Greta Thunberg: Swedish Teen Climate Activist Sept 2, 2019 18:02:05 GMT
Post by Admin on Sept 2, 2019 18:02:05 GMT
After a 15-day trek across the Atlantic Ocean, Thunberg looked exhausted. Still, the 16-year-old climate change activist knew she had to talk about the meaning and purpose of her unorthodox journey with supporters who greeted her on an overcast New York shoreline.
Predictably, the tired, petite Swedish schoolgirl faltered, losing her train of thought briefly before apologising. "I'm sorry," she said, "my brain is not working correctly."
The crowd applauded. Energised by the encouragement, Thunberg finished her short speech, where she urged the rest of us to "work together, despite our differences" to avert "the biggest crisis humanity has faced … because, otherwise, it might be too late. Let's not wait any longer. Let's do it now."
For me, that distinctly human moment crystalised the appeal of Thunberg - a young woman who, distressed at the world's inexorable destruction, was moved to do something about it. Alone, if necessary.
She disdains celebrity. She makes no claim to heroism. She rebuffs efforts to idolise her. She isn't calculating or preoccupied with fame or ego. There is no artifice about her. She speaks plainly, without affectation or embroidery.
In words and deeds, Thunberg is the embodiment of philosopher Howard Zinn's admonition: "We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power that can transform the world."
Of course, the marauding swarm of vitriolic right-wing climate-change deniers see Thunberg - not how the prophetic Zinn envisioned her - but as a tiny, pretentious zealot who threatens the existing order. Their order. Their comforts. Their traditional "way of life".