Greta Thunberg rises above the ordinary. There is nothing in any way ordinary about this 17-year-old girl from Sweden. Her wide, genuine, freshly-scrubbed face is immediately arresting, centered on her serious, uncompromising, laser stare. She wears long braids. Even if she’s speaking at the UN or before throngs of followers, she does not flinch. Her words capture the interest of thousands, while her eyebrows express that she isn’t happy.
“You have stolen my future,” she tells her listeners. She scolds. She chastises. She reprimands her well-dressed audiences and quickly takes them to task. Why haven’t they been serious about altering the collision course that lies ahead for Mother Earth? She calls it a global crisis that has been ignored by world leaders and the populations who have continued to pummel the environment without pause.
She heaps on the shame by saying that the world cares more about football than climate change.
Believe what you want about climate change. Some believe that it is a hoax and think there is nothing to be done about it. Others believe there needs to be immediate action to save the planet. Greta has been concerned since around eight-years-old when she got interested in the early scientific findings on the greenhouse effects.
Single-handedly, Greta has done more to ignite the young people of the world, some of whom have come away from staring into their screens of all kinds, phones, laptops, note pads, games, etc, etc. They have come into the streets to protest the inaction by global leaders.
She is the whiz kid who is a strong environmental activist. She started alone skipping school and sitting in front of the Swedish Parliament with her sign and her glare. This was no kid making a fuss — it was Greta and her razor-sharp reasoning: we are depleting ecosystems faster than they can be renewed. A serious message which has really only received lukewarm acknowledgment from politicians and even from the press.
Greta sternly warns the media that there should be a story on global climate change “above the fold” every day. She believes the press needs to double down on the coverage of the crisis if readers are to take them seriously. Greta thinks that newspapers can only earn credence if they take this most serious of global issues to heart.
She says that countries and cultures are ignoring their moral responsibility to react immediately upon climate change. This while our own country cuts back on federal protections for streams and wetlands, and encourages economic growth at the cost of environmental degradation. President Trump calls Greta a “brat,” and says she seems like a nice girl who can expect to live a happy life. But Greta doesn’t feel that way. She believes world leaders have trivialized the crisis and are not adhering to the protections offered in the Paris Agreement.
Greta claims that we have only eleven years before facing a crisis of doomsday proportions. She says that we can turn things around, but we must start now. If nothing else, we must listen to her message and begin to act in our own environments. Think globally. Act locally. This earnest young woman has the capacity to lead the world on this issue, and she’s reprimanding all of us to be more conscious.