I have had a go at the vacuous nature of Amanda Vanstone’s Sydney Morning Herald diatribes before1,2,3, and now she has come out with another, in which she has a go at Greta Thunberg. Like many of her conservative colleagues, Vanstone has made it personal, as they know they do not have either the knowledge, or the cogent arguments, to take issue with what Thunberg says4.
Vanstone whines about how ‘accepting different opinions’ seems to be disappearing4. I am sick of this abject equine ordure of ‘both sides of the debate’. You can have a differing opinion on climate change if you have evidence to support your conclusions. These conservative halfwits never seen to have any evidence for their denial of climate change. They just don’t accept the reality uncovered by science. Using her logic, Vanstone presumably would be relaxed about giving equal time to creationists (such as Andrew Hastie and Scott Morrison), flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers. After all, numerous conservative halfwits support these views, despite there being no evidence against the real science, which explains why creationism is for religious nutters, flat-earthers are simple, and anti-vaxxers are crazy.
Vanstone states that nobody likes being chastised for their views. I suspect this is the case, but then again, I don’t have views which contradict an enormous amount of evidence. This is because I am not an idiot. If idiots have views which contradict science, while lacking any evidence, then they deserve to be ridiculed, and Vanstone deserves it just as much as any of them. She thinks that climate change is a “complex political issue”. It isn’t a political issue, it is an existential threat. The only politics involved is used by the denialism industry to obfuscate and delay; to manufacture doubt. Vanstone, in her gullibility, has asserted that global warming has been over-dramatised4. This is not the case. The problem is so severe that almost all of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports since the 1990s have underestimated the speed of change, and the danger we face. The latest IPCC report has demonstrated this, and even that may be too conservative in its predictions5. Indeed, the pace of change is increasing, and that is extremely dangerous.
Vanstone casts aspersions upon Thunberg’s motives in starting her ‘school strike for climate’ in asking why it is she most often featured in the media, after all there are ‘other kids who care as much, are just as articulate, just as concerned.”4 Either Vanstone is attempting to draw a very long bow, or is too obtuse to understand why Thunberg has such a high profile. It is because she, a young girl, on her own, started the strike for climate movement which now has strikers numbering in the millions (of which I am one). This scares the bejesus out of conservatives, and why this does was perfectly articulated by Jennifer O’Connell in the Irish Times when she wrote: “Why is Greta Thunberg so triggering? Because of what she represents. In an age when democracy is under assault, she hints at the emergence of a new kind of power, a convergence of youth, popular protest and irrefutable science. And for her loudest detractors, she also represents something else: the sight of their impending obsolescence hurtling towards them.”6
Vanstone then reverts to the same old drivel that Prime Minister Scott Morrison and sundry other has-beens, such as Alan Jones7, use regularly. They’d be more impressed if students bunked off school in their own time (?), and planted trees, turned off their electronic devices, air-conditioning etc. Then Vanstone has the gall to say that “skipping school gives you no skin in the game”. This is a disgusting thing to say. These children don’t just have skin in the game; they have their futures on the line. For Vanstone to insinuate that they are simply being frivolous is a disgrace. She should be ashamed of herself, but she won’t, because she is a shameless liar. It is baffling why the Sydney Morning Herald would publish such drivel as Vanstone’s.