If at First You Can't Suceed, Sue

Tom Finnerty06 May, 2020 3 Min Read
Greta Thunberg, economic illiterate.

GretaThunberg? To quote Obi-Wan, "Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time." You might have to dig deep to uncover the memory of the Swedish environmentalist and serial truant who has traded on her youth (and, more than that, her youthful appearance --  she's 17) and ideological fervor in order to become one of the most celebrated green zealots of the last few years. Despite her best efforts, she's faded a bit since the outbreak of COVID-19 (thank heaven for small favors). She's kept her Twitter account active, celebrating the 89th week of her School Strike for Climate just the other day (imagine how much science and math she could have learned in that time) but, thanks to the coronavirus, has been pretty much sidelined.

On Earth Day, she did her best to tie the pandemic to her climate crusade ("The key lesson from the pandemic... [is] the need for governments to pay more heed to scientific warnings"). And she even announced that she had contracted the WuFlu herself... maybe. Unfortunately, to be blunt, no one cared. Which is a problem because, as Greta and her handlers know, she's not getting any younger, and the older she gets the creepier the pigtails are going to become. It is imperative for them that they break through the coronavirus news cycle, and get back onto page 1.

Well, here's what they came up with:

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and 15 other youths urged the UN on Tuesday to accept their standing claim against five countries, who they say have failed to protect children from imminent and foreseeable risk to their health and well being.

Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey have been accused of ''breaching their obligations under the international Convention on the Rights of Child, by promoting fossil fuels and failing to curb greenhouse gas emissions for decades, despite knowing about the risks of climate change,'' the group said in a press release.

This is an escalation of a lawsuit they originally filed at the UN back in September, on the same day as the now-famous "How dare you?" speech. The five nations were singled out as the largest carbon emitters of the 45 nations that have ratified the UN's 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, upon which Greta's lawsuit is based.

France, Germany, and Brazil replied, arguing that the claims against them were ”ill-founded or unsubstantiated,” that the complaint was ”inadmissible in the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child,” and that ”the climate crisis is so global that no state bears responsibility.”

Here's The Guardian on what Greta & Co. had to say to that argument:

In response to the objections raised by Brazil, France and Germany, the children said they had been “directly and foreseeably injured” by the greenhouse gas emissions that those governments had allowed to change the climate.

They have submitted new scientific research on how the countries are failing in their obligations, and said it would be “futile” to argue their case in separate domestic lawsuits in each country, as that “would not provide the type of far-reaching international relief needed to reverse climate change”.

Elsewhere they argue that this complaint falls under the jurisdiction of Convention on the Rights of the Child because children face ”increased death and disease” as a result of climate change.

Funny that, at a time when national borders are tightening up, even in the EU, they're stepping up an appeal to an international body with little actual power. Even the environmental activists in the EU's government are having to admit that this isn't the time for economy-tanking green initiatives. The nations being sued should probably consider not even responding to this escalation. No need to give Greta's flickering light of celebrity any more oxygen.


Tom Finnerty writes from New England and Ontario.


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