“Greta! Hurry up or you’ll miss school!”

Mrs Thunberg entered her daughter’s bedroom to see if she was ready to leave. The first thing that met her was a huge sign saying “SKOLSTREJK FÖR KLIMATET.” Greta was closing up her backpack which she had filled with a rain jacket, warm clothes, sandwiches, a thermos of hot chocolate, a sleeping pad, and a couple of books.

From experience, Mrs Thunberg knew that she was up against a force of nature. Still, she made an attempt to stop the avalanche.

“Honey, please! Your father and I agree with you. We have become vegans, we have stopped flying and we bought an electric car. We are OK with all that. But listen: you have to go to school! Next year you’ll start senior high. We are concerned about your future!”

“Mother,” Greta interrupted, “Have you read the newspapers? Do you know that last summer was the hottest in Sweden in 262 years? Did you see the wildfires on TV? The Paris climate treaty still isn’t honored! Why aren’t you concerned about that?”

“But Greta, you’re just a little girl! You’re only 15! This isn’t your responsibility!”

“It’s everybody’s responsibility! That’s why I’ve chosen to go on strike. I’ll sit outside the Parliament every day until the politicians start doing something.”

“Greta, this is your Asperger’s showing up again. Don’t let it destroy your life!”

“My Asperger is my superpower! And I have to do something! Gandhi said, ‘You have to be the change you want to see.’ Nobody is too small to make a difference! Gandhi was about as tiny as I am and he liberated India!”

“Oh, Greta!”

***

A year later, when “The Greta Effect” had led to an international movement with demonstrations for the climate in more than 2,200 places in 140 countries, Greta was invited to give a speech at the United Nations. With the world’s leaders attentively listening, she said, “We are in the beginning of a mass-extinction and all you choose to talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?”

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Voice-Team
Voice-Team(@voice-team)
Admin
11 months ago

The story of a contemporary heroine from a new point of view. A real life fairy-tale of courage.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

Christer, Greta certainly is a very brave girl. She had done what very few adults would dare to do. This is a great reminder that we all need to do our part.

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Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister(@alan-kemister)
1 year ago

Hello Christer, This new climate-related theme on Voice.club would not be off to a good start without a story about Greta the Great. Glad you accepted the challenge and produced one. I hope she gets chosen for the Nobel peace prize.

Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister(@alan-kemister)
Reply to  Christer Norrlof
1 year ago

According to Nobel’s will (I’m quoting from infallible Wikipedia) the prizes were supposed to be awarded without distinction of nationality, and her appeal must be almost universal – she’s shot down every world leader with ‘her politician-skewering lethal glare’. Quote is from a story I wrote on my website https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com/2021/09/09/hottest-summer-ever-by-phil-yeats/

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
1 year ago

Christer, thank you so much for this story. Strange to know that there are still people that haven’t heard of Greta. Stranger still to realize that those of us who have been hearing about her for years still think that one person cannot make a difference in this horrendous climate change challenge. She is living proof of what one person can do. Here is a link to the speech she gave to the UN – the quote in your story was part of this speech.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAJsdgTPJpU

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Fuji
1 year ago

Thank you for sharing the video link, Fuji. I think all those who have been hit have swallowed their saliva out of shame. My hair stood on end at her powerful words. She is so brave and wonderful. I love Greta so much. She is great.

Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister(@alan-kemister)
Reply to  Christer Norrlof
1 year ago

Hello Fuji, Carmelo and Christer, There seems little doubt hearing the unwelcome facts spoken so forcefully by a teenage girl has more impact on people than similar words spoken by scientists. We can only hope her inspirational words inspire our political leaders to actually do something positive. In North America, there is little evidence her words are having the hoped for effect. I’ll give you one example. In 2019 when she was in North America for that UN conference she visited Montreal and talked to our Prime Minister. He promised at their meeting to plant 2 billion trees before 2030. A year later, none had been planted. Not a good start. Aspirations and inspirations are great, but only if they generate concrete action.

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Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister(@alan-kemister)
Reply to  Christer Norrlof
1 year ago

We do seem to be. This little thread has contributors from four different countries on three different continents.

Chris
Chris(@chris)
Reply to  Alan Kemister
1 year ago

I am glad to see contributors from different continents gathering here, having a civil discussion about a contentious topic such as climate change.

I really like the line Christer quotes above: “We are in the beginning of a mass-extinction and all you choose to talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth

I wonder, when does the obsession with economic growth ever end?

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Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister(@alan-kemister)
Reply to  Chris
1 year ago

Hello Chris. You end with a very important question. But a better one may be how do we turn the obsession with unrestricted economic growth into a push for economic growth that doesn’t harm the environment. Convincing people and politicians that economic growth should end is probably impossible. Convincing them that economic growth must be environmentally benign and not contribute to climate deterioration may be possible.

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
1 year ago

Oh! I love this story. It’s amazing to see how the doggedness of a teenage girl awakened a mass movement when at that age most teenage girls priorities are their looks. It’s a great story. Please what’s the meaning of Asperger?

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 year ago

Greta, a young girl wiser than her years. I hope she receives the Nobel peace prize, no one deserves it more. Really enjoyed your story Christer.

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