Adults Who Bully Children

If you don’t know who Greta Thunberg is, you’ve been living on the moon. I’ve known about her for a while and recently started following her on social media. She’s a 16 year old environmentalist from Sweden and she gives very powerful, passion filled speeches to the UN. The last speech had both my husband and I saying “Daaaaaamn!” at the harsh words she directed at the world’s leaders.

When I found her on social media, her post that had the most recent speech had over 18k comments on it – I looked this morning and it was at over 107k! You’d think that people would be cheering her for actually taking action to try to make change – as she says, it’s her and her children that will suffer the consequences of our lack of action of a problem we created. Unfortunately, there were still people – ADULTS! – attacking her! But the very articulate and mature teen responded with this:

“Here we go again… as you may have noticed, the haters are as active as ever – going after me, my looks, my clothes, my behaviour and my differences. They come up with every thinkable lie and conspiracy theory. It seems they will cross every possible line to avert focus, since they are so desperate not to talk about the climate and ecological crisis. Being different is not an illness and the current, best available science is not opinions – it’s facts. I honestly don’t understand why adults would choose to spend their time mocking and threatening teenagers and children for promoting science, when they could do something good instead. I guess they must simply feel so threatened by us. But the world is waking up. See you in the streets this Friday!”

It was disheartening to see adults bullying and calling this girl names. Telling her to “shut up”, “get your head out of your ass”, “go back to school and get educated”, but almost worse were the people who deny climate change.

Yes, like everything, the earth goes through natural fluctuations of “heating” and “cooling”. Everything has cycles in some way. However, with the global population being what it is, we are moving the earth into an unnatural cycle of heating which is having devastating results in icepack levels. Glaciers and permafrost is disappearing which is making it harder for polar bears to survive. Without the permafrost, erosion is occurring and some northern communities aren’t equip to stop it. Infrastructures that rely on the ice and permafrost at struggling.

I come from the Comox Valley and it’s known for the glacier – all iconic shots include the mountain. My husband was born and raised in the Valley. I lived there twice. And over the years, you could watch the glacier slowly disappear – and that’s impressive! To be able visually see the glacier recede over the decades is scary! But global warming also affects areas that aren’t overly cold – it’s making “normal temperature” places warmer. With higher temperatures, there’s less rainfall and rivers and streams are lower which causes issues for migrating fish. On Vancouver Island this past summer, ecologists had to hand carry fish further up the stream where they could continue the migration. Mountain regions are hotter and drier which is becoming hazardous for forest fires. Every summer, it’s “the worst season ever”… and it’s been like this for years.

But, no, “global warming” is a myth.

Some people criticized her – that she’s reading a speech written by someone else. WHO DOESN’T!? Even the heads of countries have their speeches written for them! And for those laughing about the fact it looks like she’s going to cry – hell, even when I have to speak to a group of people – or just a few people for that matter! – I will tear up if I’m really passionate about what I’m talking about. I’ll also tear up if I’m really nervous or angry! Crying is a natural response to emotions, so if her tears bother you, maybe check in on your emotions!

People are saying that she CHOSE to take this upon herself so she shouldn’t be complaining that they (UN) stole her childhood… but you know what? If she doesn’t take it upon herself, who will? The older generations just seem to be fucking up the world. If the younger generations don’t try to fix it, who will? It, honestly, gives me hope! There’s typically so much negativity around the younger generations who live with their nose in their phones and care more about social media than living in the real world. So many people have blinders on, they ignore bigger problems. If younger generations see Greta, they might be more inclined to step up to stand beside her.

Yes, there’s a LOT of problems in the world; war torn countries, displaced families, famine and disease – the list goes on. However, as sad as it is to say, these things don’t actually affect the majority of people so it’s easy to ignore. Global warming is a global problem – it will affect every single person on the planet. Yes, some places won’t be as affected, but eventually it will. If crops start dying because of insufficient rainfall because it’s too hot and dry, those crops won’t make it to impoverished places and famine will increase. If fresh water sources become less available, maybe wars will be about water instead of oil.

Whether or not global warming is true, why is it a bad thing to try to reduce emissions? Why is it a bad thing to encourage recycling or ditching single use plastics? Our world is sick and we’re the disease. WE’RE making the earth sick. We’re pumping CO2 into the air. We’re dumping waste into the oceans. We’re destroying entire ecosystems to make space for commercial farming. Animals are going extinct. There’s no planet B – this is it. This is all we have – and if we don’t do something now, future generations will suffer.

We need more Greta’s – even as a “figure head” for youth around the world to rally around. Seeing her gives me hope for future generations.

On Sept 27, I participated in the Global Strike for Climate Change. It was my first protest and I would do it again!

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