Over the last few months, the World has become transfixed on a Messiah-like Swedish Teen activist whose uncompromising call for action on Climate Change has received mixed reactions – Praise, horror, inspiration, revulsion, mockery, confusion and derision.
Greta Thunberg, slowly but surely, has built a millions-strong global following of frenzied Climate activists and adherents who see, in her, a Messiah sent from Sweden to jolt the World – and our Politicians – into acting on the wanton destruction of the environment and the oft-denied Climate Change.
Her message is simple and direct (also very impassioned and sometimes dramatic) – We need to open our eyes to Climate Change and our Leaders need to act on carbon emissions, the increased use of fossil fuels in transportation, manufacturing and communications and our actions in the Oceans and Seas.
Climate Change is not a new Gospel, though. It’s a long-running controversial crusade that has dominated global topics for decades and that has either received support or outright mockery and denial. US President Donald Trump, for instance, does not believe in Climate Change.
Climate Change, according to the crusaders, is responsible for the extreme heat and cold that we experience, the disappearance of forest covers, the changes in Ocean water volumes and other extreme weather effects.
That we all know. Or, at least, we can know without the need of propping up a 15-year old school-going child to speak it to us or, as some have concluded, forcefully lecture it to us.
What has made Greta Thunberg a shocking Celebrity and a spellbinding Climate Change rock star is not the message – It’s her age, her approach to the message, her unflinching convictions, her mannerisms, her solo protests and her almost-scripted public appearances, actions and those very flaming speeches and almost-irreverent attacks on global Leaders.
Greta is not your everyday Climate Change activist. She’s no scientist, she has no deep knowledge on environmental matters and has, to be honest, not lived long enough to see what Climate Change can actually – or has actually – done.
Born just fifteen years ago, this Swedish school girl, who has battled depression, has Asperger’s syndrome and has had trouble eating, making friends or socializing, simply shot up one day from being a little pony-tailed girl sitting in front of her School every Friday to being a Nelson Mandela of some sorts – Gaining audience with some of the World’s biggest Leaders, addressing Parliaments, meeting the Royalty, meeting the Pope and sharing audiences with the likes of Barack Obama.
Also, even being relevant enough to throw a jab at President Trump and actually make that jab into the news.
She’s become a phenomena that many are still trying to decipher.
Her voyage from Plymouth, England to the US, via a carbon-free speed boat, Malizia II, which has its own solar panels and hydro-generators, that was navigated on rocky waters and wild seas, and that saw her spend a blistering 15 days on waters, and arrive to the US to a euphoric welcome has become one of this Century’s most iconic trips and defining moments.
Her confrontational speeches in summits and World stages, her refusal to be cowed or shushed, her enduring spirit in the face of irrational criticism, her direct jabs at global Leaders, her spirited invocations and overly-emotional condemnation of Politicians has won her millions of admirers and haters alike.
Some have called her wacko. Some, like Fox News pundit Michael Knowles, believe she’s a stooge with a ‘mental illness’, others , like Adam Boulton, majordomo of Sky News, trashed her as being “incompetent, middle class, self-indulgent”, while others have attacked her face, her angriness, her looks and her demeanor.
Still, Greta continues to take on them head-on – Either in public or on Twitter where she has refused to be silenced and pigeon-holed for her ‘appearance’.
Greta, to many, is not your everyday Messiah. Some claim she lacks the compactness, the humility, the self-control, the restraint, the experience, the volition, the diplomacy and the wholesomeness of some of the greatest heroes of the 20th Century – Mandela, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Mother Teresa.
She’s too erratic. Too wild. Too much. Too angry. Too loud. Too young. Too deluded and too caught up in her own little web of Climate delirium to be taken seriously.
And yet, the World over, she’s winning new converts daily, making millions of kids hit the streets daily, meeting Leaders daily and dominating global headlines daily.
We may not yet understand what’s the deal with this Swedish teen. But, so far, she has remained resolute.