TIME named Greta Thumberg, an over-indulged off-putting little punk-brat who didn’t go to China where the pollution she is against is coming from. She went where she’d be safe, America – where the air is cleaner than it was during the time of the Pharoah’s of Egypt long before the invention of the steam engine and the diesel engine and the gasoline engine and automobiles and trucks, inventions which contribute to the well-being of billions of people. Thunberg figured out how to stop going to school by using protests so she jumped on the bandwagon of the semi-literate and went to America to protest. A crazy, misinformed little urchin who should be grateful instead of annoyed at the many inventions that have made her life better including the massive yachts she used to cross the ocean. No candy for her. Thunberg is an avatar of “catastrophic thinking” who wrongly pushes doom and gloom. The media gives way too much weight to the opinions of teen activists, particularly when they protest about issues like climate change, gun violence in schools, income inequality, etc. As Ilya Somin said, young people—even ones who can credibly claim to have been especially harmed by some crisis—do not generally have special insights or strong knowledge of public policy. According to Somin:
The young, as a general rule, know less about government and public policy than other age groups. For that reason, they are less likely to have valuable insights on how to address difficult issues. …
It would be a mistake to dismiss policy proposals out of hand, merely because of the age of their adherents. But it is also a mistake to ascribe any special political wisdom to the young. The fact that large numbers of young people support a political cause adds little, if anything, to its merits.
The president said:
So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!
Thunberg is Time‘s Person of the Year, but that doesn’t make her claims about the future of the planet correct: We are not “in the beginning of a mass extinction,” and the world is not going to end in the next 10-12 years barring the adoption of her crazy radical ideas.
Adolf Hitler was Person of the Year in 1939. All this is to say that it really doesn’t matter who wins Person of the Year, so nobody should be too upset that this year it’s a 16-year-old off-putting nonsense spouting ragamuffin.