Once again, TIME has chosen a reliably liberal recipient to be “Person of the Year.” The winner is 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has spent the past year appearing at rallies and giving speeches railing about the dangers of fossil fuels. At a 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland, Thunberg claimed not to “care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet."
In September, she spent two weeks sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in a zero-emissions yacht. Her destination was New York City for the United Nations Climate Action Summit. In a speech that made international headlines, Thunberg fulminated that world leaders “have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing.” She challenged world leaders to stop destroying the future for young people and to address a problem that they were ignoring. She said, “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!"
In response to this well-publicized speech, President Trump sarcastically tweeted, “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” In his comment, the President perfectly highlighted the hysterical nature of Thunberg’s remarks. In contrast, liberals loved that Thunberg was so passionate about climate change. It set the stage for her to receive even more speaking engagements and publicity. Thus, it was not a complete surprise that TIME would have bestowed this award on her.
TIME Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal called her the “biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet.” Possibly, TIME believes that Thunberg is the “biggest voice,” but others including Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro think that she is a “brat” because of her regular lectures directed at adults in leadership positions. Recently, Thunberg condemned the murder of two indigenous people in areas of the Amazon rainforest known for illegal logging. She tweeted, “Indigenous people are literally being murdered for trying to protect the forest from illegal deforestation.” Bolsonaro claimed that the illegal logging is being done by foreign governments and questioned why the media gives so “much space” to “this kind of 'pirralha,'" which is a Portuguese word for “brat.”
As far as climate change being the “biggest issue,” surely this is the mantra of the left, as it is viewed as almost a religion. However, in a recent Yale survey, climate change was not listed as a top concern to most Americans. The study showed that global warming ranked as the 15th most important issue out of a list of 28 possibilities. Hard-working Americans are more concerned about healthcare, the economy, education and crime. Climate change is not an immediate problem for Americans who are taking care of their families and careers.
Instead of addressing concerns of average Americans, TIME has shown its elitism once again by this selection. The choice might not register with most Americans, but liberal professors, journalists and Hollywood stars surely celebrated Thunberg’s selection. These activists can afford to obsess about climate change, but most Americans are too busy working.
Others who were considered for the award include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the CIA Ukraine whistleblower, the Hong Kong protesters and President Donald Trump. If TIME had been truly honest, Trump would have won the award this year. He has dominated the news unlike any other U.S. President in history.
Thunberg has had a fraction of the impact that Trump has had on the world. Unfortunately, TIME consistently refuses to bestow this award on conservatives. While Trump won it in 2016, he also should have won it in 2017 and 2018.
Donald Trump, Jr. blasted the award as a “marketing gimmick” and noted that TIME overlooked “the Hong Kong Protesters fighting for their lives and freedoms.” Trump, Jr. is right that the courageous people of Hong Kong have been true heroes this year. They displayed remarkable courage for standing up to the tyrannical regime in China to advocate for more autonomy for their region.
Not surprisingly, Thunberg has said absolutely nothing about China, a country that is known for massive pollution, abusing human rights, limiting freedoms, inhumane working conditions and doing very little to combat climate change. TIME should have given the award to President Trump or those Hong Kong protesters fighting real threats, such as Chinese communism. Instead, the award was given to a youngster who is promoting an elitist agenda which involves the transfer of massive amounts of wealth and is fighting a threat that many people, including renowned scientists, believe is not even real.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org