Her logic was impeccable. Last year, 15-year-old climate crusader Greta Thunberg of Sweden looked at the facts and realized there was a certain absurdity in going to school to prepare for her future when adults were conspiring to destroy that future. So, she initiated a one-girl school strike to protest the climate-change calamity facing the world within the next 30 years.

          This past Friday, Greta took her Fridays For Future strike to the fence of the White House, where the St. Louis Post-Dispatch observed this weekend, “The administration’s zeal to tear down protections is so extreme that it has drawn opposition even from major players in the automobile and fossil-fuel industries.”

          Greta had already dismissed the idea of trying to talk with our polluter-in-chief, pointing out his history of ignoring facts that others (Al Gore and Prince Charles among them) had shown him. (And our golfer-in chief was probably on his way to stoke more federal dollars into one of his golf courses.)

          Sure, she’s just a publicity-seeker. That Amnesty International Human Rights Award is just propaganda. Forget that Normandy Freedom Prize or her nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.     There’s no cause to be concerned just because:

          “Warnings of ‘destructive and irreversible impacts’ as greenhouse gases hit highest levels in 3-5 million years” – Common Dreams

          ”UN report: ‘Urgent action’ needed to protect human, environmental health” – The Hill

          “EPA-funded research finds pollution made worse by climate change can accelerate lung disease” – Think Progress

          “Rise in flesh-eating bacteria linked to climate change” – CBS News

          “Summertime parasite outbreaks have been rising steadily since 2009, CDC says” – ABC News

          “Europe warming faster than expected due to climate change” – Eureka Alert

          “Burgundy wine grapes tell climate story, show warming accelerated in past 30 years” – Eureka Alert

           “Climate change causes drop in grape harvest in Greece, affects winemaking” – Greek Reporter

          “Leaked UN draft report warns rising, warming oceans ‘poised to unleash misery’ worldwide” – Common Dreams

          “The world’s biggest companies have identified $1 trillion in climate risks, and that’s just a start” – Daily Kos

          “Human civilization faces ‘existential risk’ by 2050 according to new Australian climate change report” – CBS News

          “It’s so hot in Spain, a pile of chicken poop sparked a wildfire” – Gray News, reported by KOTA TV

          “Wealthy nations won’t be spared economic climate impacts, new study finds” – Think Progress

          “Mississippi beaches have been vacant for two months as a toxic algae bloom lurks offshore. An algal bloom in the Gulf is devastating coastal businesses.” – Huffington Post

          “Study shows global warming is making income inequality worse for those who have no way to fight back” – Daily Kos

          “A signal of climate change: Hurricane Dorian stalls over Bahamas, causing massive destruction” — CNBC

          “CO2 in the atmosphere just exceeded 415 parts per million for the first time in human history” – Tech Crunch

          “Exxon predicted in 1982 exactly how high global carbon emissions would be today”  — Think Progress

          “Study warns carbon-saturated oceans headed toward tipping point that could unleash mass extinction event” – Common Dreams

          “Great Barrier Reef health outlook downgraded to ‘very poor’ due to ocean warming” – CBS News

          “Joshua trees facing extinction” – Science Daily

          “Alaska’s water temperatures have been so hot this summer that salmon are dying off in large numbers” – Daily Kos

          “Arctic death spiral speeds up six-fold, driving coastal permafrost collapse” – Think Progress

          “’Findings should inspire naked fear’: Canada warming at twice the global rate” – Common Dreams

          “‘The clock is ticking’: Edmonton declares climate emergency” – CTV News

          “In ‘visionary’ document, small island nations declare ‘climate crisis’ in Pacific” – Common Dreams

          “Ireland becomes second country to declare climate emergency” – EcoWatch

          “Earth Day: Colorado’s climate is warming faster than the national average” – KCNC-TV, Denver

          “New look at Antarctica’s biggest ice shelf shows melting is occurring much faster than we thought” – NBC News

          “Climate change will melt vast parts of the Himalayas, study says” — CNN

          “Greenland lost 11 billion tons of surface ice in one day” – The Hill

          “’The changes are really accelerating’: Alaska at record warm while Greenland sees major ice melt. The numbers needing relocation will grow, the costs are going up and people’s lives and cultural practices will be impacted.” – Common Dreams

          “’We should be retreating already from the coastline,’ scientist suggests” – The Hill

          But: “As climate crisis grows, fastest pace of home building is in flood zones” – Daily Kos

          Youngsters have a right to be outraged by the arrogance, ignorance and – let’s be real about this – unholy greed of the very elders who should be ensuring their future. Parents used to hope that their children had better lives than they had. Now?

          “EPA administrator dismisses climate change as ‘50 to 75 years out’” – Huffington Post

          Greta, who has a better chance to be around “50 to 75 years out,”  than Andrew Wheeler, told the Los Angeles Times: “No matter how bad it gets, we must keep doing everything we can to keep it from getting worse.”

          Last week, she told CBS This Morning, “I just know what is right and I want to do what is right. I want to make sure I have done anything, everything in my power to stop this crisis from happening, to prevent it.”
          Smart-mouthed kid. Hey, only civilization is at stake.

          (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party: scdpok.us or facebook.com/SCDPOK/.)

Evidence points to a bleak future

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