If Ryan Tubridy cared about Greta Thunberg, he'd actually bother to listen to her 2 years ago

If Ryan Tubridy cared about Greta Thunberg, he'd actually bother to listen to her

If you could build a person out of the status quo, it would be Ryan Tubridy.

Ireland's highest-paid broadcaster has his position, and his influence, and his millions precisely because he will not rock the boat... not even as it sails tumultuously through oceans of plastic.


On the same day that Fox News apologised to Greta Thunberg for calling her a "mentally ill Swedish child," Tubridy has thrown his lot in with those standing in her way.

The 16-year-old Swede, who has Asperger's Syndrome, has become a leader in climate activism, a position that has resulted in many journalists trying to tear her down. As Tubridy himself puts it, she is "up for grabs, a 16-year-old shouldn't be up for grabs."

And yet, grab he did.

Because she can't be targeted on the substance of her argument, Thunberg is often attacked for how she looks, for how she speaks and other matters that have nothing to do with her substantive point: that the world is dying, and world leaders are not doing enough to help.


On his radio show on Tuesday morning, Tubridy wondered aloud if Thunberg was "being minded properly," and baselessly speculated of her UN speech yesterday that "the words were so impassioned and so mature and so adult and so accusatory that I tend to agree that it didn't feel like it could have come from her own pen."

Tubridy went on to say that the world should press pause on Thunberg and send her home, where her scary stories can't bother us anymore, and the world can go on as before, eating itself alive.

"She should be brought home, watch a movie, go for a walk with your da or your ma, just a little return to the simple things." Condescension, thy name is Tubs.

It is Tubridy's contention that being on a stage this size is not good for Thunberg's mental health or well-being, conveniently overlooking the real threat to the mental health and well-being of young people today: climate catastrophe. Tubridy admires those who went on climate strike last week, but it is a shame that admiration does not stretch as far as truly comprehending the severity of the situation.


Thunberg said herself in the speech that she should be back in school. But she can't be, because even now, world leaders ignore her pleas for action.

Tubridy admitted that even he wasn't thinking of the climate as he watched her speech. Instead, he tried to turn it into a discussion on parenting. And that's the sad paradox. The longer people ignore the substance of Thunberg's argument, the longer it will take for her to go home and live the life that Ryan Tubridy envisions for her.

Because here's the thing Ryan, if you and others like you had bothered to use the platform you have jealously guarded for years to actually talk about climate change, Greta Thunberg wouldn't need to be up there.

It must be hard for you to conceptualise yourself as part of the problem, but the world no longer has the time or the inclination to hold your hand.


Greta Thunberg is urgency personified. Her tunnel vision on this matter is what enables her to be so uncompromising. She is not at the UN to rub shoulders with world leaders and pose for photos. She is there to save the world. Of her tone, Tubridy said "No-one likes being addressed that way." Well, that's too fucking bad.

In the same segment, Tubridy went on to talk about Donald Trump - also present at the UN yesterday - calling him "compelling as ever," and agreeing with him about the way Nobel Peace Prizes are issued. There you have it, folks.

With this in mind, the way Thunberg has been treated should come as no surprise whatsoever. We are, after all, likely to be the only animal in history stupid enough to directly bring about out our own extinction. To look at a near-limitless supply of water, put that water in bottles and then put the bottles in the water. To sit top of the food chain and do everything in our power to topple the food chain.


We have no natural predators, so we became our own predators. And right now, those vultures among us are picking at the last vestiges of resistance against climate catastrophe — a 16 year old girl speaking in her second language.

Some knock her (Tubridy - what a guy - says "It's too easy to knock"), some mock her, some simply think she should be sent home to watch a movie. Together, they all form a chorus of morons, prioritising the sound of their own voices over the disaster staring earth in the face.

Thunberg has taken a pressure on her shoulders that goes well beyond anything Ryan Tubridy could imagine, cosy in his low-risk, high-reward life of hosting a chat show that primarily features other RTÉ employees. This teenager, in less than a year, has driven more attention towards her cause than anyone in history. Elites in politics, industry and media are in a position to ease her burden. Tubridy does not seem to realise that he is in this category.

Ryan, if you really cared about Greta Thunberg, you'd listen to her.