Last week, during the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in New York, a 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist named Greta Thunberg gave an accusatory speech toward ambassadors from across the globe. In this speech, she said how she should be in school and that the world leaders “come to” her before claiming that they stole both her “dreams and childhood” and calling their focus on economics as “fairytales.”

Personally, I am not all that impressed with her speech as it shows how selfish she is on her own views on how world leaders should focus more on the environment over actual issues (especially the economy), and after reading more about Thunberg’s background, I see her speech as a facade. Thunberg, who comes from a wealthy family (her grandfather is an actor and her mother is an opera singer), purposely skipped school to do a “school strike” to promote saving the environment.

At 16, while I had a focus on politics at the time (my views back then were very liberal), I didn’t skip school like Thunberg did to spread the word about a cause I cared for. Instead, I went to my classes due to how I was focused on having good enough grades and test scores to get into the college of my choice, since neither of my parents went to college.

Why on earth would she even mention that she should be in school when she purposely skips it just to do the same song and dance that other environmental activists have done?

Most importantly, I honestly hate the fact that what this teenage girl believes in is that government should have a stronger involvement with saving the environment, and that she is loved and defended by the socialist-loving members of the left.

If any of you recall my column on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, you may remember how I called it a pipe dream due to costs as well as its supporters’ way of trying to make carbon dioxide, a necessary natural gas, sound like a nightmare by only referring it by its chemical formula, CO2.

I remember saying how if anyone should do their part to protect the environment, it should be up to the individual in a voluntary way, and not forced by the government, which would be very costly to the taxpayers. Environmental activists, like Thunberg, and politicians who care about the environment, like Ocasio-Cortez, do not understand that to use government to save the planet is a horrible idea due to the costs and how involuntary it is for taxpaying citizens.

We can’t just get rid of anything considered harmful to the environment that is essential to everyday life, like gas-powered cars. To do so would be downright nonsensical. In current times, there are people who are slowly switching the alternate sources by their own choice to reduce their carbon footprint. That is how people should save the planet: BY THEIR OWN CHOICE!

If you think that every individual should do their part to help the environment by their own choice, like myself, you understand that relying on government to save the planet is as flawed as Thunberg’s UN speech. However, if you still believe that we need government to save the environment despite the negative impact it would bring to citizens and to their respective countries, then you need to sort out your priorities like Thunberg strongly needs to do.

Nolan Schmidt is an independent filmmaker, and serves as the County Chair for the Guadalupe County Libertarian Party.

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