In the middle of March, teenage school students around Europe went on “strike” to protest against their governments’ failure to do enough to combat “Climate Change”. [How Greta Thunberg's school strike became a global climate movement, The Local, March 14, 2019] In Germany, thousands of youngsters are skipping lessons every Friday to march through their towns wielding such placards as “You’re never too small to make a difference” and “Climate Justice Now” [Thousands of teens join Greta Thunberg’s climate fight in Berlin, The Local, March 29, 2019]. The latter phrase summarizes the true agenda: “Climate Justice” means that white countries should radically reduce their living standards while those of non-white countries skyrocket, so that both produce “equal” global warming emissions. In other words, “Reduce Whites to Serfdom Now.” It’s nuts, and not surprisingly its pin-up girl is, well, odd.
Greta Thunberg, a sixteen-year-old girl from Stockholm, is the inspiration for these school-skipping SJWs. The eldest of two daughters of actor Svante Thunberg and opera singer Malena Ernman, Greta rose to national fame in the run-up to the recent Swedish parliamentary election. She played truant for the entire period, spending her school hours sitting in front of the Swedish parliament with a sign reading “School Strike for Climate.” Since the election, she has taken each Friday off school to continue her protest, gaining worldwide attention as a result. [“Our leaders are like children,” school strike founder tells climate summit, by Damian Carrington, Guardian, December 4, 2018]
Thunberg openly admits that behind her climate obsession is her “autism”. [Greta Thunberg: The disarming case to act right now on climate change | TED Talk, January 28, 2019]. Autism is associated with being trusting, socially unaware, obsessive, thinking in a black-and-white way, hyperactivity, and profound anxiety
So you might think that the Left/ Main Stream Media would leave this well-meaning possibly troubled teenager alone. But no. She has been compared to “geniuses,” many of whom are “on the spectrum.” [Autistic people are attractive employees, DW, April 2, 2019]. This is odd, because scientific geniuses, who do indeed tend to be highly intelligent autistics, generally question the status quo and fearlessly cut through fanatical dogma. [Autistic Genius? By Alan Snyder, Nature, April 1, 2004]. So why is young Greta such an ardent supporter of the very Politically Correct Climate Change cult? And what can we expect from her in the future?
Let’s be clear, first of all, that the Climate Change Movement is very far from being motivated purely by reason. The movement is marred by concocted and manipulated data, alarmist and false predictions, the rampant persecution of dissenting scientific voices, constant fallacious appeals to authority (“the vast majority of scientists accept . . .”) and the wilful ignoring of the realistic possibility that our climate increase is more parsimoniously explained by sun spot activity than human activity, even if human behavior is playing some part. “Climate Justice,” which is about nothing more than promoting the empowerment of non-white nations over white ones, starkly reveals climate activism to be a branch of the prevailing Multiculturalism dogma. Most prominent climate activists are, as British journalist James Delingpole has put it, “Watermelons”—green on the outside, red on the inside. (See his Watermelons: How Environmentalist Are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children’s Future).
When she was 8 years old, Greta heard (was told?) about Climate Change and started to become gradually obsessed with it. By the age of 11, her anxiety had become so acute that she stopped eating and stopped speaking. She was duly diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attention Hyperactivity Disorder and very severe anxiety, of which selective mutism is a symptom.
In line with her Climate Change obsession, ASD symptoms can, though do not always, include unusual interests, high anxiety and hyperactivity. In general, however, ASD is marked by being very good at systematizing and very poor an empathising, meaning that ASD sufferers can be brilliant scientists but will have very poor social skills, unable to infer how others think. [The extreme male brain theory of autism, By Simon Baron-Cohen, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2002].
So why is Greta, who has been indirectly compared to autistics like Einstein and Newton, so accepting of what is essentially the Multiculturalism conventional wisdom? There are a number of reasons.
In other words, they can be diagnosed as ASD without conforming entirely to the “stereotype” of ASD. So, in this sense, ASD is the oversimplification of a variety of conditions and some psychologists have argued that the concept should be broken up. This is possibly true of Greta. [Is It Time to Give Up on a Single Diagnostic Label for Autism?, by Simon Baron-Cohen, Nature, May 4, 2018]
Anxiety is associated with being successful in the Arts, with being female [Personality, by Daniel Nettle, 2007], and with going through periods of fanaticism and religious fervor. [Primary personality trait correlates of religious practice and orientation, by P. Hills et al., Personality and Individual Differences, 2004]
However, eminent scientists—even of the genius kind—tend to be male and, anyway, relatively low in anxiety. It is the genius artists who are high in anxiety. [A meta-analysis of personality in scientific and artistic creativity, by G. Feist, Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1998]
So Greta’s phenomenal anxiousness—to the extent of selective mutism—would help to explain, despite her ASD traits, her inability to think in a purely logical way about the issue of Multiculturalism and climate change, at least at her young age when she is nowhere close to her “intelligence peak.” On this basis alone, you might think that responsible Leftists would leave Greta alone, so that she can avoid engaging in her teenage thoughts and juvenilia—which may well embarrass as she matures—in public. But you’d be wrong.
Indeed, the other key factor behind Greta’s activism is simply intelligence. Scientific geniuses combine high IQ with ASD traits. But IQ refers to your intelligence with reference to those of your own age. Intelligence is simply how good you are at problem solving and doing so quickly. Thus, a high IQ 4 year-old will obviously be less “intelligent” than an average IQ 40-year-old. This is not least because we reach our intelligence peak—the highest we ever score on intelligence tests—at around the age of 35, after which a slow cognitive decline sets in, partly because we literally become “slower”. [Acquisition and utilization of spatial information by elderly adults, by K. Kirasic, In L. Poon et al., Everyday Cognition in Adulthood and Later Life, 1989]
So, even with a high IQ, at sixteen Greta may not yet be “intelligent” enough see through the veil of deceit that constitutes aspects of the Climate Change Movement.
And to make matters worse, it is highly probable that Greta has very particular and narrow intelligence deficiencies, consistent with her atypical form of ASD. This is something that is true of many of the “geniuses” to which she is compared, by the way. They get lost, they can’t drive; they never learn to cook. They “need to be looked after”. [Geniuses are “vulnerable and fragile” and “need to be looked after”, By Bruce Charlton, Bruce Charlton’s Notions, November 18, 2014]
Manifestly, Greta is atypical-looking, to the extent that she hardly resembles her parents. Neurological disorders, whereby something has gone wrong early in development, tend to express themselves in minor physical abnormalities, as the developmental conditions have been suboptimal for all parts of the fetus and thus the brain. Greta has a noticeably small nose, narrow eyes, and a very wide face. These features are negatively associated with IQ and thus can also be seen in suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and, in a more pronounced way, sufferers from Down’s Syndrome [How to Judge People By What They Look Like, by Edward Dutton, 2018]. In addition to these, the key physical marker of FAS—which is characterized by autism, relatively low IQ [Autism in fetal alcohol syndrome: a report of six cases, by J. Nanson, Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 1992]] and hyperactivity —is short stature and a relatively flat philtrum, both of which are clearly true of Greta.
Thus, Greta—who certainly does not show clear evidence of cognitive impairment—possibly has Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (“pFAS”), something which can sometimes, alas, occur as a result of even the most modest use of alcohol during pregnancy. Mild FAS is associated with mild or very specific forms of cognitive impairment, meaning a sufferer can have a high IQ but be deficient in certain kinds of logic, especially relating to pure Math. There is, however, a degree to which such problems can get better with age, as people reach their cognitive peak.
So, proudly ASD Greta, who told the Guardian’s Damian Carrington that “I think in many ways we autistics are the normal ones and the rest of the people are pretty strange—especially when it comes to the sustainability crisis” is likely a Multiculturalism advocate because she is a very atypical autistic, has narrow cognitive deficiencies and, put simply, is young. But, as an autistic, she is naïve and has a burning sense of certainty.
Responsible people would thus avoid turning Greta into a Climate Change Joan of Arc. They would look after her and protect her from a social sphere that she finds difficult to understand precisely because her brain is so skewed towards the world of ideas and structures.
But Multiculturalists are quasi-religious fanatics, like those who allowed two gangs of children—led by the likely autistic Nicholas of Cologne and Stephen of Cloyes—to engage in the Children’s Crusade of 1212, resulting in many of the children dying of hunger and exposure.
We can only hope that the Left eventually leave Greta alone and allow her to grow up.
My guess: considering Greta’s obvious precocity and intellect, as she reaches her intelligence peak her obsessiveness, energy, and emotionless logic will be turned against the very ideas she now advocates—and against the very people who now exploit her.
Lance Welton [Email him] is the pen name of a freelance journalist living in New York.