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Evans is wrong to demean Greta over her climate stance

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14.10.2019

Re the article by Steve Evans "Have no faith in St Greta's crusade" (Forum, October 12, p31).

Evans states he has no doubt that human activity is causing dangerous global warming but argues disruptive forms of protest will be counter-productive. That's certainly a point of view which can be argued. Others will have a different view. Much hangs on one's perception of the severity and imminence of the danger.

But why did Evans choose to spoil his article with such a current of churlish nastiness?

Thai climate protesters rally behind an image of Greta Thunberg on September 20. The 16-year-old has a global following. Picture: Getty Images

It's replete with pejoratives such as "the chatterati", and attacks on "sanctimonious" people "moral credentialing" who then allegedly "roar off in the Lexus". First in the headline and twice more in the article Mr Evans refers to Greta Thunberg as "St Greta".

That's nothing more than a mocking title detractors throw at Thunberg in a childish display of schoolyard bullying. When you can't refute the truth of the message attack the messenger.

So much more satisfying when the messenger is a small teenage girl. The Canberra Times should be a little less indulgent of journalistic spleen.

Steve Evans argues the "sensible" path for climate change ("Have no faith in St Greta's crusade", October 12, p32), but over the years this argument has got us in this very crisis that Greta Thunberg identifies.

As Garnaut and Stern argued, the longer we leave it, the more it costs.

Gillard's carbon charge was $23; the IMF now tells us $75 is needed. We've already blown our time. The implications are existential.

Steve Evans's characterisation of Extinction Rebellion participants as holier-than-thou virtue-signallers is fanciful ("Have no faith in St Greta's crusade", October 12, p32).

Canberrans are participating because they are worried about the future for their children and grandchildren and of life on earth in a last-ditch attempt to pressure a recalcitrant government in thrall to the fossil fuel industry to take serious, urgent action to protect us all from the catastrophic effects of human-induced global warming.

Much criticism has been made of the Extinction Rebellion movement in recent days as they try to get the world's leaders to take greater action to combat climate change.

It is easy to criticise people who are deliberately disrupting people's lives and interrupting the goings on in society. It's understandable when you have your day disrupted.

However, perhaps we all need to see beyond ourselves. Surely inaction on climate change action will also disrupt our lives, only by stealth instead.

Given the forecasts on climate change, the reality is that we are in for far greater inconvenience if........

© Canberra Times