Thursday, September 12, 2019

Greta Thunberg and Young Idealism

Watching Democracy Now! last night I saw 16 year old Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg being interviewed for the hour about her activism, her Asperger's, dealing with cyberbullies, and her trip to the US on a purely wind powered sailboat provided by Prince Albert of Monaco.  She came to the US in much the same way her Viking Ancestors did to Newfoundland.  According to her, she is vegan and does not use any technology that contributes to climate change.  You can see her interview above.

Watching her made me think of Malala Yousafsai, a teenager in Pakistan who was attacked for going to school by the Taliban.  She later became an outspoken advocate for girls education in the world and was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  Her struggles were different from Thunberg's but their stories are similar in how young people who were in the right place and the right time can make change.

Another person I was thinking of was Temple Grandin, another person with Asperger's who became an expert on cattle and how better to design slaughterhouses.  Thunberg may not approve of Grandin's work with cattle but they share a singular determination on what interests them.  

Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now! asked her about her plans of activism while she is in the western hemisphere including going to the White House to protest and the COP25 summit in Santiago, Chile.  One thing that Democracy Now! host did not ask her about if she would like to meet with President Trump or James Inhofe, the leading climate change denier in the US Senate.  I can't help but wonder how she would handle such a meeting.  

Thunberg is someone with strong principles while Trump is a man with no principles except making money and being cruel to immigrants.  It would make a funny Saturday Night Live sketch though she might not see the humor in it.  If she were to go on Sean Hannity's show she would be walking into the belly of the beast like Thor taking on the Kraken.  

She does respond to eloquently a New York Times article by Christopher Caldwell saying that she has to wait to persuade more people and not take a my way or the highway approach.  It would be great to be a fly on the wall at a meeting between Trump and Thunberg.

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