Vladimir Putin just achieved the impossible: he outdid Donald Trump in sheer ludicrousness. The Russian president shared his thoughts on Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish climate activist who’s inspired mass protests around the world. They’re astounding in their hypocrisy and lack of awareness.
Adults have a duty
Thunberg recently spoke at the UN. In her passionate speech, she said:
Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!
I don’t share the common excitement about the speech by Greta Thunberg. I’m sure that Greta is a kind and very sincere girl. But adults must do everything not to bring teenagers and children into some extreme situations.
But when someone is using children and teenagers in personal interests, it only deserves to be condemned.
— RT (@RT_com) October 3, 2019
The insinuation here is that the situation Thunberg finds herself in, where she appears at the UN and multiple other platforms talking about the climate breakdown, is somehow ‘extreme’. But Putin fails to grasp – or acknowledge – that what’s truly ‘extreme’ about the life of today’s young people, including Thunberg, is they’re living through a climate crisis. They’re near the beginning of their lives on a planet whose future they know is uncertain – and it’s decisions by people like Putin that have put them in this ‘extreme’ position.
Digging to disaster
According to a 2018 report by the European Commission, Russia is the fifth-largest producer of CO2 emissions in the world.
As it stands, all fossil-fuel exploration has to stop and fossil-fuel use has to be phased out quickly for us to have any chance of avoiding climate catastrophe. But Russia is still merrily digging away for fossil fuels and helping to ruin any chance of that happening.
As Rystad Energy pointed out in December 2018, Russia was an ‘oil and gas exploration winner’ that year. It topped “the discovery countries ranking” along with the US and Guyana:
Offshore Russia, Novatek drilled its first exploratory well in the North Obskoye block in the shallow waters of Ob Bay. This is the largest discovery to date this year and is estimated to hold recoverable resources of around 960 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Meanwhile, the Arctic is enduring record-breaking ice loss (and spent the summer on fire) due to the warming of the Earth. Nonetheless, Putin’s state oil companies are busily drilling for more oil in the region.
Indeed, adults do deserve condemnation for putting children and teenagers into extreme situations. But it’s not parents – or whoever else Putin may be suggesting – who deserve blame for putting Thunberg into the situation she now finds herself in. It’s the adults, including him, who’ve recklessly landed today’s youth in a world on the brink of environmental collapse.
Featured image via RT/YouTube
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?