‘. . . and a little child will lead them’

Tom Camfield
Blogger
Posted 10/2/19

My latest hero is 74 years younger than I, so I can only speculate what she may accomplish for humankind by the time she reaches my age—providing the world is still viable then. And that will …

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‘. . . and a little child will lead them’

Posted

My latest hero is 74 years younger than I, so I can only speculate what she may accomplish for humankind by the time she reaches my age—providing the world is still viable then. And that will depend on how many fall in line behind such as she and how many choose to romp fecklessly in a self-serving way with the lesser minds of Donald Trump and his ilk.

In this social armageddon in which we are all presently embroiled, Greta Thunberg’s appearance at the UN was a refreshing moment in an ugly world.

Greta joins my personal pantheon of heroes along with such as Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, who had been blogging for the BBC since the age of 12 when, at age 15, she was shot in the head by the Taliban while bussing to school. She survived several operations and continues her work for the right of girls to education—now from England. She was a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

Greta’s activism is all the more impressive from the fact that she has Asperger disorder (but seems also to have picked up a strong dose of just the positive side of Savant Syndrome). She herself calls it all a “superpower,” and I’m inclined to agree with her. And I see her as more intelligently applied to the welfare of humanity than Donald Trump. While she was at the UN urging action on climate change, Donald bizarrely spoke to champion nationalism—his “America First” agenda—before the leaders of the nations of the world meeting to seek mutual progress through unity.

He said: “The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots . . . to sovereign independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.”
Sounds pretty much like the same old white supremacy in fancy clothes to me. He also prattled on about immigration at length.

Donald would like to dissolve the UN so he could bully its member nations one at a time.

Donald wallowed in the shallows, while Greta dove deep. She later drew attacks from some commentators and over social media as well as sarcasm from Trump. Fox News, for example, referred to her as “a mentally ill Swedish child.” The commentator called her speech “chilling” and also ran a segment about how climate change “hysteria” is changing American youth. Fox: the channel that knows no shame, kindred-spirit best friend of Donald Trump.

Greta backed up her position on climate and pollution by crossing the Atlantic to New York on a sail-driven racing yacht also using a degree of solar power—refusing to travel by plane or ocean liner because of their fossil-fuel pollution. Fox may call her “mentally ill.” I call her inspired and resolute. Altruistic and a bit of a young genius. A struggling planet should be proud of her.

“This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!” Greta said to the assembly (in English). “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

“For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you're doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.

“You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency, but no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act then you would be evil and that I refuse to believe.”

She quoted facts, figures, scientific predictions, etc. relating to carbon emissions and global warming, concluding, “There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable and you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.”

Bravo!

Here is the full text of Greta’s speech to the UN: https://zeenews.india.com/world/full-text-of-greta-thunbergs-speech-at-un-climate-action-summit-2236499.html

She also spoke to the British Parliament in April: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/23/greta-thunberg-full-speech-to-mps-you-did-not-act-in-time

Greta has 2 million Twitter/Instagram followers, by one account.

Read more Friday.

Comments

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Justin Hale

Greta's message is a good one, a little strident maybe but then maybe every 16 year old should be strident about something.

I will be interested in where she goes from here, what her future brings.

Wednesday, October 2
Justin Hale

“If a person is not a liberal when he is twenty, he has no heart; if he is not a conservative when he is forty, he has no head.." John Adams

Wednesday, October 2
Tom Camfield

Yes indeed, Justin, some people do change with age. Back in the Depression when the going was tough, I asked my father or whom he had voted for president. "Norman Thomas," he replied. And, mind you, this was back when NRA had nothing to do with guns, but referred to the Roosevelt era's National Recovery Administration . . . the days of the WPA and the CCC . . . FDR's "New Deal.." In later years, I looked up Norman Thomas and found that he was a Socialist Labor candidate.

M y father worked from dawn through dusk most of his life—at the paper mill beginning in 1929, building our homes, raising our food, assisting four sons through college. Truly with the working man, he was one of the founders of the employee credit union at the local mill.

But somehow after he retired and managed, thanks to a union retirement and Social Security, to build up a fair-sized bank account, guess what! I found he was serving as treasurer of the Jefferson County Republican Club. That truly caught me by surprise, as he had never shown any other signs of senility.

I"m come to realize since how the conservative theme song plays so well to those with a modicum or money and comfortable complacency . . . among others. They seem to fear the government will be taking a bit of their money and using it to give a leg up to people not too unlike my parents must have been after marrying in 1927.

That was the year my grandfather, looking for work in his 50s, came to this growing pit of a post World War I community to help build the paper mill, which provided a lot of jobs on the eve of the Depression and also underwrote the transmission system for our current water supply. Along with my grandfather, my father was one of its first employees.

Thursday, October 3
Justin Hale

"I"m come to realize since how the conservative theme song plays so well to those with a modicum or money and comfortable complacency . . . among others. They seem to fear the government will be taking a bit of their money and using it to give a leg up to people not too unlike my parents must have been after marrying in 1927." Did your parents or Grandfather rely on Government assistance?

Friday, October 4
Tom Camfield

No. Fortunately, they were white. And also they were citizens from the get-go. Actually, my grandfather had had to move from South Dakota to Alberta, Canada, in 1903 to make a go of things with s homestead there. My father was born there. When they immigrated back to the U.S. in 1914 they both were American citizens.

Port Townsend generally had some help from the Roosevelt administration. Last time I looked, there were still a couple of sidewalks Uptown bearing the imprint of the WPA, a government jobs program; and I believe there was a CCC camp out around Quilcene. I used government help a bit myself—the GI Bill for a boost through my final college years, and a GI loan when my wife and i bought our first house

I've also drawn Social Security for 30 years, a big help as I had no individual retirement. I paid into

Social Security, by the way, for 45 years, beginning at age 15.

In sny case, it remains a changing and ever-more-populated world—and a mroe polluted one.

Saturday, October 5
Justin Hale

Did your parents or Grandfather rely on Government assistance?

"No. Fortunately, they were white."

Sounds to me like their hard work had more to do with their success than being white.

Monday, October 7
Tom Csmfield

Basically. However, demographics were less extensively diverse in that day and age, although racism was more hellish and prevalent in some parts of the country, such as the South. I can't see my grandfather getting that job as a streetcar conductor in Salem, Oregon, around 1914-'15, for instance, if he'd been Black, Muslim or Sikh.

Monday, October 7