There is something about the cry of a child that adults immediately react to
No matter how civilised we like to think we are, humans are essentially still just cave people, albeit cave people with fancy clothing, table manners (some of us) and cellphones.
Our basic biological imperatives remain the same: take what is mine and I'll hit you; seek physical and emotional security; kill that which threatens you - nothing changes. The cry of a child puts adults on edge, millennia of evolution have conditioned us to rush to the defence of a threatened child, it's how we have survived. Men out there will be able to relate: the scream of a women in distress has the same spine-chilling effect that immediately mobilises you into action.
Our caveman inner-self is only ever a veneer of civilisation away, and all it takes to bring our animalistic proto-self to the fore is some pressure.
But this isn't a post about biology, psychology and the evolution of humanity - it's a post that's making a point: that we are conditioned to react to a child in distress.
There is something about the cry of a child that adults immediately react to...
...and there are those who would abuse that
So when little Greta Thunberg stands in front of the world and berates world leaders on the topic of climate change - ask yourself "What is really happening?"
This is not another pro-Greta/anti-Greta post, there are already FAR too many of those! Read on...
Back in 1990
Prior to the Gulf War, a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl stood up and testified in front of the United States Congressional Human Rights Caucus. Her name was Nayirah, and what she said came to be known as the "Nayirah Tesitmony". You can watch it below if you like, but I'll tell you the important parts.
Nayirah spoke of her time in Kuwait and what she had seen there. She spoke of her sister and her infant nephew and the harsh conditions they faced. She spoke of helping in a hospital, and then she ripped at the heartstrings of the world:
The child cried:
Nayirah testified as to what she had seen in the hospital: Iraqi soldiers taking babies out of incubators and leaving them to die on the ground.
🚨🚨🚨 *** ADULTS ON ALERT - DEFENSIVE SYSTEMS ENGAGED *** 🚨🚨🚨
She went on to speak about torture, anti-American sentiment and ended with a hint that Kuwait could be rebuilt.
Nariyah's testimony went global. Remember, this was pre-global internet, we still relied on the mass media for information (as many still do today). Medialink sent footage of the testimony to over 700 US TV stations, including ABC and NBC. Her story reached tens of millions of Americans that night.
It was everything that Bush needed. Armed with collaborative information from the UK based Amnesty International, it provided the justification to push ahead with a large military response.
The child lied:
There was just one problem with what Nariyah said: it wasn't true.
Nariyah's testimony was prepared by PR company Hill & Knowlton who allegedly "provided witnesses, wrote testimony, and coached the witnesses for effectiveness." 
Amnesty International later retracted their support, the Human Rights Watch denied that any babies had ever been removed from incubators, and while it was acknowledged that some babies in hospitals had died, it emerged that this was due to medical staff fleeing the area and leaving them behind - not nearly as effective a propaganda tool as stories of babies being taken from incubators by Iraqi soldiers.
Worst of all, Nariyah, the poor Kuwaiti girl who had so far only ever been identified by her first name, was found to be Nayirah al-Ṣabaḥ, the daughter of Saud Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United States.
The adults had played the child, so that the child could play the adults.
Both were successful.
Enter Stage Left: Greta Thunberg
How many of you were asked to address the UN at age 16?
I wasn't. Bit Brain is Bit Brain, I was just as smart at 16 as what I am now; less experienced, but no less intelligent. Nobody ever asked me to address them - ever. But hey, let's play fair, I wasn't exactly asking for attention either. But others were...
I had other kids in my class, more outgoing than I was, more environmentally concerned, more experienced in public speaking. They DID ask! For example: one girl started an environmental club from scratch, she was a particularly industrious individual, charismatic and with no lack of brain power of her own. She did her best and her club had minor successes, but not in her wildest dreams would she ever have considered addressing the UN - such things simply don't happen to 16-year-olds.
...unless somebody powerful makes it happen.
*POOF* in a puff of smoke Greta Thunberg appears before the world. The child cries, and adults react.
And react some more.
Some stop and ask "why?", "how?" - an attempt at seeing the truth, but an anticipated attempt - and one which plays into the hands of the manipulators.
And suddenly social media is awash with Greta stories and the whole world hops on an eco-conscious high horse. Climate change moves to the fore and people literally take to the streets in support of Greta. On the flip-side of the coin, staunch capitalists reject what Greta has to say, grabbing the testimony of anti-climate change scientists and pointing out all the other evils of the world where money could be better spent (committing a variety of logical fallacy transgressions as they do so).
The debate RAGES!
The environmentalists know they are right. They know that global warming is real. They know about pollution, CO2, the loss of rain-forests and the extinction of animals. They know we can't eat money and that the world is growing more and more toxic by the day - as is plain for anyone with half a brain cell to see if they look at the difference between now and 200 years ago.
The anti-environmentalists know they are right. They know that Greta is somebody's pawn. They know that 16-year-olds don't address the UN unless somebody has something to gain. They know that CO2 helps plants grow and that for people to survive they need money, and to make money you need to develop your economy.
Both groups are right.
Wait, let me rephrase that...
Both groups are WRONG!
The effect of Greta's argument has been this: it's polarised society. People are either strongly for her or strongly against her, the middle ground is practically non-existent. I know, I'm standing on that middle ground, and it's a very small and very lonely patch of Earth!
It's human nature
Back to our caveman selves: the human brain grabs what it likes and rejects that which it doesn't. So while either of the two groups may start out right, they soon lose the plot and grab onto anything which seems to foster their own argument, rejecting that which does not. If I see another person deny that CO2 levels have risen remarkably since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, then I fear that I may have to beat them over the head with their own arm - freshly ripped from their body by an angry Bit Brain. If I see one more fool confuse natural climate cycles with sudden man-made global warming, then I am going to force the aforementioned arm down their throats. The same applies to the Greta supporters who don't even bother to ask themselves the uncomfortable question: "How the hell did an unknown kid grab the kind of international attention that not even celebrities or presidents can usually attain?"
Whether you are for Greta or against her, here is the truth, here is what I observe from the middle ground:
YOU ARE BEING PLAYED
Do you know what a distraction is? You should, because by engaging in this "debate", you are part of one.
Greta, and the whole debate around her, is a smokescreen. She is there to bring climate change to the fore, she is there to make people angry, she is there to raise emotions and to create a little chaos. And you're all playing your assigned parts beautifully!
Right or wrong?
I don't wish to go into the climate debate now, any more than what I wish to go into the invasion of Iraq. Let me say this: climate change IS real, but don't for a moment think that those "leaders" who oppose it are doing so for any reason other than for personal gain.
Same story as in Iraq: there was good reason to stop Hussein, the tens of thousands of murdered Kurds lying in mass graves being just one. But the real reason the US went in there was because of oil. Had Kuwait been know for its production of apples instead of oil, it's doubtful that the US would have reacted as it did. In order to get the public in the required anti-Iraqi frame of mind, Nariyah was used, and non-existent WMDs (remember those?), and a non-existent Iraqi "Super-Gun" (remember that?) etc. It's all a matter of propaganda. (See the links at the end of the article.)
There is merit to the arguments of both sides, but to get lost in those arguments is to miss the point.
Here is what is happening behind the scenes:
Forget the arguments. You WISH there was a simple right/wrong answer to something like climate change! The fact is that it's an interrelated web of economics/population growth/politics/wealth distribution/technology/ecology and you can't simply create a one-solution-fits-all-scenarios solution to it! Such a solution can not exist!
Somebody has to win, and somebody has to lose.
...which is why we now see Greta.
The pro-Greta point-of-view is the easier one to understand: we need to stop polluting because we are killing the environment and leaving nothing for the future. Okay. Fine. Stop polluting. Got it.
The anti-Greta point-of-view is trickier. I think that the majority of the anti-Greta camp don't really understand what they are being misdirected towards. Greta is a Western phenomenon: a Western kid trending on Western media. A Western world problem sold to the West by Western media. The ire of the anti-Greta camp is not being drummed up to oppose pollution in Western states, it's being stimulated in order to use as a weapon against the East...
Demonising the enemy
Demonising the enemy is an age old tactic in warfare, it's used in practically every major conflict. No sane soldier likes to kill people, in fact, a soldier feels good when he (or she) can protect people from harm. That is why soldiers are led to believe that their adversaries are less than human: it's why (to Americans) Vietnamese soldiers were not men and women, but "gooks", it's why (in World War II) Jews were not citizens, but big-nosed devils seeking to plunder the fatherland.
Obviously it's okay to kill a devil who started a war and who sits upon the skeletons of those he conquered while counting his money, you're only defending yourself against him! Hell, better kill his kids while you're at it, they'll grow up to be just like him! And so we justify the atrocities we commit against one another - because our humanity can simply be switched off by our "leaders" when they choose to do so.
And as with the Greta saga, most people won't even question this logic.
The target in this case, the demon, is the East. Specifically: it's China.
This is to be expected. A major trade war at the moment indicates just where Western interests currently lie and the lengths they are prepared to go to to foster their own agendas. Actually, that doesn't even begin to start to explain the lengths to which they will go, which is where Greta comes in.
The Greta debate/smokescreen is generating anger and hostility. These negative feelings need an outlet - a target - and one is being presented to them. The pro-Greta movement need emissions reduced and the environment to be saved. The anti-Greta movement need to shift the blame to somebody other than themselves. The two movements find common ground when China becomes the enemy...
But meanwhile, the debate rages so furiously that few see the demonisation of China even taking place. Hey, who cares if a billion rural Chinese have no access to power, as long as the environment is safe, right? I wonder how long it will be before they just become "gooks" as well...
The US is losing ground to China. While communism is often (and rightly) vilified, it has allowed the Chinese government to make and implement plans over a period of decades, as opposed to the short-term five-year max planning of the Western world (the typical period between elections). Sure I hate communism, but I damn well hate representative democracies too! (See the links to "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" and "Decentralised Victories" at the end of this article for an explanation as to why I say that.)
Feeling the upper hand slowly slip from its grasp, the US (and its Western allies - specifically the EU) needs to try to repress Chinese advancement and restore its unchallenged position at the top of global economics. (Spoiler alert: it won't succeed.)
It's latest weapon in the war of economics is climate change: with a 16-year-old Swedish girl being the pawn who is (unknowingly) firing the shots.
But won't the US be shooting itself in the foot too?
No. Because (as the anti-Greta movement will very quickly point out), US carbon emissions are in decline, while China's are growing. In fact (as they will also point out) China now produces considerably more carbon emission than the US does.
Bad China! Good USA!
Because, as I said earlier, there is no single solution that applies to all cases.
The US is a developed country, its citizens enjoy one of the highest living standards on Earth. The average US resident is "rich" compared to the global norm. The US can afford the luxury of investing extensively in expensive renewable and environmentally friendly energy. China can't.
China is a country that is still growing. It has a lot of wealth, but it also has about 20% of the world's population - most of whom are extremely poor. Despite Western reports to the contrary, China does invest extensively in renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources, but it is in no position to turn away from coal and other pollutants - not without starving about one billion people!
Put in simple terms: The US can afford to become far more environmentally friendly than what China can, and it's using this to make China look like the "bad guy".
It has no right to do so.
I don't like the fact that China pollutes so much, I hate it! I don't like that it's let its population explode to such a degree. But like it or not, that is the current situation, and we have to deal with it as it is now.
But while the US points fingers, those who are so quick to jump on the anti-China bandwagon would do well to see that they are begin played - again!
You see, when comparing apples, make sure that you compare them with other apples! The first thing that you will never see the anti-China movement mention is that per capita carbon dioxide emission statistics put the US in a position FAR WORSE than China! According to these 2017 statistics, the US produces 15.7 tons of CO2 per person per year, compared to China's 7.7, that's more than double! No, the finger pointers will stick to total emissions, which play in their favour.
But they're only in their favour because the US is an already developed country. Is it fair to suddenly tell all the undeveloped and developing countries that they must conform to First-World emission norms when they haven't had the chance to grow their own economies yet? Sure, technology is available today, but it comes at a price! Were the global distribution of wealth to be more equitable, then the Western powers would have an argument, but it isn't - so they don't. Instead, the wealth lies firmly in the grasp of the already developed countries: those who already developed, already polluted, already made their money. How can they now say to the others: "we're fine now, we're going green, you guys are not allowed to develop at the cost of the environment as we once did"?
Once again I remind you: I'm not speaking in favour of anyone here, I'm merely showing you how the finger-pointing happens.
The graph below is one you will typically see the anti-China group use: the accompanying text being something along the lines of: "look how the US and Europe are reducing emissions while China is increasing theirs to record levels!"
Looking at the graph you can see that that is true; but what else can you see? Well for starters, let's remember that China has about four times as many people as the US does, that already throws the "bad China" theory out the window. Then we remember that China is still developing, then we remember how much damage the US and Europe have already done in their time.
Put into perspective, this is the total CO2 produced by China thus far:
And here is what the US has produced:
Compare the size of the shaded areas. Compare the countries respective population sizes. Who is the "bad guy" now? Don't forget the EU in all of this: sure, 100 million tons of carbon is nothing by today's standards, but when you were producing that in 1865, while the rest of the world combined were virtually on "0", then you an appreciate how the EU got such a massive head start back in the low population world. Should other people be denied that opportunity now?
The fact that we now see Greta in front of the UN tells us that there is political will to put her there, which in turn tells us that big money wants her to be seen there. That in turn tells us that big money stands to profit from a move towards green technology, which then tells us that big money now owns solar companies, hydroelectric equipment suppliers, wind turbine manufacture plants etc. If big money didn't stand to gain from this, then you wouldn't see Greta. Evidently it is now the plan of the West to move towards clean energy, a drive being made possible thanks to a newly concerned public who are being sheeped into that direction (probably far too late to actually save the Earth!). You can bet your bottom dollar that renewable energy is going to be ballooning into (and is already becoming) the next multi-trillion dollar industry.
If it wasn't, then a 16-year-old kid would never have made it to the UN on her own merits. The cry of the child would not have been heard.
Greta is there to stir up attention, to cause the ecology debate to hit centre stage on the global agenda. Her supporters ensure that.
The opposition to Greta is there to direct the focus, to shift the responsibility of climate change and pollution off the West, and onto the East.
This is done is an attempt to suppress Eastern development, and therefore competition, as the Western world continues to lose ground to the likes of China, India and Russia. This is also done to make a few very rich people even richer - with taxpayer money - as Western governments invest in green energy. The big money scores double - and all it cost them was a little PR effort for a 16-year-old kid.
The environment is in danger, REAL danger. Unfortunately, no matter what we do at this stage, people will suffer. Ignoring environmental consequences sets up a nightmare scenario for future generations: for Greta, her children and their children. For undeveloped countries to attempt to go fully green now they will be forced to neglect and starve many of their current citizens - cue rioting, international condemnation, instability etc. I tell you again, there is no quick and easy fix.
The fact is simply that the world is overpopulated - grossly so. As long as the caveman breeding instinct continues to triumph over common sense and forward planning, our children will be doomed to suffer a life on a planet with increasingly limited resources.
I honestly don't know if the green revolution can come in time to save this planet. It can't happen all at once, for reasons already stated above. It also can't stem the tide of humans breeding like flies, that too needs to stop if we are to survive as a species. What I do know is this: people now seek to make money from green energy. The West seeks to put the blame for climate change on the East. Greta is just a very visible part of that process. You're being manipulated. You're being played.
There is something about the cry of a child that adults immediately react to.
If you are looking for more information in this regard, or if you are having difficulty relating to what I have written, or feel that more evidence is required to support what I have said today, then ensure that you read these too:
Propaganda and Patriotism: (very relevant when kids are used as media pawns)
The link between Money, Government and the Media:
Wikipedia article on the Nayirah testimony
Yours in crypto (which can hopefully help a little with this mess)
 The Global Public Relations Handbook, Revised and Expanded Edition: Theory, Research, and Practice ~ Sriramesh Krishnamurthy & Vercic Dejan; Taylor & Francis, 2009
Featured image from Wikimedia Commons
Footnote: I considered breaking this article into two or three parts, but decided not to split it and break the logical flow. I realised that if somebody was not going to make it all the way through, then they probably weren't the kind of person who was going to make it halfway through anyway.
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