Sorry American Airlines, United and Delta, Greta is taking away all your jumbos. You will cease flying immediately, because she is a high minded moral person doing the right thing. You are burning down our collective house! AND, did she mention you are pond scum! The loss of all your soot belching jets will cause you pain, yadda yadda, but it’s for a good cause.
How about you share our pain? We were planning a vacation on the coast, Europe or Hawaii. Now what are we going to do?
Greta says if we are good, we can take a train ride to Niagara, the Poconos or the Jersey Shore. But that trip to Kauai or London? No way! You’ll need to go by canoe or catch a sailboat like she does.
Post-industrial life has more subtle adjustments as well. Want to call the EMT, police or firefighters? They’ll get there as fast as their little feet can carry them, or maybe they’ll catch the bus. No more garbage trucks. Collections will be by smaller pedal powered collectors. That moving van? You will have to fit your new bedroom set, appliances and sofa on a bike.
Those of us trying to earn a living toiling in the labor force, how’s that going down? You can telecommute or you can get a bike,- one of those fat, snow tire jobs for the cold weather commute. Still stuck for transportation? Consider hitching a ride on someone’s handlebars? (Does anyone know how to ride on handle bars anymore?)
An inconvenience? Yes for you obsolete climate change denying dinosaurs. But Greta’s post-industrial plan will bring benefits as well. If you and all the Chinese, Indians and Indonesians do as you’re told, then Miami and lower Manhattan will remain above water, California will escape incineration and Bangladesh won’t become a scuba nation.
You say you don’t give a shit about Indonesia or Bangladesh? Well let’s get personal: What about your endless struggle with your weight loss program, Porky? Greta makes it a piece of cake. The farmers will replace their smoke belching tractors with oxen, food will become scarce and hard to get. “Puff!”: Unsightly obesity problem solved! Stop worrying.
If you want to worry, then consider the military implication of carbon free defense. Ships, tanks and planes burning sustainable fuels will be a stretch. Fat chance the admirals and generals will be going to go back to bows and arrows because they have other priorities.
All my sarcasm would be so delicious if only Greta was all wrong and the deniers had the answers. But she’s not. In her lifetime, herculean changes will be necessary and she’s simply one canary in a coal mine tossing out warnings. This cranky, sanctimonious and pious teen is not my favorite spokesperson. There must be prettier canaries.
Then again, I’m five times Greta’s age. When she thunders “How dare you kill my future?”, do I or my generation experience guilt? Obsolescence maybe, but remarkably little guilt. When we were 16 we had our own existential apocalypse. An arms race with hundreds of nuclear tests contaminated the world’s rain. Our bones were all going to light up at night with strontium 90 radiation. That strontium promised a worse future than Greta envisions. In the 1950’s a measurable percentage of the world population died with each blast and cumulative effect or radiation was mounting. At that time we became cranky, sanctimonious ban-the-bomb protesters.
What happened? A test treaty was signed, the booms ended and our bones are now safe.
Go get ’em Greta!