Based on Nobel Prize Insider, Greta Thunberg May Have Already Cost Herself the Award by Shaming Air Travelers


Arriving in New York on an emission-free yacht instead of an airplane, 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg took the green movement by storm in August.

The New York Times described Thunberg’s trip as “a 15-day sail that was obsessively tracked by European news media, cheered by fellow climate activists, [and] mocked by critics.”

A few weeks later, Thunberg made her U.N. debut with more media coverage than even the President of the United States received.

Cloying as some found Thunberg’s speech, it was at least a diversion from the establishment media’s hypnotically beaten Trump-Ukraine war drum.

And divert it did. Buzz about a potential Nobel Prize began, and by Wednesday, Thunberg had bagged a nomination. Big stuff for a 16-year-old.

PGA Tour Golfer Dies a Day After Suddenly Withdrawing from Tournament

But in a remarkable irony, the same aggressive, impetuous approach to her activism could leave Thunberg high and dry when award night comes in December.

At least that’s what Sverre Lodgaard, a former deputy member of the Nobel award committee seems to think.

Speaking to Reuters, Lodgaard said, “The problem is that the principle of ‘flight shame’ brings her chances … down. Shame is not a constructive feeling to bring about change,” Business Insider reported.

If you haven’t heard of flight shame, don’t worry. You haven’t missed out on another fun environmentalist fad.

Do you think Thunberg's "flight-shaming" is a profitable tactic?

The flight shame movement (or flygskam in Swedish) aims to reduce pollution by reducing air travel and to reduce air travel by shaming those who — you guessed it — travel by air.

The movement started in Sweden, Thunberg’s home country.

According to the BBC, flygskam is a movement that “suggests that people should feel embarrassed or ashamed to take planes because of the negative impact they have on the environment.”

Thunberg’s solar yacht trip to the United States was viewed by some as a form of flight-shaming.

And that, for Lodgaard, is where the rubber meets the road. The committee may pass by Thunberg because her tactics aren’t sufficiently “constructive.”

Pete Buttigieg Says He's Found Source of Rash of Troubled Flights: 'Climate Change'

Talk about irony. Climate change activism often offers little in the way of constructive solutions. Yet this young environmentalist blasted her audience instead of playing to their feelings.

The question, then, is whether Thunberg did more harm than good — for both her chances of winning a Nobel Prize and her prospects of converting people to her cause.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, ,
Josh Manning is deputy managing editor for assignment at The Western Journal. He holds a masters in public policy from Harvard University and has a background in higher education.
Josh Manning grew up outside of Memphis, TN and developed a love of history, politics, and government studies thanks to a life-changing history and civics teacher named Mr. McBride.

He holds an MPP from Harvard University and a BA from Lyon College, a small but distinguished liberal arts college where later in his career he served as an interim vice president.

While in school he did everything possible to confront, discomfit, and drive ivy league liberals to their knees.

After a number of years working in academe, he moved to digital journalism and opinion. Since that point, he has held various leadership positions at The Western Journal.

He's married to a gorgeous blonde who played in the 1998 NCAA women's basketball championship game, and he has two teens who hate doing dishes more than poison. He makes life possible for two boxers -- "Hank" Rearden Manning and "Tucker" Carlson Manning -- and a pitbull named Nikki Haley "Gracie" Manning.
MPP from Harvard University, BA from Lyon College
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, tiny fragments of college French
Topics of Expertise
Writing, politics, Christianity, social media curation, higher education, firearms