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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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