Ms. Thunberg ... is aware—and has the bad manners to say so—that the vast majority of wealthy transnationals who intone rote demands that governments “take action” on climate change don’t actually believe what they’re saying. At the U.N., Ms. Thunberg wasn’t speaking to rubes and oilmen and climate “deniers.” She was speaking to the swarms of diplomatic elite who had earlier disembarked from jumbo jets and descended on Midtown Manhattan’s bars, restaurants and five-star hotels and clogged its streets with phalanxes of giant sport-utility vehicles. Ms. Thunberg appears to suspect—rightly—that these people don’t think we’re headed for doomsday. They enjoy the moral uplift afforded by their fashionable views; otherwise they’re along for the ride.
Ms. Thunberg grasps that if today’s climate leaders believed what they claim to believe, they would use their power to impose drastic reductions to greenhouse emissions, whatever other nations might do. They would also, if their convictions were genuine, engage in terrible and revolutionary deeds for the salvation of humanity: intimidation, brutality, sabotage. Instead they are content to trumpet the right opinions and otherwise persist in their ordinary habits of consumption as though none of it really mattered. Greta Thunberg has a point. How dare they?
[Thunberg] gets praise for her bold preaching on climate change, which the right can’t criticize without appearing boorish—great. But a political movement spoken for by a teenager can’t be taken altogether seriously (emphasis added).