I was listening to Greta Thunberg's speech at the UN yesterday. You could hear the emotion in her voice as she condemned the leaders of the world for avoiding and denying climate change. Today there were comments from Conservative nay-sayers about her accusations. I am just stunned at what people will say when they are avoiding looking truth in the eye. One comment dealt with the image the Nazis often used of young, blond-haired, blue-eyed women. They had a picture of an image from an old Nazi poster and then had Greta's picture next to it and others said she was "mentally ill". The accusation was the "liberals" are using Greta to propagate a false reality. That she has frightened children with her dire predictions. Oh, good grief! Perhaps the fear the fear mongers are preaching is real because they recognize the truth is real. Human beings have brought this on ourselves by a whole range of items of mis-information. In the race to prove more is better we have lost sight of what the gospel of "more" has done to destroy our earth. Living in Montana and knowing her history is to know the history of a victim of extractions. From the slag hills of Butte and the disaster that was the Anaconda Mining Company to the English and Scottish and New York investors who destroyed the prairies by overgrazing the land with thousands of heads of cattle, Montana is a prime example, with the hills of Appalachia and Pennsylvania, of ecological destruction. Oil has had its foot in the door and there are monumental questions about fracking and oil waste dumps that have begun to appear around the area. People should be afraid. People should listen and be ready to work for change in how we live. The values and ethics of our society are out of balance. Yesterday I saw a rainbow in the skies over Makoshika and remembered the promise of the rainbow in Genesis that God would never again destroy the earth as happened in the great flood, but it doesn't say anything about humankind destroying the earth by our own miscalculations and greed. Young people like Greta Thunberg and others are the best ones to give us a 'kick in the seat of our pants' and make us get moving. The same is apparent in the gun violence issues, global hunger and destruction of the oceans and the rain forests. The earth cannot automatically renew itself. It is time for all of us to face this new reality and get to work to right the wrongs of our past carelessness. We need more Greta Thunbergs, not less.
Retired public school librarian, retired ELCA pastor, lover of the prairies, "daughter of the middle border", granddaughter of Scandinavian immigrants. Always loved to read and write. P.S. I don't Facebook or Twitter, but I would enjoy visiting with you at firstname.lastname@example.org