I’m always a little surprised when the trolls emerge from their cave and start making ridiculous comments on Twitter. This is the latest example. The latest example?
The main problem?
It wasn’t about the fact that the book is a compilation of essays written by other people, even though Thunberg’s name is on the cover. I’m not sure if she hand-selected the authors over the 84 chapters in the book, but the Amazon description says she did. Some of the essayists are professors and author Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Also, it’s not the cover, which shows what climate change would look like if a graphic designer was involved. It appears that the words are changing from hot to cold across the page.
Instead, many of the comments have to do with…trees.
That’s right, the main complaint is that the book is printed on actual paper and wasn’t distributed digitally. Here’s her book announcement and the replies:
Others have mentioned that shipping the book requires airplanes or trucks in order to transport copies to physical bookstores. The humanity! “Wouldn’t a PDF have been better for the planet?” said one reply. “My head hurts thinking about all the trees that were killed to print these,” said another.
This comment is by far the most funny:
Commenter: The book can be used one day as an energy source. The reply received over 1000 likes, and has been viewed 125,000 times.
One person asked the author if the book had been written in crayon. Ouch.
Thunberg has received constant criticism over the past few years. Some of this was personal attacks. I was quite surprised the Twitter mob couldn’t come up with anything else to say about the book other than criticizing the environmental impact.
And, let’s be honest here. As a book author myself, I know even a large print run of one book won’t make much of an impact on climate change or the environment. When we use all our devices, digital editions also make use of the power grid.
We are all experts in every aspect of social media. At least, that’s what these public forums make us believe. Thunberg’s detractors see a printed book and immediately complain that it impacts forestry and offer a suggestion about making a digital-only version. One book isn’t going to make much of a difference, and I’m sure Thunberg could make the case that the messages relayed in the book and the resulting personal convictions and changes far outweigh any negative impact from the print run (which was likely quite high).
Also, for all the commenters out there on her feed — there’s an easy solution. Wait until the book is available online. The Climate BookIt is available at the local library.