Environmental activist Greta Thunberg, of Sweden, addresses the Climate Action Summit in the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg, of Sweden, addresses the Climate Action Summit in the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow) Jason DeCrow

OUR SAY: Greta didn't win anyone over on climate debate

WHEN it comes to debate of any kind, there is a need for moderation.

As Greta Thunberg spoke to the United Nations about climate change last week, I wondered how many people who disagreed with her position she would win over.

I don't for one second suggest that climate change isn't something we should all be concerned about.

But the art of diplomacy is being able to share challenging ideas and have difficult conversations without resorting to hostility.

Ms Thunberg was given an honour when she was allowed to speak before the UN, but her address came across as aggressive and petulant.

There's nothing wrong with being angry or upset about climate change and the impact on our environment.

But in order to affect change, it is important to bring people to your side.

I don't think her address would have won the heart of one climate changer denier - or even anyone who is still on the fence.

I disagree vehemently with anyone who uses her Asperger's diagnosis or gender to mock her, or tries to use it to dismiss her views.

But I do think think her address was disrespectful, especially given the forum, and likely to drive climate deniers further into their beliefs.

When it comes to climate change, we need dispassionate discussion of the facts - the last thing we need is for the issue to become even more political.



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