Coronapanic proved Greta Thunberg right

“Greta Thunberg to UN: ‘You’ve stolen my childhood with your empty words'” (DW, September 23, 2019):

“You come to us young people for hope. How dare you?” a visibly angry Thunberg told the high-level audience gathered for the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.

You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing,” thundered the 16-year-old Swedish girl, who has galvanized youth across the world to mobilize against climate change.

This was a debatable point at the time, but just six months later children around the world were cut off from their playgrounds, their friends, and their schools (i.e., most of their “childhood”)! Bizarrely, one of the only countries where this did not happen is Sweden, home of infidels who reject the True Church of Shutdown.

So… Greta Thunberg might turn out to be wrong regarding atmospheric physics, just as the academic researchers who’ve gotten grants for climate modeling may turn out to be wrong (Cato article on a paywalled Nature paper). But I think she got the generational dynamics correct! Given the chance to cut their personal risk of contracting Covid-19 by a percentage point or two, older adults had no difficulty deciding to rob children of their childhood. (And when coronapanic is over, it will be time to for Boomers to go shopping for a new pavement-melting SUV!)

Readers: What’s your best guess as to when children get their childhood back? Folks here in thoroughly plagued Massachusetts are saying that they do not expect schools to reopen in September. The general public will demand protection from child-to-child spreading, even if there are few examples of this documented by the countries that are good at contact tracing. Teacher unions will seek to keep the 100% pay/5% hours/0% commute system that is currently working for them. Children will not get a vote. New York City is saying “50/50” on whether they reopen.


  • NYT on Denmark’s April reopening of schools: “instead of arriving through a single entrance, pupils must enter through several side doors, depending on the location of their classroom.” (here in Lincoln, Massachusetts, the school that is about to be torn down and rebuilt ($110 million for 440 town-resident kids) actually has a door from every classroom to the outside; this was eliminated in the new design on the grounds that it would make the school a more defensible fortress against an armed attacker (if the students couldn’t get out except through a central hallway?), so the new school building, in addition to having a lot less fresh air (“Net Zero”) won’t be as ready for plague times)
  • “Greta Thunberg is donating $100,000 to help children affected by coronavirus pandemic” (CNN)
  • the Swiss health ministers say that “scientists had concluded that young children did not transmit the virus” and therefore they’re reopening schools; righteous American climate change #resisters will say “the science isn’t settled” on this one? (BBC)
  • “Should schools reopen? Kids’ role in pandemic still a mystery” (Science, May 4, 2020) (but there is no mystery to the paychecks that keep arriving in adult teachers’ and school administrators’ mailboxes!)

7 thoughts on “Coronapanic proved Greta Thunberg right

  1. I certainly don’t agree with everything in this book, but it is well-written, well-researched, and thought-provoking:

    A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America

    The thesis is that distinctions between Democrats and Republicans are far less important than inter-generational differences, and that the Baby Boomers always win every fight, leaving future generations to pay their debt and to pay for their mistakes.

  2. my best guess is most schools will be more or less “normal” in September.

  3. Maybe there was a plausible threat at the beginning but now this is nothing but a pysop. 9/11 times 10 for generation Z. You must live in fear and solitude. Plus economic warfare on non gov’t workers. On the bright side in many ways it is going to be an own goal. They’ve destroyed their commie breeding grounds, nearly half of Harvard’s undergraduates claim they will take a year off if classes are online in September. I’m sure lesser (in marketing) schools are going to lose more.
    Can’t wait to go food shopping tomorrow since I refuse to wear a humiliation mask I have loads of fun chatting with the dumb scared Karens.

  4. Me I don’t know nothing about this atmosphere physics stuff but the circumstantial evidence for global warming seems rather strong.

  5. Such a nattering nabob of negativism Phil. In this morning’s in box there is a letter from none other than Richard Carranza, the NYC school Tsar that the NYC school system has entered into some sort of agreement with Zoom that NYC school classes can now be on line. So after about two months of junior hanging around doing not much he apparently at some point in the not too distant future will be able to attend on line classes. The letter does not give a date but you know Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  6. > Readers: What’s your best guess as to when children get their childhood back?

    That means they have to leave home to go to school, along with their teachers and parents/nannies/caregivers. Yesterday it was revealed that most of the recently hospitalized in NYC were locked down at home, or locked down at nursing homes or assisted living facilities. 88% of them, in fact (66% older, 18% nursing home, 4% assisted living).

    “This is a surprise: Overwhelmingly, the people were at home,” he added. “We thought maybe they were taking public transportation, and we’ve taken special precautions on public transportation, but actually no, because these people were literally at home.”

    Check this graph:

    Stay Home! That’s where all the sick people are coming from!

    If all these home-bound, lock-downed, and otherwise sequestered people got COVID-19, it’s a pretty good bet that all the other people who are staying at home are getting it too, they’re just not being hospitalized or dying from it. By the time September rolls around, it’s going to be very difficult to argue that keeping schools closed will do anything helpful to stop the spread, if it isn’t already.

    Separately: “He also said a majority of the cases in New York City are minorities, with nearly half being African American or Hispanic. ”

    Well that makes a lot of sense, since NYC is majority minority, as you’ve pointed out many times.

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