It started as a quasi-religious movement, led by a few persuasive individuals who created an atmosphere of mass hysteria which infected the uneducated and intellectuals alike; then it became an intergovernmental affair, organised at the supranational level; but due to international rivalries and the failure to agree on objectives, it petered out. Its final manifestation was as a mass movement of children (egged on by adults) which ended in slavery or death by starvation for most of the participants.
I’m talking about the Crusades of course, of which the Children’s Crusade of 1212 was one of the last manifestations. From Wiki:
..there seem to have actually been two movements of people (of all ages) in 1212 in Germany and France. In the first movement, Nicholas, an eloquent shepherd from Germany tried to lead a group across the Alps and into Italy in the early spring of 1212. Nicholas said that the sea would dry up before them and allow his followers to cross into the Holy Land… Two out of every three people on the journey died, while many others returned to their homes. About 7,047 arrived in Genoa in late August. They immediately marched to the harbour, expecting the sea to divide before them; when it did not many became bitterly disappointed. A few accused Nicholas of betraying them, while others settled down to wait for God to change his mind… Nicholas refused to say he was defeated and .. he and a few loyal followers continued to the Papal States, where they met Pope Innocent III. ThePontiff exhorted them to be good and to return home to their families. Nicholas did not survive the second attempt across the Alps; back home his father was arrested and hanged under pressure from angry families whose relatives had perished while following the child.
The second movement was led by a twelve-year-old French shepherd boy named Stephen of Cloys, who said in June that he bore a letter for the king of France from Jesus. Large gangs of youth around his age were drawn to him, most of whom claimed to possess special gifts of God and thought themselves miracle workers. ..Although the Church was skeptical, many adults were impressed by his teaching… At the end of June 1212, Stephen led his largely juvenile Crusaders to Marseilles. They survived by begging for food, while the vast majority seem to have been disheartened by the hardship of this journey and returned to their families.
It’s tempting to see the current manifestations of infantile hysteria as a sign that the climate change movement is at its last CO2-emitting gasp. Andrew Montford and our own John Shade dealt with the subject five years ago in a GWPF paper entitled “Climate Control – Brainwashing in Schools” in which they trace the use of disturbing, misleading, and downright false information on environmental questions in schools dating back to the early seventies, and John Shade continues to cover the subject at his blog,
Why the movement should have finally led to a worldwide children’s crusade right now, with strikes planned in dozens of countries, is not clear. Since the indoctrination has been going on for three or four decades, one might ask: “Why did it take so long?”
The spark was certainly the publicity given to the 16-yearold Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, who started protesting outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018. According to the Guardian’s Damian Carrington reporting from COP 24 in Katowice on December 4th:
“The school strikes have spread to at least 270 towns and cities in countries across the world, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the US and Japan.”
He quotes Greta’s father, who is apparently a descendant of Svante Arrhenius, the Nobel-prize-winning scientist who in 1896 first calculated the greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide emissions:
Thunberg’s father was named after him, and said much of Arrhenius’s work has stood the test of time, but not everything. “He thought we’d be [at today’s levels of warming] in 2,000 years’ time,” said Svante Thunberg.
Suddenly, because of the strikes by schoolchildren, the climate change debate has returned to centre stage. As many as 200 kids demonstrated in Paris today, and the subject took up a good five minutes of the evening TV news. This is big.
Greta has been mentioned in 965 Guardian articles since September last year, if you can believe their search engine (which I don’t) including at least seven published in the past 24 hours:
Monbiot, to name but one, is in great form:
The Youth Strike 4 Climate gives me more hope than I have felt in 30 years of campaigning. Before this week, I believed it was all over. I thought .. that climate breakdown and ecological collapse were inevitable … we created a cannibal economy: we ate your future to satisfy our greed… ours is a society of altruists governed by psychopaths… we have bequeathed you a world that… may soon become uninhabitable. The disasters I feared my grandchildren would see in their old age are happening already.. But those of us who have long been engaged in this struggle will not abandon you… we will stand in solidarity with you. Though we are old and you are young, we will be led by you… Together, we will build a movement that must – and will – become irresistible.
I’m glad for George that he found someone to follow so late in life. It happens more often than you’d think – to St Paul and Friedrich Engels, for example. But they didn’t follow 16 year old girls with plaits.
I went hunting on the net for the actual words of Ms Thunberg, at her speech to the COP 24, for instance. The first thing I found was this article by her at the Guardian from November, in which she says:
I first learnt about climate change when I was eight years old. I learnt that this was something humans had created… I remember thinking it was very strange that we were capable of changing the entire face of the Earth and the precious thin layer of atmosphere that makes it our home.
Because if we were capable of doing this, then why weren’t we hearing about it everywhere?… If burning fossil fuels threatened our very existence, then how could we continue to burn them? Why were there no restrictions? Why wasn’t it illegal to do this? Why wasn’t anyone talking about the dangerous climate change we have already locked in? And what about the fact that up to 200 species are going extinct every single day?
I have Aspergers syndrome so, for me, most things are black or white. I look at the people in power and wonder how they have made things so complicated.
I may be the last person in the world to know that Greta suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. Am I the first to have asked themselves: if she can see things only in black and white, can she also see them in white and black? Does she ever look at the people in power and wonder how they have made things sound so simple?
[Svante Thunberg is an actor, who has appeared in a number of plays, including Thomas Tidholm’s Tralala-la.]