Greta Keeps Drivin’ em Wild

December 11, 2019

You may have heard, Greta (which my spell check keeps correcting to “Great”) Thunberg is Time’s Person of the Year.

Unexpectedly, I found out that I had been honored as well, in a small way.


That Thunberg is the youngest individual ever named TIME’s Person of the Year says as much about the moment as it does about her. The 92-year-old franchise is rooted in the so-called Great Man theory of history, the notion that powerful individuals shape the world. Historically that has meant people who worked their way up the ladders of major organizations and were at home in the corridors of power. But in this moment when so many traditional institutions seem to be failing us, amid staggering inequality and social upheaval and political paralysis, we are seeing new kinds of influence take hold. It is wielded by people like Thunberg, leaders with a cause and a phone who don’t fit the old rubrics but who connect with us in ways that institutions can’t and perhaps never could.

When she first heard about global warming as an 8-year-old, Thunberg says she thought, “That can’t be happening, because if that were happening, then the politicians would be taking care of it.” That they weren’t is precisely what motivated her to act, as it has youth the world over who are forcing us to confront the peril of our own inaction, from the student-led protests on the streets of Santiago, Chile, to the young democracy activists fighting for rights and representation in Hong Kong to the high schoolers from Parkland, Fla., whose march against gun violence Thunberg cites as an inspiration for her climate strikes.

“I’d like to tell my grandchildren that we did everything we could,” she told TIME from the coast of Virginia in mid-November, as she prepared to cross the Atlantic by sailboat, “and we did it for them and for the generations to come.”

For sounding the alarm about humanity’s predatory relationship with the only home we have, for bringing to a fragmented world a voice that transcends backgrounds and borders, for showing us all what it might look like when a new generation leads, Greta Thunberg is TIME’s 2019 Person of the Year.

More reactions below:

14 Responses to “Greta Keeps Drivin’ em Wild”

  1. Don Osborn Says:

    Greta, one is known by BOTH their friends and their enemies. You are in VERY good company on BOTH accounts. As an “old white man” working in solar for over 40 years, I say THANK YOU!!

  2. Gingerbaker Says:

    Congrats, Peter!

    Gosh, I do so hope she has not the time to read the comments here! ;>D

  3. dumboldguy Says:

    Attended another Youth Climate Strike last Friday, this one in Vienna, VA, about 15 miles from the White House. The students involved were primarily from Madison High School, which has an enrollment of ~2200 and serves a pretty well-off suburban area in Fairfax County, VA.

    Program lasted 2+ hours, and included speeches by several politicians (who IMO were mostly looking for future votes). Not a big turnout—-maybe 40-50 students and about the same number of parents and grandparents Interesting to note that nearly all the students were female—-only 3 or 4 boys in attendance, and only one spoke (and poorly compared to the girls, most of whom were excellent). Greta’s spirit is alive and well among the young ladies at Madison HS!

    I asked the young ladies where the “men” were, and they had no real explanation. I got the feeling that they weren’t pushing the boys to get involved (no Lysistrata here). They were also a bit timid in general—-one of the young organizers asked me to hide my DUMP TRUMP sign behind my SAVE EARTH sign because it was “too political”—I usually hold them up side by side.

    The strike ended with a march up and down the main street for a quarter mile, with banners and signs waving (I carried my TRUMP IS A HOAX sign and loaned the SAVE EARTH sign to a teacher. Many passing cars blew horns in support—-one moron rolled down the window and yelled “Grow up”. Near the end, the kids got bold and blocked traffic for a whole FIFTEEN seconds, not even long enough to get any drivers upset—being an old “brat”, I lagged behind and prolonged it for another five seconds.

    All in all, it’s good that the kids are trying—-not yet enough of them, and not yet as angry as Greta, but it’s a start.

    • redskylite Says:

      Great post DOG, as a responder who is on the higher side of the septuagenarian league, it’s good to read of your fine fighting spirit, and your support of our young.

      Certainly the changes are astounding, who would have thought (in the 60’s, 70’s 80’s) that ghg molecules could effect such an enormous change to our world.

      We’ve seen it and the young know it and the world must change quickly.

      Don’t think twice

      “Well it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
      Ifin’ you don’t know by now
      An’ it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
      It’ll never do some how.”


      “This is an accurate description of event attribution.

      And by the time they turn 50, if globally we had managed to halt our emissions quickly back in the 2020s, the temperature will have begun to stabilise. We’ll still be facing extreme heat, but at a far more manageable level than if we’d done nothing to halt climate change.”

    • Keith Omelvena Says:

      You are right about the gender thing. My daughter was on the strike a while back. The young ladies were definitely the driving force! Had this Time story on my FB news feed this morning from RNZ. The comment section was polluted, as always, with examples of humans out stupiding each other. The most annoying thing? The number that were obviously American!

    • Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

      The erudition of the girls is frankly mind blowing. There is definitely some pressure on American students keeping the numbers low? The boys are missing an opportunity too. By the way, Go Woofer!

  4. jimbills Says:

    Trump of course doesn’t have the class or character to let this pass without a Twitter tantrum.

    Here’s Greta’s response – too funny:

  5. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    You’re a Made Man now, Peter.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: