“I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic and act as if the house is on fire.” – 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg
“People are dying! And all you can talk about is money & fairy tales of economic growth. How dare you!” – Greta Thunberg, to a large delegation of world leaders at climate summit hosted by the United Nations in New York City earlier this year
A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted December 11th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
OK all of you mostly older conservative-minded people out there who vote for the likes of climate deniers and laggards of the likes of Doug Ford, Andrew Scheer and Jason Kenney in Canada and Donald Trump and his ilk in the United States, and who grumble about paying a few more pennies on a litre of gasoline to drive down the emissions of climate-ravaging carbon pollution.
It took an intelligent, passionate, highly articulate 16-year-old girl from Sweden – Greta Thunberg – to finally mobilize multi-millions of people her age and older around the world to cry out for action on possibly the number one threat to life on this planet in the 21st century.
As a member of the post Second World War baby boomer generation, I have found myself going from feeling somewhat proud of so many of the ideals, including our first-ever Earth Day call out for keeping our planet clean and healthy, in the 1960s to feeling angry and ashamed of what we, as a generation have morphed in to.
Generally speaking, we have gone from a generation of ‘get-back-to-the-land’, flower children who pointed fingers at our parents for being ‘too materialistic’, to a generation driving monster-size, gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks to buy ever more plastic stuff to pile up in every nook and cranny of our over-sized vanity homes.
We have consumed more stuff and have become more ‘materialistic’ than the parents we used that word on could ever imagine.
And despite all the warnings we have received from environmental scientists for decades that if we keep this up, we are going to reach a tipping point where the systems we need to keep us alive on this planet will be in peril, we went on doing what we were doing, and voting for politicians that have and that continue to roll back desperately needed environmental protections – just so we could party on into our twilight years until we check out.
Shame on us!
My generation – and I am talking about members of the baby boomer generation, in particular – lived through some of the best of times in terms of opportunities to get an education, land a decent job and so on, and recklessly or through wilful ignorance or greed and a lust for immediate, personal gratification, we have used our time on this earth to place younger generations, including our own children and grandchildren, in a situation where they may live through the worst.
So hail to Greta Thunberg and millions of other younger people out there who have stood up and have so rightly expressed anger at their elders as they cry out for what may be last-chance action to turn the climate catastrophe we face and are already experiencing around.
How fitting it is that the editors of Time Magazine have chosen 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg as 2019’s Person of the Year.
And how disgusting it is on the other hand that almost all that today’s breed of Conservatives in Canada and Republican climate laggards in the United States can do is deny the science, while making fun of Greta Thunberg’s looks and calling her and those around her ugly names.
Here are just a few opening paragraphs from the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief on what Great Thunberg was chosen –
TIME’s Editor-in-chief on why Greta Thunberg is the Person of the Year
BY EDWARD FELSENTHAL
It began with a story line familiar to every parent of every generation in every corner of the globe: an indignant teenager and a sudden burst of rebellion. It became one of the most unlikely and surely one of the swiftest ascents to global influence in history.
Over the course of little more than a year, a 16-year-old from Stockholm went from a solitary protest on the cobblestones outside her country’s Parliament to leading a worldwide youth movement; from a school kid conjugating verbs in French class to meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and receiving audiences with Presidents and the Pope; from a solo demonstrator with a hand-painted slogan (Skolstrejk för Klimatet) to inspiring millions of people across more than 150 countries to take to the streets on behalf of the planet we share.
Meaningful change rarely happens without the galvanizing force of influential individuals, and in 2019, the earth’s existential crisis found one in Greta Thunberg.
To read more from Time Magazine on the choice of Greta Thunberg as Person of the Year, click on – https://time.com/person-of-the-year-2019-greta-thunberg/
To view Greta Thunberg sharing some of her anger and her plea for action with world leaders at a United Nations climate summit this September 2019, click on the screen below –
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