind. There will be those who try to get you to say or do certain things to serve their own hidden agendas5. They will try to manipulate you with empty flattery and offer all manner of privileges and enticements, even millions of dollars, which they reckon you will not be able to refuse. They think that everybody has their (monetary) price. They will try to corrupt you and shortly thereafter will pounce on you and portray you to the world as a hypocrite. They will try to damage you psychologically. They are the well cashed up hitmen (and women) of the fossil fools and other sordid interests. Do not fall into their traps. Be very careful about what you are offered, especially anything which seems too good to be true. YOU must be the one to decide where, when and what you will say and what you will do, as you have done exceedingly well so far. You must be the architect of your own destiny. Accordingly you may find the following useful:

Alternatively you may wish to spend most of your time keeping up the pressure on older folks, many of whom are not self serving psychopaths, to fulfil their duties to this planet and to younger generations. That being the case, please keep your expectations low. Much of your psychic anguish at present is because of shattered hopes, dreams and aspirations. Buddhist philosophy informs us that suffering is mainly caused by unfulfilled desires. Anger and depression follow from your expectations of a better future being demolished. It will be impossible for most people in the world to avoid a bleak future no matter what they do. Lowering expectations will go a long way to minimise psychological trauma. If you anticipate a bad outcome, you will be mentally prepared and less traumatised if it does happen. On the other hand you will be pleasantly surprised if it does not.

Be thankful for whatever remaining Nature we have left today (soon to disappear) and take time off to enjoy it. Wildlife watching, hiking through a National Park, sailing on a scenic lake (during our increasingly narrower windows of stable weather): whatever takes your fancy.

Greta, everyone knows you never sought celebrity and anyone who accuses you of such is simply a duplicitous dirtbag. However celebrity found you. With your new found fame, many folks around the world, especially young people, hang on to your every word. If you decide right now that you have had enough and wish to retreat back into obscurity and the security of your family permanently, nobody can fault you for that. You have already earned your place in history as a major force in the fight for social and environmental justice and human survival on this planet. On the other hand, your talents for critical thinking and articulate, honest speech at this young age suggest that your potential to shape the thoughts and actions of others around the world is huge. You may just be getting started and you yourself may be wondering: where to from here? I cannot advise you regarding that, but allow me to cite the names of some people I consider far wiser, far better and far braver than the miserable failure that I am. If you are able to seek them out for counsel, either to meet in person or to engage in video conversations, that will be to your great advantage. Get them on speed dial! This brief list consists mostly of strong women who can be good role models and mentors for you:

Arundhati Roy – Booker prize winning author and fearless champion of the poor, downtrodden and disenfranchised

Dr Vandana Shiva – scientist and physicist who chose to spend most of her life as an environmental and social justice warrior

Nicole Foss – multidisciplinary expert, especially when explaining the relationships between energy, the economy and finance

Alice Friedemann – Energy expert, especially with regard to EROEI

Abby Martin – fearless journalist exposing the international war crimes of the US empire and their Zionist nuclear armed ally (note: opposing the crimes of the State of Israel is NOT the same as opposing the Israeli people and is certainly NOT the same as being anti-Semitic)

US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard – who has an impeccable public service and military record and is now one of the strongest voices for world peace

Christopher Hedges – fearless journalist exposing the domestic crimes of the US empire (now a defacto Fascist oligarchy/kleptocracy) perpetrated against its own people.

In conclusion I would like to quote Chris Hedges who said, I do not fight Fascists because I think I can win. I fight Fascists because they are Fascists.



  1. David Koch may be dead (and good riddance to him) but his toxic legacy lives on

  2. Using lies to justify the invasion of Iraq “worked”, so what the heck, why not use more lies to justify the bombing of Iran? Only this time, sane people realise it could easily escalate to global thermonuclear war, a far more immediate risk of extinction than global warming. That is certainly the concern of the Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Anyone who denies or downplays this risk is either a profound fool or a despicable mouthpiece of the US chickenshit armchair warmongering Neoconartists (or both):

  3. This majority are kept lame brained by the intentional underfunding of public education, particularly in the USA. On the other hand, being "well" educated is no guarantee of wisdom. Example: earlier this year I had a "discussion" with a Cardiologist from a Northern Queensland city who I used to respect. Always well groomed and well spoken and undoubtedly a good medical practitioner, he turned out to be an abject fool in other matters. Somehow the conversation turned to climate change, to which he stated, "I am not a climate denier but… surely there is some substance to the alternative skeptical views expressed in the media?" (language warning: if someone says they are not a climate denier but…, you can be damned sure they are in fact a climate denier). I then offered to provide him scientific references, including good summaries from John Cook's skeptical science website, utterly demolishing all of the "alternative views" of the climate deniers, however he point blank refused further information. I said that giving credence to the deniers was equivalent to saying, "some people say the earth is round, some say it is flat, therefore giving credence to both sides, we must conclude the earth must be oval". Wrong. The science shows the earth is round (specifically an oblate spheroid) and any other points of view are simply wrong. He then accused me of being an extremist and the "discussion" deteriorated thereafter. That was a perfect example of an educated fool, all the more to be condemned because he had the intellectual capacity to understand the science but utterly rejected the scientific information because it threatened his fossil fueled luxuries.

  4. I am on record as having called former Federal Minister for Industry Ian MacFarlane (another climate science denier) an "impenetrably stupid coal company stooge". I retract not one word of what I wrote. MacFarlane went on to say that he intended to extract every single molecule of coal seam gas from under Australia. After his government jobs he was appointed as chief executive of the Queensland Resources Council, continuing to promote coal and CSG extraction and further inflating his bank balance. Talk about the corrupt revolving door. I was also criticised in the past by some fake environmental activists for my essay "The Brisbane Institute is a Brisbane Prostitute" and once again I retract not one word of what I wrote.


G. Chia, Oct 2019

Offline John of Wallan

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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 01:25:16 AM »
Well said fellow countryman.
Got me stuffed how clowns like Sco Mo get elected. Was not much competition...... Then I look at the US and breath a sign of relief. They did not have much to choose from! (They may have actually picked the lesser of 2 evils, but that is a debate for another forum.)
Dont go thinking one side of politics is better than the other; I met a Labor Minister for Environment once. Just made me more cynical.They were too busy being coached by their political minders to say catchy 3 second news sound bites to look like something is being done about the latest recycling and toxic waste dump "Crisis" we are having than to actually listen to what was needed or take brave actions. Hardly mentioned climate change. No votes in that apparently.

Truth is no politician is going to do what has to be done. Greta was right to tell them so.
They know they would not get elected on a platform or de-growth, more expensive consumer goods and lower standard of living.
Everyone prefers to be told they can do what they like and launder their conscience by sorting their recyclables into plastic paper and glass.
I dont watch TV or listen to commercial talk back radio. I find it leaves me better informed.

There are 2 truths I hold and base my actions on:
1. We are screwed. Really, really screwed.
2. Everyone needs to try and save what you can despite point 1.

If young Greta can get even a few people to do something positive she is doing more good work than most of the worlds politicians.
Rugger Jones, Blot, Bigmacfairlane and Dog fearing Scomo can all go fuck themselves. They certainly give me the impression they are their own biggest fans. Greta has more brains and obviously bigger balls than any of them.

I will continue to plant a tree a week and save what I can in my little corner of Oz.


Offline RE

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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2019, 03:23:04 AM »
Well said fellow countryman.

You 2 Diners should get together sometime.  Have an Oz Diner Convocation.  I'll see if I can fly down.  Haven't been back Down Under in decades.

Save As Many As You Can

Offline edpell

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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2019, 02:07:16 PM »
Wonderful essay. Agree completely. From 1955 you may want to look at

The Sane Society is a continuation and extension of the brilliant psychiatric concepts Erich Fromm first formulated in Escape from Freedom; it is also, in many ways, an answer to Freud's Civilization and its Discontents. Fromm examines man's escape into over conformity and the danger of robotism in contemporary industrial society: modern humanity has, he maintains, been alienated from the world of their own creation. 

Sadly Greta does not seem to yet understand the cost of fixing the problem. That is something like seven billion humans dying. Mother Nature is not squeamish.

Offline RE

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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2019, 03:38:01 PM »
Sadly Greta does not seem to yet understand the cost of fixing the problem. That is something like seven billion humans dying. Mother Nature is not squeamish.

Greta's not the only one.  I think fe of the XR activists grasp that with the end of burning of fossil fuels comes the end of Industrial Civilization and the concomitant massive Population Knockdown.  Few realize what life will be like when we shift back to (at best) an 18th century standard of living.  They mostly believe I suspect we can switch over to "Green" technologies, take Public Transportation to go to work and travel on Sailboats for vacation instead of Jets.  Totally unrealistic.

Save As Many As You Can


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