Lost in the uproar about whether President Trump used the power of his office to bully the president of the Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political opponent, Joe Biden, was the disappointing outcome of the United Nations Climate Action Summit this past Monday. The Summit was meant to highlight the renewed commitment of world leaders to the Paris Agreement to reduce the use of fossil fuels and stave off the worst effects of global climate change. It was almost as lost in the shuffle as the global climate march the previous Friday, when millions of protestors in more than a hundred countries called for action.
What happened at the Summit? Many political and business leaders blathered without effect, President Trump and his silent sidekick, Mike Pence, dropped in for a cup of coffee (in case you don't know, Trump has committed the US to withdraw from the Paris Agreement at the end of the year), and a teenager from Sweden, put them all to shame.
Greta Thunberg is leading a one-person holy mission to put world leaders on alert that business as usual about the climate will no longer suffice. Some choice quotes:
"You'll come to us young people for hope, how dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words."
"We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and the imperative of economic growth, how dare you?"
"You're failing us. Young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. If you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you."
To get the full impact of Greta's holy anger, you can see a one-minute video clip here: https://www.nytimes.com/video/climate/100000006732168/greta-thunberg-united-nations.html
She made me proud to be a squarehead. (I'm a first-generation Swede, myself, and we use that term as a mark of affection.)
As for the media, it was all over the Trump Ukraine story, so coverage was limited. But being lectured to by a child brought out the worst in the climate change deniers. Dinesh D'Souza likened her Aryan (square) face and braids to Nazi imagery. A Fox News commentator called her on the air "a mentally ill Swedish child." (Greta is 16 and does have Asperger's syndrome.)
Although it's as unlikely that "the wolf shall dwell with the lamb" as these fools and the rest of the Republicans suddenly discovering climate change is real, let's hope that Isaiah got one thing right — "And a little child shall lead them."
This is my first post after a very busy and productive summer. I have finally secured agency representation for The Eleventh Grieve, my novel about the redemption of a climate change denier. I'm happy to report that the manuscript is now being read by several publishers. I've also decided that I was biting off more than I could chew with raging at all the madness in the White House and the country and the world. So going forward, I will be concentrating on what I see as the greatest threat to our future. You guessed it. Arts4actionsake will be transitioning to weird-weather.com. Squareheads need to stick together!