Greta Thunberg may be young, but her anti-capitalist ideas are old and played out

The teen activist just said the quiet part out loud.

Let’s just go ahead and admit the obvious: energy policy is not the most captivating part of the political system.

So Americans can be forgiven if they’ve failed to dig into the nuts and bolts of the agenda items behind climate change. However, for those of us who have managed to muddle through the quote-unquote “green” energy ideas of the Left, we can tell you first hand that they’d be better titled “red” energy policies (as in communism red).

Listen closely and you’ll quickly realize that climate change, at-large, is a bit of a trojan horse. 

That’s not to say climate change isn’t real. It is. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be concerned with caring for the world around us and conserving resources, we should. What I am saying is that the climate initiatives pushed by progressives would rarely make a dent in actual climate issues, and instead simply target capitalism.

Recently, teen puppet climate activist, Greta Thunberg, said that quiet part out loud.

At an event in London, Thunberg blamed climate change on a system of “colonialism, imperialism, oppression, genocide…and of racist, oppressive extractionism” carried out “by the so-called global North to accumulate wealth that still shapes our current world order.” She went on to say that this system is, “exploiting both people and the planet to maximize short-term profits for a few fortunates.”

Thunberg also called for a “system-wide transformation” and said “If economic growth is our only priority, then what we are experiencing now should be exactly what we should be expecting.” She repeatedly said we must move away from “normal” to address the threats she sees the climate posing.

Oh boy.

News outlets were quick to call out just how high-key crazy her categorization of capitalism was, and to lambast her utter lack of real solutions to the problems she unironically flies around raising the alarm on. On Twitter, Greta seemed to bristle at her media coverage from the event, but, she said what she said.

Do you see how they attempt to target capitalism in their pursuit of climate justice while entirely ignoring policy solutions that would actually address real concerns (like, I don’t know, quit flying around in private jets, or deregulate nuclear energy)?

That’s because, as I said, green energy is a trojan horse. Anyone who did even just a little digging would know that it is only thanks to capitalism that we care about the climate at all, and, that the most capitalist countries are actually the ones doing the most to combat it.

Put simply, poor people don’t have the time or energy to care about the climate. If you live in a developing nation where food is still scarce and you’re just trying to get a roof over your head, you aren’t sitting around thinking about the impact your coal burning fire might have on the environment, quite obviously. There is a hierarchy of needs and people cannot come to care about these kinds of long-term issues until their basic needs are met.

Capitalism has done more to lift people out of poverty than any other system known to man combined. In fact, 200 years ago, before the birth of capitalism, only around 60 million people in the world were not living in extreme poverty. Let that sink in. Since its implementation, that number has increased to over 6.5 billion, with a B. This is in spite of significant population growth at the same time.

As Forbes reports here, once a country becomes wealthy under capitalism, it then has the means and time to focus on things like climate change—which is why we actually see capitalist countries doing far more on this front than others.

“Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index (EPI) uses 16 indicators to rank countries on environmental health, air quality, water, biodiversity, natural resources and pollution. These indicators have been selected to reflect both the current baseline and the dynamics of national ecosystems. One of the Index’s most striking findings is that there is a strong correlation between a state’s wealth and its environmental performance. Most developed capitalist countries achieve high environmental standards. Those countries with the worst EPI scores, such as Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Chad and Niger, are all poor. They have both low investment capacity for infrastructure, including water and sanitation, and tend to have weak environmental regulatory authorities.”

So no, capitalism is not destroying the planet. In fact, it’s the hero of this story to date. And the reality is capitalism could be doing a lot more to solve the climate problems we do face if the government and little Karens-in-the-making took their grubby hands off the free market and let it get to work developing nuclear energy.

Greta may be young, but her ideas are old and played out.

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Hannah Cox
Hannah Cox
Hannah Cox is a libertarian-conservative writer and co-founder of BASEDPolitics. She's also the host of the BASEDPolitics podcast and an experienced political activist.