Adolescent climate change protester Greta Thunberg has stage-parents, literally. Her mother sang opera internationally until the teenager convinced her to quit due to greenhouse gas emissions from flying, and her father and grandfather both gained fame through acting and directing.
Now they’ve pivoted into the parental act of every stage-parent looking to secure the next generation of fame. Apparently, the Swedish version of a Teri Shields pimps their kid out — not to Penthouse, but to the cause of climate apocalypse.
For all that conservatives have rightly griped at the performative pointlessness of Thunberg’s schtick, and for all that liberals have rightly griped that a waning but still significant segment of conservatives deny the reality of anthropogenic climate change, the biggest travesty lost in the hype about the Swedish activist who recently sailed to American shores is that her parents, the media, and the climate alarmist left are basically engaging in child abuse.
Cases of kids entering public discourse out of sheer discourse, such as Parkland survivors Cameron Kasky and Kyle Kashuv, are sometimes inevitable and sometimes valuable. Some political causes require spokesmen with lived experiences. But even as we saw in the aftermath of Parkland, putting children in the public spotlight is more likely to backfire on them than not.
The case of Greta Thunberg is even more egregious. Thunberg began suffering from depression as a child, by her own admission, in part because she learned about climate change at age eight. She was later diagnosed with autism and obsessive compulsive disorder and gradually became despondent as she obsessed over her fear of climate change. She developed mutism and an eating disorder so severe that she once went two months without food, and she stopped going to school. Her only sibling, a sister named Beata, also suffers from Asperger’s and OCD, as well as ADHD.
Now tell me, does it seem healthy to place a child with this many mental illnesses under the spotlight of public scrutiny, with a sole focus on the very phenomenon and associated alarmism that triggered her in the first place?
If you’re a fading opera starlet married into a family of fame, and your only two children are having exceptional trouble even attending school, then I suppose you can secure a bit more fame by milking your child’s clinically diagnosed obsession. But given that Greta’s mental struggles and triggers actually led her to the brink of death, the whole thing smacks of child abuse.
Conservatives shouldn’t mock her. They should worry for her. Social media has made it too easy to prop up children as moral authorities — even children especially predisposed to crack under the pressure.