Kate Hawkesby: Thunberg has a lot of nerve going for our beloved Jacinda

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Sep 2021, 8:35AM
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

Kate Hawkesby: Thunberg has a lot of nerve going for our beloved Jacinda

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Sep 2021, 8:35AM

I wonder whether Greta Thunberg has been burnt by her moment in the sun.  

Small time young climate crusader makes huge splash onto international stage, gets lauded across the globe and becomes a big star and icon for young people. 

And then, well, what happens next? 

Swiping and sniping at world leaders is nothing new, she had a few goes at Trump. But then, who didn’t? 

But now, now, she’s had the audacity to come for our great leader. Our revered saviour and high priestess, our beloved Jacinda who claimed climate change was our nuclear moment. 

She possibly did not imagine when she said that, that it would include Greta Thunberg going nuclear on her. 

Thunberg has said Ardern “knows nothing” about climate change. She says Ardern’s doing nothing, and that our greenhouse gas emissions have not fallen under Ardern’s watch. Whatever would Greta think if she knew of our recalcitrant high flying Green MP James Shaw?  

What if she knew the co-leader of our Greenest party of them all, was zipping round the globe to talk about climate change, while adding to carbon emissions? No doubt he’d be lambasted too. 

But neither Shaw nor Ardern have any cause to take anything Greta says personally of course, given she’s lashed out at every politician around the world, and basically thinks none of them are doing a good enough job. Which begs the question, what is good enough? 

Ardern has called the climate emergency ‘life or death’ but also, that 'these things take time'. 

James Shaw, the Climate Change Minister, says our emissions haven’t decreased yet, but it’s “a marathon effort”. There’s a detailed plan coming apparently, but not until 2022, it’s been reported. There’ll also be plans to meet goals of the Paris Agreement. 

But back to Thunberg. The past three years have been spent dedicating her life, words and time to the climate crisis. She says of that, that she thinks, ‘naivety and childishness are sometimes a good thing.  

The great thing about youth, she says, “is you’re not blinded by realpolitik and the assumption of compromise. I do think older people make things more complicated than they actually are,” she told The Guardian.  

Is that true though?  

The exuberance of youth is one thing, but age and experience are sometimes another very necessary tool. Yes, it may complicate things, but sometimes life is complex. When we think of Greta, we probably still imagine her sitting on footpaths with cardboard signs, but these days she lives in her own apartment in Stockholm, as an independent 18-year-old, basically being a celebrity. 

“Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace prize, addressing the UN and being thanked by the Pope” are not your average 18-year-old’s day out.  

So how do we take her latest jibe in our PM’s direction? 

I’d say we take it on the chin and move on.