Maybe Jeremy Clarkson Is Right About Greta Thunberg: She Is “Mad and Dangerous”

Jeremy Clarkson doubles down on comments about teen activist Greta Thunberg 1 photo
Photo: YouTube / ITV News
Jeremy Clarkson can be a major douche, in the most profoundly British way – which is an elegant way of saying he could speak the most offensive things and you’re still torn between feeling offended and mildly impressed by how articulate he is.
Clarkson is now on a promo tour, so expect to hear more of and from him in the coming days. The special The Grand Tour Presents: Seamen premieres this month, so he is making the media rounds to drum up interest in it. In the process, he’s also giving you his honest and unfiltered opinion on a variety of topics, climate change and Greta Thunberg’s activism among them.

To put it bluntly, Clarkson hates the 16-year-old Swedish activist. He previously branded her an idiot (his exact word) and a hypocrite for getting up on a pedestal to preach to the world about stuff she knows nothing about. He called her a spoiled brat and a pain in the neck, and even said he crapped his pants laughing at her now-famous “How dare you?” UN speech, when she admonished world leaders for not taking more proactive measures to fight climate change. He even blamed her for the demise of car shows and for youths’ lack of interest in cars.

In his most recent interview, with Australia’s Sunrise show, Clarkson talks about how he’s come to understand that climate change is real. He previously laughed about the topic and would only acknowledge it to crack jokes. But he hasn’t changed his mind about Greta, whom he now labels “mad and dangerous.”

“She is mad and dangerous and she is causing young children sleepless nights. I think she needs to go back to school and shut up,”
he says. “And I know there will be a load of kids go, ‘Ha, you see. There you are’. Fine. Now go to school, learn science and do something about it.”

This isn’t a new argument with Clarkson. Let’s play devil’s advocate for a second: since Greta became more or less an international celebrity, traveling the world by borrowed electric yachts (with backup diesel engines), Clarkson has been saying that positive change would entail her doing something more than just talking about climate change. More work, less talk.

Sure, Clarkson is an old man who’s picking virtual, one-sided fights with a teenager, a grown man who bullies a girl for doing that which she believes in. He is the typical bully, the one who keeps telling everyone else exactly what they should do – and how they must do it - in order for everything to be alright again. There is no extra space for anyone else to shine under Clarkson’s sun.

But maybe he has a point?

If kids talked less and acted less self-involved, and focused more on getting an education that would later help them to positively change the world, we would be better off. The older generations could pass the torch on to them, and finally chill knowing the world is protected. Because nothing ever gets done by just talking about it or by shouting at others who are actually doing something.

Climate change and the fate of our planet can’t be determined by chatting about it. Nor will they be impacted by kids’ traveling the world and yelling at politicians, or throwing “tantrums,” as Clarkson referred to Greta’s emotional outburst.

Action trumps words in every and all scenarios.

But we still need pioneers, people who are willing to take all the heat and the criticism (and the bullying), who are ready to put themselves through travel at sea for weeks on end, who are not afraid to stand up to the world’s politicians and scold them for not doing the job they said they would. Clarkson may make a valid point by saying kids should stay in school to learn science to save the world, but the world also needs someone like Greta.

Because if Clarkson’s generation doesn’t get the message loud and clear from someone like Greta, who is not afraid to shout and cry if that’s what it takes, no one will be motivated to act. For action to happen, the older generation has be intimidated and infuriated by the younger one. And this is exactly what’s happening right now. Devil’s advocate playtime over.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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