No, not really. Look closely and you’ll see that it’s just a painted hardboard cut-out. But it does give you an idea of what we’re up against. Hanging on the wall nearby was a painting of Sir David Attenborough with a halo around his head. None of this, it goes almost without saying, was in any way tongue-in-cheek.
Whoever painted these pictures genuinely, sincerely believes that Greta Thunberg is a latter day Jesus whose every utterance we should aim to follow. And that Attenborough, far from being a whispery-voiced, gorilla-hugging, alleged walrus-murdering Malthusian, is in fact right up there with St Francis of Assisi.
Scarier than that, though, is the assumption behind those paintings. It’s one that pervades the whole festival, namely: every good and decent person in the world — including all 135,000 people at Glastonbury — knows that we have only 12 years left to save the planet and that if we don’t put on our hair shirts, drink Oatly instead of milk [bit ironic that, given that the festival is held on a dairy farm and was founded by a dairy farmer…], abandon plastic, recycle everything, and bomb the economy back to the dark ages, we are all totally doomed.
I find the intolerance of this green totalitarianism utterly terrifying.
But here’s the thing I learned during my three days among the green enemy: they are not hateful or evil, just woefully ill-informed.
Travelling incognito (well I hope I was, otherwise it might have been a bit awkward), I hung with people in Extinction Rebellion t-shirts and naked greenies in the sauna in a yurt and bought coffee (made with Oatly, natch) from the greenies at the Greenpeace cafe. And what I realised was something I ought to have appreciated ages back but didn’t quite: they actually believe this nonsense!
They believe it not for the most part because they are stupid or because they are cynically using it as a way to smash the capitalist system or because they’re crony capitalists making money out of a massive scam (though obviously those people exist too). Rather they believe it because they know no better.
In one conversation, a red-headed woman told me — during a discussion prompted by the scorching weather — how much harder the future was going to be for people of her pale complexion because what with global warming summers were going to get hotter and hotter.
Certainly, as she spoke the weather we were experiencing was indeed jolly hot.
But it seemed not have occurred to this very nice lady that a) heat is something you can get quite a lot of in June, June being part of the season called summer, known for its sun and b) this particular bout of heat had nothing whatsoever to do with “climate change” but was the result of a warm front which had come from North Africa.
This is how you think, though, when you live in a bubble where you meet no one who is a climate sceptic or indeed ever get exposed to articles or books questioning the alarmist narrative.