What’s worse than Greta’s lot on their wave of juvenile piety?

World

What’s worse than Greta’s lot on their wave of juvenile piety?

Young activists may even be forgiven for their contradictions and lack of self-awareness – but not the fawning adults

Jemima Lewis

There are few sensations more discomfiting to a woolly centrist than agreeing with Vladimir Putin.

“I don’t share the common excitement about the speech by Greta Thunberg,” sniffed the Russian president last week. “No one has explained to Greta that the modern world is complex and diverse. People in Africa or in many Asian countries want to live at the same wealth level as in Sweden. Go and explain to developing countries why they should continue living in poverty.”

What a state of affairs this is, when a constitutional despot is the only person brave enough to speak truth to a frowning teenager. Not one of the adults in the room managed so much as a politely demurring cough when Thunberg made her now-famous speech to the UN, accusing the older generation of “betraying” the young. How they whooped and clapped, like ingratiating courtiers at the feet of an intemperate queen, as she dished out her final warning: “If you choose to fail us, we will never forgive you.”..

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