In his closing monologue Friday night, Bill Maher launched a devastating seven-minute attack not only on Greta Thunberg, the youthful climate-change hysteric, but on what you might call Thunberg-ism. Maher made clear that his sympathies lie generally with the Left’s environmentalist doomsaying but said Thunberg simply doesn’t matter as much as, say, Kylie Jenner:
Someone must tell [Thunberg], you may be the conscience of your generation, but you don’t represent it. I really wish you did, Greta, but you don’t. But I can show you who does. [Puts up picture of Kylie Jenner sitting on a roll of money]
Maher points out that Jenner has 279 million followers on Instagram, 266 million more than Thunberg. One of these young women is a lot more influential than the other, and it isn’t the carbon Puritan but the conspicuous consumer who best represents the youth.
The young woman who refuses to fly, or the young woman who refuses to fly commercial?…This is not a screed against comfort or capitalism, I’m fond of both. . . . Like her dad, [Jenner] is a self-made woman. But Kylie embodies and embraces a lifestyle that is pretty much the opposite of carbon neutral. The younger generations f***ing love it . . . she also has entire rooms full of things she’s only worn once. . . . In polls young people always claim to be more concerned about climate change than other generations, but they don’t act like it. . . . The cognitive dissonance between planet-destroying conspicuous consumption and planet-saving rhetoric is breathtaking. You say you love Greta and her message but everything else you love is a climate disaster. Far from rejecting consumerism, young people are so obsessed with labels. . .
Maher goes on to say that young folks love Bitcoin,
the mining of which is worse for the environment than actual mining. Cryptocurrency uses more energy than Netflix, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google combined, and more than some entire nations, and yet young people could not love it more if it came with a side of avocado toast. 94 percent of crypto buyers are either Millennials or Gen Z which makes it a little hollow when you’re out there chanting for us to put the planet ahead of profits. What do crypto fans say about this? They say, ‘Well, yes, it uses too much energy now but in the future . . .’ Oh yeah, ‘in the future,’ that’s right. Same thing my generation said. ‘Let them handle it in the future, I’ll get mine now.’ Like Bitcoin, the smartphone is a huge contributor to carbon emissions because the cloud isn’t a cloud, of course, it’s a vast network of servers . . . all that liking and subscribing and following requires lots of fossil fuels. And yet you would need the jaws of life to pry a smartphone out of the hands of anyone under 30. What would it take to convince Gen Z and Millennials to give up their phones? A pollster once asked, and 43 percent said it would take five million dollars to give up their phone. One in ten said they’d sacrifice a finger for it.
Maher notes “you can’t do both,” meaning the Thunberg way and the Jenner way. Jenner publicly decried the loss of 500 million animals in Australian wildfires, then showed off her $1500 mink slippers:
It’s always so sad when fire kills potential slippers . . . do you want to be progressive, or excessive? . . . When Kylie’s lifestyle becomes uncool and unpopular and you stop loving Bitcoin and stop thinking that stuffing your face is harmless, then I’ll take you seriously. Until then, shut the f*** up about how older generations ruined the planet. . . . I wish your generation was better than mine. I really do. The sad truth is, we’re completely the same. Lots of talk, and at the end of the day, hopelessly seduced and addicted to pigging out on convenience, luxury and consumption.