Next week, Winchester University in Britain will unveil a bronze statue of Greta Thunberg that cost £23,760 ($32,792.48 U.S.) amid student outrage. Winchester University has laid off a tenth of its staff and made cuts to library services. Both the Student Union (SU) and the University College Union (UCU) have slammed the statue.
“There is a crippling mental health crisis amongst students, and wellbeing services are crying out for additional support. In our view, the unveiling of this statue next week shows that these issues are not their priorities,” the SU declared in a statement, Sky News reported.
The Winchester branch of the UCU has claimed that the statue is a “vanity project” for outgoing vice-chancellor Joy Carter who will step down in March after 15 years at the university. The statement noted that “this has come after several years of austerity by the University of Winchester that have witnessed job cuts, increased workloads and attempts to extend casualisation.”
“The statue was commissioned in 2019, however since then there have been library cuts, two staff redundancy schemes and there is also a mental health crisis among students,” SU President Megan Ball told Sky News. “We have urged the university to consider the timing of the unveiling and to pause it; students are angry and frustrated.”
“They can’t decommission it and that money has been spent but students should have the opportunity to see how their money is being spent,” Ball argued. She called for the university to match funds spent on the Thunberg statue with student refunds for housing and mental health services.
The university commissioned the Greta Thunberg sculpture as an “inspiration for all students” in 2019.
“The statue is a symbol of our commitment to take transformative action to combat the climate emergency,” Joy Carter, the vice-chancellor, said in a statement. “We hope this statue will be an inspiration for future generations to stand with Greta, take inspiration from her life-saving message and urgently make a difference in the world.”
This virtue-signaling pablum proved nauseating even for the students and staff at the university.
Tragically, Greta Thunberg has become the poster child for a fake climate crisis based on computer models that have repeatedly predicted a disaster that has stubbornly failed to come to pass. While it stands to reason that releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere may impact global climate, the earth’s constantly changing climate is far too complex for any accurate predictions.
Americans, and humans in general, should minimize pollution and take good care of the environment, but the Chicken Little narrative about carbon emissions bringing about the apocalypse has inspired very negative public policy and provided socialists with an excuse to try to take over the economy. At the same time, climate financiers in a Climate-Industrial Complex are looking to capitalize on Greta Thunberg’s activism.
Greta Thunberg isn’t a symbol of inspiration, she’s a patsy for corruption in the name of science. I hate to say it, but maybe the university should listen to the unions on this one.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.