Named and shamed, as it were. According to the Guardian article :
A tiny species of beetle discovered more than 50 years ago has been named after environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg. Scientists at the Natural History Museum in London have officially called the insect Nelloptodes Gretae to honour the 16-year-old Swedish activist’s “outstanding contribution” in raising global awareness of climate change.
The way she lowers her antennae in a frown and grits her mandibles into a sulk whenever she encounters a predator made her a cinch for the Franz Kafka award for best imitation of an invertebrate.
The arthropod, which has no eyes or wings, is less than 1mm long..
..So at least its appearances on the world’s media will be mercifully short.
Dr Michael Darby, a scientific associate at the Natural History Museum, said: “I chose this name as I am immensely impressed with the work of this young campaigner and wanted to acknowledge her outstanding contribution in raising awareness of environmental issues…
“..and not at all because I wanted to get my name in the papers. Greta’s announcement that she no longer had any interest in studying science, because it’s all been done, is an example to young people everywhere.”
Dr Max Barclay, senior curator in charge of Coleoptera at the Natural History Museum, said: “The name of this beetle is particularly poignant since it is likely that undiscovered species are being lost all the time, before scientists have even named them, because of biodiversity loss – so it is appropriate to name one of the newest discoveries after someone who has worked so hard to champion the natural world and protect vulnerable species…”
..and who is likely to disappear herself soon, once the inexorable media struggle for survival of the fittest, coupled with the hormonal changes of adolescence, kick in. Will biodiversity loss put paid to the plaits as well as the platypus?
Thunberg was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, which was awarded to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Who, unlike the scowling runner-up, is longer than one millimetre, and can claim to have done some good in the world.
The Guardian article of the same name as this article seems somewhat peeved that this man of colour has pipped the tiny beetle to the post for this prestigious prize. We all have our blind spots, but some of us are equipped with an intelligence superior to that of a minuscule wingless arthropod or the curator of a major museum. Not that it will do us much good in the struggle for survival.