GNF - An open letter to Greta Thunberg

An open letter to Greta Thunberg

The increasing criticism of Greta Thunberg worries me more and more. Usually there is no criticism of her statements or her actions, but of attempts to discredit the person by postulating a false moral impetus. The argumentation and motivation of the alleged guardians of morals is, however, too flimsy and, in my opinion, mainly driven by two factors. Firstly, Thunberg questions the prevailing consumption-oriented way of life and thus endangers the commode life in which many of the more prosperous people – from a global point of view - have made themselves comfortable. Secondly, she also questions our own or the socially defined moral claim to ourselves. This also worries "those cold, unblamable citizens of virtue in whose pale hearts the power of evil is extinguished, but also that of good," to quote Heinrich Heine.


If these self-proclaimed moral guardians are so worried when morality is violated, why haven't they opposed against child soldier Warlord Joseph Kony, war criminal Radovan Karadžić, Eritrea's chief despot Isayas Afewerki or the CumEx-criminals or other morally condemnable persons?


What worries me is that people who – whether for altruistic or less noble reasons – have developed the ability to hold a mirror up to society and people are often endangering themselves. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and John Lennon are sad examples of non-violent people who died violently. "Evil" people seem to know evil better and know how to protect themselves. The worst dictators, such as Augusto Pinochet, Idi Amin or Josef Stalin, died at high age from natural causes.


And to the factual questions: The argument that the climate change has anthropogenic causes is supported by well-founded evidences provided by experts from advisory boards such as the German Advisory Council on the Environment SRU (1972), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC (1988), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research PIK (1992) or the "Wold Scientists’ Warning to Humanity" (1992, 2017), a petition signed by more than 15,000 scientists, including a majority of Nobel Prize winners alive. These bodies provide expertise and scientifically substantiated information to help decision-makers identify threats to humanity and provide solutions to pressing problems. Nearly all experts see efficient and rapidly implemented measures for climate protection (and the conservation of biological diversity) as key issues for the survival of people on earth and demand – often for decades – swift action from politicians, business and civil society. Against this background, I ask myself what sources and information do the deniers of climate change refer to? Donald Trump, Alexander Gauland from the AfD, the studies (sic) by Exxon or Shell ... or the buddy Harry with his eight-cylinder pick-up truck?


Dear Greta, please keep on and take good care.


Yours, Udo Gattenlöhner