Is Greta Thunberg a passive activist

Column "indent" : Why Greta Thunberg's “How dare you” is justified

Klaus Brinkbäumer was most recently editor-in-chief of “Spiegel” and now works as an author for “Die Zeit”, among others. He writes his weekly column on language and politics for the Tagesspiegel.

When a relationship between parents and their child is given the time to mature, it changes and becomes round. This also applies to communication, an instrument of every relationship. In the beginning babies bubble sounds like "bwww", and the parents believe in the uniqueness of this being and also make "bwww". From then on it becomes more difficult.

Children learn to speak, read, write, become teenagers. There are cords cut and rebellion, big demands and dreams and reality, there are phases of closeness and silence, and of course at some point there are memories, there were mistakes, there are reproaches.

Why did the father never talk about love or other feelings? Why was the son so harsh, why did he withdraw? If things go well, children and parents understand each other at the end of the common path, are reconciled and then the children help the elderly parents.

Greta Thunberg, 16, said the half-sentence of the year to the United Nations: "How dare you." "How can you ...", she said and meant a lot: knowing about the climate crisis since the 1980s and staying passive; still talking about eternal economic growth; rob us children of the future.

The child took on a mother role here in New York last Monday. It rebuked, educated. Thunberg was strict and angry and free: She didn't want any warmth (the applause irritated her), she doesn't want to become anything or compromise, she just wants adults to explain and act on the climate crisis as the most important of all topics. This radicalism is childishly naive and in this specific case the only adult position.

That Greta Thunberg became a pop star is irrelevant

Angela Merkel then had a photo of herself and Thunberg posted, not the other way around. Donald Trump mocked Thunberg via Twitter and complained that he had to get a Nobel Prize "for many things". Which of the two is the child? The “Breitbart” columnist John Nolte asked grandfather if Greta needed “a beating or a psychological intervention”.

Greta Thunberg has changed the communication between the generations and their relationship at the same time. It has just been a year since she sat lonely in Stockholm with this now famous poster: “Skolstrjk för klimatet!” The fact that she became a pop star with her braids, her seriousness and her smile may be descriptive, but it is incidental. What matters is what they and those who are on the streets on Fridays want.

You were born after the turn of the millennium. You will experience the year 2050, 2070, 2090. There is always talk of the two-degree target, but global warming does not stop there. In the year 2100, if CO2 emissions are not stopped, the earth may have warmed up by seven degrees. My son may have a good chance of turning a hundred in February 2119. Who will then be able to live where on earth?

"Shame on you", the sentence our grandparents used to say to our parents when they were children

These children, who skip school on Fridays and demonstrate, know that they need their parents. Only today's parents can change social systems and ways of life; only they have political power.

[You can reach our author at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Brinkbaeumer.]

“Ashamed of yourselves” is a sentence that our grandparents once said to our parents; back when our parents were children. Language changes, which is one of the reasons why communication between generations is so difficult.

But this sentence is back. Today our children say “Shame on yourselves” to us. They know and we know that they are right.
And now it's time.

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