Torrents of words -- as voluminous as the meltwater spilling off Greenland's ice sheet -- have been penned about Greta's amazing life and mission. David Wallace Wells, author of the best-selling book Uninhabitable Earth, calls her the Joan of Arc of climate change and suggests that her story fits squarely into the epic-journey template crafted by Joseph Campbell in Hero with A Thousand Faces. In short, Greta's become the stone-serious face of young people around the planet appealing to older generations to take action on climate-change.
Yesterday, after traveling across the Atlantic Ocean in a zero-carbon sailboat, Greta appeared before the U.S. Congress and told its members, quite simply, to "face facts." One congressman from Louisiana, oozing condescension, tried to trip her up by asking how she'd feel if other sailboats were throwing more trash into the ocean than hers, and she countered him not with feelings -- not fair, they get to pollute more than us! -- but logic. Not that he listened to her answer; rather, the oleaginous representative segued into a canned speech about developing innovative technologies while waiting for other countries to show leadership on curtailing greenhouse gases. It was impressive, too, how Greta introduced herself with the Swedish pronunciation of her name, which sounds something like Getty-etta Toonbury. This is me: Greta with Asperger's, Greta with the twerky name, get used to it.
Greta also met Barack Obama, who fist-bumped her because he still thinks that's cool, and appeared with other child-activists at a press conference about tomorrow's global climate strike (see super-cute video of little boy protecting Greta from ravening photogs). Surely she'll continue her zealous, awkward star-turn at Monday's climate summit at the United Nations.
Yes! No apologies! No being manipulated into backing off because mom or dad or assorted elders may actually have to "face facts" and put real effort into salvaging civilization. No being made to feel bad for adults who are perfectly capable of singing pop arias in Stockholm rather than opera in Auckland. Perfectly capable of foregoing new kitchen cabinets for solar panels on the roof. Of not voting for climate deniers or go-slow incrementalists. And certainly no feeling all squishy bad for the plight of comedians like Trevor Noah who jet around the world doing stand-up when he's not filming his show in NYC. This fall Trevor will be appearing in Orlando, Austin, Tucson, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Abu Dhabi and Medford, Massachusetts.
Hold on: Abu Dhabi? Really? Abu Dhabi, renowned for its mistreatment of foreign workers; Abu Dhabi, devoted to expanding production from its massive oil and natural gas reserves; Abu Dhabi, its air a toxic swirl of small particulates belched by oil refineries; Abu Dhabi -- you really have to travel 7,000 miles to perform there? Okay, Trevor, we get that you're not giving up flying, but why not honor Greta's "powerful" (your word) message and skip that very dubious jaunt?
As for Medford, Mass., that's easy green. Just take the Acela train from Penn Station to Boston's South Station. Try the quiet car, so fans and detractors can't bug you. Then I'll pick you up in my electric vehicle, powered by rooftop solar panels, and zip we go your swanky hotel. Or straight to the Chevalier Theater in Medford -- it's four miles from my house! I'll even call you Mr. Noah, sir, and avoid eye contact if you're one of those celebrities. But I hope not. I'd like to hear what she's really like, the amazing Greta.