Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg has been awarded Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2019 award. At a mere sixteen years of age, she is the youngest recipient ever.
I was hesitant to write anything about this, because, quite frankly, I am sick to death of the arguments for and against whether or not humans are responsible for a change in the climate. People are polarised on the issue, and probably nothing that I say or anyone else says is going to make one iota of difference in changing minds of those whose minds seem to be already made up.
Intelligent people will state categorically that climate change is real and has been caused, at least in part, by humans, and that science proves this. Other intelligent people will also claim that humans are not responsible for climate change, and that science also backs their position on the issue.
In addition to being tired of the ongoing arguments whether or not we humans are to blame even in part, I am also tired of the put downs given to those with opposing views. It has been less than twenty-four hours since Time Magazine has announced the award, and already I have seen numerous posts on Facebook making fun of Greta Thunberg. People really can be mean, disgusting even.
Here we have a teenager who is obviously passionate about her beliefs and is working towards making the world a better place. The fact she has been recognised by Time Magazine and awarded “Person of the Year 2019” would indicate that her efforts have been recognised.
Up until now, apart from some private personal conservations, I have not let anyone know my thoughts regarding climate change. I certainly have not put anything in writing about those thoughts. But, it is probably time to declare my hand.
It would seem that my thoughts, beliefs and attitudes regarding this issue are at odds with many from my generation. Next month, all being well, I shall have my seventy-fourth birthday. Yes, I am a Baby Boomer, but quite frankly, I am embarrassed to be associated with what seems to be the prevalent thinking of much of my generation.
Climate change is real and we humans, even if we are not the major cause of that change, must do whatever we can to make this planet a safe place to live for future generations.
Grumpy old men who write posts on social media sites claiming how tough it was when they were young compared with youngsters today such as: having fish and chips from the shop wrapped in newspaper, taking lunch to school wrapped in greaseproof paper and a paper bag, and climbing trees and playing games outside after school instead of playing on their iPhone, have a serious memory lapse.
What they choose to forget is that it was our generation who developed the plastics which are currently polluting the world. It was us who developed and burned fossil fuels for transportation and to work our air conditioners, not Greta Thunberg and her fellow teenagers.
With our catastrophic bush fires, floods, land slides, water and food shortages, we will probably manage to survive living on planet earth for years to come, even if we do not make major changes in the way we care for the environment. But, what about our grand-children and their offspring?
Me and the rest of my generation will be dead. These old fools who continue to deny climate change and the part we humans play towards causing it, I can only describe as being incredibly selfish.