Last week, Greta Thunberg tweeted out a photo of herself, saying she was aboard an overcrowded train and that she was heading home. Sitting on the presumably cold, dirty floor of the train, surrounded by large, presumably heavy bags, she’s looking to the left and up, to the right in the viewer’s perspective, symbolizing a look into the future – as the light of hope falls on her angelic face. By presumably I mean suggestively – that’s what the picture’s author tried to convey to the viewer. The trick is all about shaping people’s assumptions and perceptions.
“Travelling on overcrowded trains through Germany.” The part in bold to anyone reads as a complaint. Train company Deutsche Bahn noticed Greta’s tweet and replied in German [the following is the English translation], “Dear #Greta, thank you for supporting us railroad workers in the fight against climate change! We were pleased that you were on the ICE 74 with us on Saturday. And with 100 percent green electricity. It would have been even nicer if you had also reported how friendly and competently you were looked after by our team at your seat in first class.” [bold parts are highlighted by me, not Thunberg or Deutsche Bahn].
Evidently, many people judged the whole affair as [another] Greta Thunberg PR stunt. But the train company’s representatives now have to appear before a state data protection officer, to answer for the violation of privacy laws, because through their tweet they revealed Greta’s travel information. The hearing will take place, even though Thunberg and her legal team formulated no complaint.
I think this is bs. Where’s the privacy violation when the traveler in question publicly made known details of her trip? All Deutsche Bahn did was to defend its service in front of what they deemed as a dishonest review. They told her in a polite, euphemistic manner, Greta, you’re whining from first class. I have news for her and her fellow climate doom is nigh followers; if you ban fossil fuels [and fossil fuel-powered cars], you’re going to see even higher overcrowding in trains. The transition toward the carbon neutral economy in a decade time [as they want] will create inconveniences [if we can call human casualties in the bottom section of the population as an “inconvenience”] of a far greater order of magnitude, which they cannot or don’t want to comprehend. But at least Greta and her privileged ilk will get to be in first class when they complain about it – and state authorities will question you if you point out their hypocrisy.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.