Greta Thunberg — Simply Amazing

I have written before about the young Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, and in fact she was one of my ‘good people’ one Wednesday last December.  Sometimes an activist will start like gangbusters, and then after a few months you hear nothing more about them, but not so Ms. Thunberg.  I see her name in the news at least once a week, and she has been inspirational to many young climate-conscious groups around the world.

Today, she is back in the news, and in a big way! A couple of big ways, actually.


Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and The 1975’s Matty Healy pose for a photo. (Photo: Jordan Hughes)

The first is that she is featured on the first track of the forthcoming album of British pop-rock band The 1975.  In the track, Greta delivers a speech about the global climate emergency, against an instrumental background by the band.  Now, I have never heard of The 1975, but I give them two thumbs up for this effort, as well as the fact that all proceeds from the track will be going to the climate action group Extinction Rebellion.

The full text of Greta’s speech on the track is at the end of this post.

In an interview with The Guardian, Greta said …

“I’m grateful to get the opportunity to get my message out to a broad new audience in a new way. I think it’s great that The 1975 is so strongly engaged in the climate crisis. We quickly need to get people in all branches of society to get involved. And this collaboration I think is something new.”

The second thing is that Greta has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize this year.  She was nominated by Freddy Andre Oevstegaard, a parliamentary representative in Norway …

“We have nominated Greta because the climate threat may be one of the most important causes of war and conflict.”

greta-2.pngThe Norwegian Nobel Committee will announce its latest laureates in October, and those selected will receive their prizes in December.  I do so want to see her win it!

And the third thing that has put Greta in the news this week is that she will be coming to the U.S. next month to attend a United Nations summit meeting on global warming in New York!  Now, you may remember from my previous post about Greta that she does not fly on airplanes because of the CO2 emissions, so you may be wondering how she plans to get here.

“Good news! I’ll be joining the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York. I’ve been offered a ride on the 60ft racing boat Malizia II.”


Malizia II

Malizia II, is outfitted with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate electricity. That should make the entire trip possible without burning any fossil fuels.

Boris Herrmann, who will skipper the boat, said the voyage would not be the luxury cruise that a high-tech yacht might conjure in the popular imagination. The Malizia II is built for speed, not comfort. It has no kitchen, refrigeration system, air-conditioning or showers.

Think about this one for a minute, folks.  This young woman is so committed to saving our planet that she is willing to spend two weeks on a small boat, eating mostly freeze-dried and vacuum-packed meals, in order to do her part to save the environment.  Greta is sixteen years old … most kids her age are attached at the hip to their cell phones, ipods, laptops, and wouldn’t dream of missing a shower or a hot meal, let alone spend two weeks in a small boat on choppy seas!

Greta will be accompanied on the trip by a filmmaker; her father, Svante; and Pierre Casiraghi, the head of the Malizia II racing team who is also the grandson of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and the American actress Grace Kelly.

Greta is, with her parents’ approval, taking the year off from school to campaign against climate change, also plans to attend the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change talks in December in Santiago, Chile.

I was impressed by this young woman when I first wrote about her eight months ago, but today … the only word I have is “WOW!!!”  She puts us all to shame, and particularly those who would “deny” climate science in order to justify their own greed.

I would like to end with a quote that was sent to me tonight by a very special friend:

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” – Helen Keller

Ms. Thunberg is doing something that she can do … let’s all try to do just one thing more that we can do to help heal and protect our home, planet Earth.

Full text of Greta’s speech on The 1975 track:

We are right now in the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis.

And we need to call it what it is. An emergency.

We must acknowledge that we do not have the situation under control and that we don’t have all the solutions yet. Unless those solutions mean that we simply stop doing certain things.

We admit that we are losing this battle.

We have to acknowledge that the older generations have failed. All political movements in their present form have failed.

But homo sapiens have not yet failed.

Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around. We can still fix this. We still have everything in our own hands.

But unless we recognise the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably don’t stand a chance.

We are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people. And now is not the time for speaking politely or focusing on what we can or cannot say. Now is the time to speak clearly.

Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that homo sapiens have ever faced. The main solution, however, is so simple that even a small child can understand it. We have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases.

And either we do that, or we don’t.

You say that nothing in life is black or white.

But that is a lie. A very dangerous lie.

Either we prevent a 1.5 degree of warming, or we don’t.

Either we avoid setting off that irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, or we don’t.

Either we choose to go on as a civilization or we don’t.

That is as black or white as it gets.

Because there are no grey areas when it comes to survival.

Now we all have a choice.

We can create transformational action that will safeguard the living conditions for future generations.

Or we can continue with our business as usual and fail.

That is up to you and me.

And yes, we need a system change rather than individual change. But you cannot have one without the other.

If you look through history, all the big changes in society have been started by people at the grassroots level. People like you and me.

So, I ask you to please wake up and make the changes required possible. To do your best is no longer good enough. We must all do the seemingly impossible.

Today, we use about 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground.

So, we can no longer save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed.

Everything needs to change. And it has to start today.

So, everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.

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8 years of suffering under Barack Obama

I came across this quite by accident … I do not know this blogger, have never read any of his posts before, but I felt this was well worth sharing … w reminder of a better time, a better president.

Teri Carter's Library


3C54DC7D00000578-4140672-Barack_Obama_waves_as_he_boards_Marine_One_and_departs_the_Capit-a-77_1484945371469 Photo credit: The Associated Press

The sentence I hear most from well-meaning, conservative friends since President Trump’s election is this: “We suffered 8 years under Barack Obama.”

Fair enough. Let’s take a look.

The day Obama took office, the Dow closed at 7,949 points. Eight years later, the Dow had almost tripled, closing at 21,414.

General Motors and Chrysler were on the brink of bankruptcy, with Ford not far behind, and their failure, along with their supply chains, would have meant the loss of millions of jobs. Obama pushed through a controversial, $8o billion bailout to save the car industry. The U.S. car industry survived, started making money again, and the entire $80 billion was paid back, with interest.

While we remain vulnerable to lone-wolf attacks, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully executed a mass attack here since 9/11.

Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.


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A Not-So-Noble Nobel Nomination

Just yesterday I vowed that I would not write another word about Trump until at least next week after the New Hampshire primary.  I take my vows to myself seriously, so I am hanging my head in shame as I write this vow-breaking piece, but today’s news left me gasping for breath after my first outburst of laughter, then shaking my head, and finally wondering if I had fallen down a rabbit hole.  What, you ask, is so earth-shattering that I couldn’t resist yet one more Trump post?  First, be sure you are sitting down, take a deep breath (you are going to need it) and hold on to your hat … Donald Trump, the epitome of the word “hater”, has been nominated for … drumroll, please … a Nobel Peace Prize!

Yes, you heard me right. I first saw it in Newsweek, which is a reputable publication, but I thought it couldn’t possibly be true, that perhaps the editors over at Newsweek had gotten bored with the same old election b.s. and decided to spice things up a bit.  So, I went in search of the truth.  And the truth is, my friends, that it is true. Somebody actually nominated the man who wants to bomb everyone, the man who hates Mexicans and Muslims, the man who wants to kill innocent civilians in order to eradicate terrorists, the man who makes disparaging remarks about women every chance he gets, the man who has his bodyguards “rough up” those who protest at his rallies, for a Nobel Peace Prize!

The nominator wishes to remain anonymous (understandably) and by the rules of the Nobel committee, they do not release nominations until 50 years after the nomination, so I will not live to find out who did this absurd thing.  That is too bad, as if I knew who it was, I would almost certainly have to contact them and ask if this was done as a joke, of if they really had pudding-for-brains!  I did some research and discovered that almost any member of any government and virtually any academic can nominate anyone they choose, regardless of merit.  Past nominations that are as ludicrous as this one have included Czar Nikolai (nicknamed “Bloody Nicholas”), Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, and Vladimir Putin.  In 1939, even Adolph Hitler was nominated, though that nomination was later withdrawn. According to the report, Trump’s nominator chose him based on “his vigorous peace through strength ideology, used as a threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam, ISIS, nuclear Iran and Communist China.”  (Please excuse me while I choke) The Nobel committee has no choice but to accept all nominations by “qualified” individuals, however they do not have to give them serious consideration.  Let us hope that the committee members have more sense than the person who made the nomination!

Past winners of the prize have included:

  • U.S. Presidents – Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter & Barack Obama
  • World Leaders – Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Henry Kissinger, Cordell Hull, Dag Hammarskjold
  • Organizations – International Red Cross, United Nations Peacekeeping Forces, United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees, United Nations Children’s Fund, International Labour Organization
  • Activists – Lech Walesa, Elie Wiesel, Mother Teresa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jane Addams, The Dalai Lama (14th)

This is but a brief list, but even so, one can certainly see that Donald Trump is not of the same caliber as the above-named people.

A few reactions from around the world on hearing this news:

  • “Donald Trump is nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and I think we all just need a break from America”
  • “Wonder how much he had to pay for this? The world is officially nuts”
  • “to those who nominated trump for the nobel peace prize, i highly HIGHLY recommend seeing a psychologist, neurologist, therapist, etc.”
  • “Donald Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize. April has come around quickly this year!”
  • “Donald Trump nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize??? I could see him winning a “Disturbing the Peace” prize”

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of five Nobel Prizes established by Alfred Nobel in his will of 1895. The prize is to be awarded annually to those who do the “best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”  I am positive the likes of Trump were not what Mr. Nobel had in mind when he established the prize, and I am equally certain that the five committee members who will be reviewing this year’s nominations, once they finish laughing, will cast the nomination of Trump aside or use it to wipe their mouths after lunch.