I’m always a little surprised when the trolls emerge from their lair and start making ridiculous comments on Twitter. The latest example? Climate activist Greta Thunberg recently released a new book and the Twitter elite (somewhat predictably) jumped into action.
your main complaint?
It wasn’t about the book being a compilation of other people’s essays, even though Thunberg’s name is on the cover. I’m not sure if she handpicked the authors for the book’s 84 chapters, but the Amazon description says she did. Essayists include the likes of Margaret Atwood and Robin Wall Kimmerer, an author and professor.
Also, it’s not the cover that shows what climate change would look like if a graphic designer were involved. The words seem to switch from cold to hot across the page.
Instead, many of the comments have to do with… trees.
True, the main complaint is that the book was printed on real paper and not distributed digitally. Here’s her book announcement and the responses:
Other commenters mention that shipping the book requires planes and trucks to deliver copies to actual physical bookstores. Oh humanity! “Wouldn’t a PDF have been better for the planet?” said one reply. “My head hurts just thinking about all the trees that were killed to print these,” said another.
The funniest comment so far is this one:
One commenter said the book will one day be used as an energy source. This answer has around 1,000 likes but has been viewed over 125,000 times.
Another asked if the book was written in chalk. Ouch.
In recent years, Thunberg has been the target of constant criticism, some meant as a personal attack. I was quite surprised that the Twitter mob couldn’t say anything about the book other than criticizing the environmental impact.
And let’s be honest here. As a book author, I know that even a large print run of a book will not have a large impact on climate change or the environment. Digital editions also take advantage of the power grid as we power all of our devices.
When it comes to social media, we are all experts on every topic. At least, that’s what these public forums would have us believe. Thunberg’s critics see a printed book and immediately complain that it affects forestry and suggest creating a digital-only version. One book isn’t going to make much of a difference, and I’m sure Thunberg could argue that the messages conveyed in the book, and the personal beliefs and changes that resulted, far outweighed any negative effects of the edition (which probably was quite high).
Also for all the commenters out there on their feed – there is an easy fix. Buy the electronic book or wait until The climate book appears in your local library.