The father of teenage climate campaigner Greta Thunberg says he and his wife ‘stopped flying and went vegan to “save” their daughter rather than help the planet’, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that they were not ‘“not climate activists” but had made radical changes to their lifestyles after seeing the positive impact it had on their daughter’s mental health’; initially he ‘thought it was a “bad idea” when his then 15-year-old daughter put herself on the “front line” of the climate change battle’, although ‘he now worries she attracts “hate”’ (“‘We stopped flying to save our Greta, not the planet”’, Telegraph, December 31, 2019).

And yet far from an uphill struggle, Ms Thunberg has enjoyed nothing but obsequious adulation from politicians and opinion formers in the media; she has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and in 2019 alone addressed politicians and economists, including the World Economic Forum, the European Parliament, US Congress and the United Nations; this week she became ‘the youngest person to guest edit the flagship BBC programme’.

In a separate interview, she said that ‘her activism helped her depression. “A medicine is to become active”.’ Understandably, her parents are pleased to see her mental health improve, but is it really helpful for her to ‘medicate’ her anxiety and depression by making a great many other children anxious and depressed? Not to mention all those adults who are being bullied into feeling guilty for ‘trashing the planet’ with their ‘over-consumption’?

It has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the world – those of us who do not inhabit the BBC’s left-liberal bubble – that the most ardent advocates for the environment spend their time jetting around the world lecturing everyone else on their carbon footprint and telling the poor that they are having too many children. Chief among these is 93-year-old Sir David Attenborough, who is closely involved in population control in Africa, and whom Ms Thunberg interviewed on Today. He ‘praised’ her ‘on air’ – and no wonder, for she is providing a fresh new face for his age-old, backward-looking Malthusian pessimism.

Mr and Mrs Thunberg should be aware that they are not helping their daughter – or anyone else’s child – by backing her extraordinary rise to stardom as a prophetess of doom. It will not save her from anxiety, but give her even more to be anxious about. She believes she is saving the Planet, but who will save her? And who will save the rest of us from this miserable, misanthropic scare campaign to turn back time for the vast majority, even while the Really Important People retain their privileges? We can only hope that when the real cost of the green ‘solution’ to ‘climate change’ becomes apparent, people will begin to realise that they have been taken in by a teenage delusion, and have become ‘green’ in more ways than one.