Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Thunberg on Industrial Revolution (IR for short), Defended

Greta Thunberg wants Britain to 'feel ashamed' for its part in the Industrial Revolution
18th Oct. 2021 | Sky News Australia


3:22 Swedes before Industrial Revolution could expect to live only 35 years?

Two questions : expect at what age? If it is an average (which you didn't state), I don't find it highly likely even at birth, except perhaps for city people.

And, second question : what statistics do you base this on?

I mean, Sweden has since the Reformation documented baptisms (therefore births, one was baptised early), marriages, burials in parish registers and I think Catholic countries came a bit later. We have excellent source material, not just for cities, but also for the country-side since 1527. And, from the little look I had (very puny little glimpse, admittedly), I don't believe you.

So, I'd like to hear, what exact statistics do you base this on?

Is it restricted to cities, that even before IR pioneered lots of smoke and therefore smog before the IR?

Is it restricted to just the one or two decades prior to the IR? Obviously, the IR was attractive when it came, and there was in the early to mid 1800's starvation and emigration to US. But that can perhaps not quite truly be projected back to 1700, can it? Or is the statistics you based the statement on also from 1700 and from the country-side? Oh, btw, 1700 is about as bad an example as Germany 1942, Sweden was in war back then. Wars lower the life expectancy with IR (Germany WW-II) or without it (Sweden-Finland Great Nordic War). But I mean, statistics that also include 1700?

3:58 Here Bella d'Abrera confuses life expectancy at birth with life expectancy at 18.

As she is 18, her life expectancy in usual pre-industrial conditions, as a non-royal, would be to live to c. 65 and in the Swedish country-side born before 1800 and therefore grown without benefits if IR, it would have been even higher (my sample has "ancestor bias" : all child and much youth mortality is excluded, since a person dead at 5 doesn't have a posterity now and since many who died at 20 had no time to get married first, even if they theoretically could have).


3:36 Swedish winter without electricity?

We were experts at getting heat and light without it (though, that did involve carbon dioxide emissions).


c. 4:00 "before the 18th C."

In the UK, the Industrial Revolution started mid-18th. In Sweden, it was actually mid-19th. Today, if Fiat invents a new car gadget, all car producers from Toyota to Shkoda will copy it all over the world within a short time. But before the IR, the world was less connected, and European countries outside UK were 80 - 120 years behind UK.

Btw, I think Bella is wrong about UK too, unless we take agrarian difficulties dating from after Napoleonic wars.


4:57 The presenter here tries to paint pre-industrial Sweden as:

  • dressed in rags
  • fed on dregs
  • dying early.

I've already dealt with the last one, but that is simply not what Swedish history tells us. Start to mid of 19th C. - the decades before our IR - saw a poverty which Sweden had not been familiar with in the centuries prior to this.

I am a Swede, and it was around the middle of the 19th C. that Sweden faced such poverty that many went past Statten Island (I have cousins in the US). It was not 16th through 18th CC.


5:17 Whether Greta Thunberg in fact does worship Mother Earth or not, I don't know.

But I do know Bella d'Abrera is in no position to deduce this from the comment on the IR.


5:55 And neither Bella d'Abrera nor the presenter is in a position to deduce whether a person who has millenarian perspectives (Christian or environmentalist) is living a miserable life.


6:12 English ...

  • 1) Is the language of some early opponents of the IR (the Luddites)
  • 2) and of a relatively recent one (JRRT)
  • 3) and of two a generation earlier (GKC and Hilaire Belloc)
  • 4) and of some people who have at least helped stop certain abuses made in the name of progress (Wellington stopping Napoleon, Ronald Reagan helping to cut down the Soviet Empire, allied to Talibans, and to Baltic countries' Environmentalists)
  • 5) and is anyway the one single language that has most bearing on getting heard these days.

So, no, I don't think she should boycott it. Perhaps she should do more singing and dancing to Swedish folk tunes, though:

MP3 - Värmlandspolska
9th Oct. 2014 | Mattias Pérez

Recording obviously ows something to the IR, but the tune would predate it.

Other stuff with Bella d'Abrera: IPA : Educating Melitta
Written by Bella d'Abrera, 26 August 2021

A tip for both Melissa and Bella, from Sweden: let English be called English, Dyerbal Dyerbal. Get schools going with Dyerbal as primary language, and have English taught there too, and allow Dyerbal to be taught in schools with English as primary language. This obviously applies where the Aborigines were speaking Dyerbal. (It is in fact done with North Sapmi and South Sapmi, two languages of Lapponia, in Sweden.)

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