Ride, Greta, Ride

But please do not despair in your quest. Ignore those relentless attacks from fool adults.

Ride, Greta, Ride
16-year-old Swedish Climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks at the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit at U.N. headquarters in New York - Photo: Carlo Allegri/REUTERS
English 29/10/2019 13:49 Mexico City Omar Vidal Actualizada 14:02

A tsunami of rebellion hit the shores of New York on the dawn of August 28, when Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic from the United Kingdom to address the United Nations Climate Action Summit. Watched by millions all over the world, it took this Viking climate warrior just a few minutes to raise the stakes on the future of our planet and global politics.
 

Looking at all of us in the eye, she reprimanded dozens of grownup heads of government for their willful inaction and complacency. You have brought, she told them, the world and our future to a global climate crisis with unpredictable environmental, social and economic repercussions for all, rich and poor countries alike. “The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line,” she said.
 
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Far more importantly though, with her straightforward words and refreshing young insolence, Greta delivered a compelling message to millions of fellow youngsters across the world: it is indeed time to be disobedient and challenge the status quo; enough is enough.
 
The world might be witnessing the birth of an uprising not seen since the 1960s. You may well think that I am exaggerating, but have a look at those images of hundreds of thousands of angry children and youngsters, in virtually every country on Earth, marching elbow to elbow and chanting slogans such as “If you don’t act like adults then we will,” “Our house is in fire,” and “Cool kids saving a hot planet.”

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Unsurprisingly, the activist who over the last year has inspired and mobilized millions of teenagers throughout the world with her School strike for climate and Fridays for Future has become the center of the usual smears and misogynist verbal abuse focusing on how she looks, speaks, and even on her autism. Dreadful.
 
One of the first condescending voices came from the most powerful man on Earth, President Donald Trump, who sarcastically mocked Greta via Twitter: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” wrote the 73-year old climate change denier. Even the level minded German Chancellor Angela Merkel quickly took the stage to criticize the 16-year old climate activist who has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and selective mutism to lament Greta’s lack of optimism around the blessings of technological innovation.
 
Two months later, the avalanche of uncompromising defiance, passion and restrained hope that Greta Thunberg carried with her to America onboard an emissions-free vessel has somewhat calmed down. But her demand for action, her call to “listen to the science,” and her plea to disobedience are still reverberating in the walls of the same building from which hundreds of political leaders have spoken to the world since 1952. 
 
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I believe that the leaders of those nations that are responsible for emitting most greenhouse gasses should immediately step down and be replaced by Greta Thunberg and other individuals in each of those countries who are in touch with reality. Wishful thinking, I know. Further, the CEOs of the fossil fuel companies behind most carbon emissions should also go back to school or go home altogether. Present and future generations would be better served if that were to happen.
 
And, yes, Greta, in your own words: you shouldn’t be standing there, you should be back in school. We have stolen your dreams and your childhood with our empty words. People are suffering, people are dying, and entire ecosystems are collapsing.

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But please do not despair in your quest. Ignore those relentless attacks from fool adults because, as the great German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote in Der Kläffer: “We ride in all directions on pleasure and on business, but the barking dog always comes behind us and yelps with all his power. So the Pomeranian from our kennel constantly accompanies us and the loud song of his bark proves only that we are riding.”
 
Ride, Greta, ride, and let the dogs bark.

Scientist and environmentalist Omar Vidal
 

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