I hadn’t taken much notice of Greta Thunberg and her angry speech until a Twitter handle I respect and admire, slammed her:
Well, frankly, no one came to you for hope. You impose yourself on everyone through strikes and activism. You show NO HOPE. All you do is shame adults for being fallible and human. And posture as a beacon of hope.
Sorry, but not seeing it. Not buying it. https://t.co/fLVIXDy9p3
— GS (@aliceonaroll) September 24, 2019
Now, @aliceonaroll is no way ‘an elder’ who needs to be defending herself. She’s a young lady passionate about the environment, conservation and photography. She educates and inspires many to care for Nature and lifeforms.
But I, however, am a true elder, close to 80 now.
So, I went over to find out what the young girl had said that so upset my friend, who I know is not easily angered. I have just heard her and barely recovered from her cold snarl, such as what they say is seen only in those possessed.
Let me try and tell Greta Thunberg what elders -my contemporaries- did in our past and see if she is exorcised.
I assure everyone, this is not about me except in the next couple paras. I also promise a solution for Greta from an elder, 20 years older than me.
Whenever I get an opportunity I, as an Indian, apologise in public for the sin of my generation, in having been abettors -active ignorant or silent- of the cultural hijack by the Reds and Nehruvians.
I too am culpable.
But we in India are not guilty of environmental destruction, because India’s poverty helped in making the madness called the Green Revolution unaffordable, and so saved us somewhat. But when I was a young man, a true ogre stalked the world at large and shook young people: the Vietnam War.
In the 1970s, as the war raged, I was a sea-going, young man. I sailed the South China Sea for most of that period and I met with several young men in uniform, shaken, despairing and coming apart. There was no escaping conscription in the USA, Australia and NZ. Whoever could, escaped to gentler countries, including India.
Those that escaped chose a quieter life, which invariably was about caring for the earth. They sang of the Age of Aquarius, of love, hope and courage. Those young men of the 1970s’ Western World in the were Greta’s elders who too had lost their childhoods. They quietly went away and explored solutions for happy living.
And do you know what, they forced an end to Vietnam war and made waging wars difficult for Greta Thunberg and her future.
They saw hope in low footprint lives. Homesteading, self sufficiency, low cost living, music and books were their lives. Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Jack Kerouac, Baba Ram Das, Masanobu Fukuoka, Ivan Illich, Stewart Brand, Amory Lovins, Bill Mollison and James Lovelock ruled their hearts- and mine too, because I used to travel the world on slow ships with time to take in what went on everywhere.
Because of them, I have been for 40 years, planting trees, harvesting water and exploring energy options. Let my credentials end there. I personally know two deeply committed Europeans- one an Australian, now in Auroville, India and another an American, now in one of Canada’s Vancouver islands. Yet another American I know has made India his home to work on wildlife conservation
All are Vietnam deserters, who have dedicated 50 years to growing forests and inspiring others.
Enough of that.
Now it’s time to offer Greta Thunberg a solution for what she rightly said, is a problem that has been ‘staring at us for 30 years’
Remember my mention of James Lovelock? He just turned 100 and lives in Britain.
In the 1970s he proposed that the Earth be deemed a living organism with a mind of its own. This came to be known as the Gaia Hypothesis. He gave us hope that Gaia can survive man’s abuse because as a large living organism Gaia can heal herself.
My generation ate out of his hands.
And then this happened:
In 2006 James Lovelock wrote a book titled “The Revenge of Gaia”.
It shook and outraged his followers, because of what he proposed in it.
Let me summarise in my own words.
- No doubt Gaia is self-healing, but now she has a terminal fever. She has lost her strength to heal herself. It is due to global warming. We cannot save her unless we first cool the fever.
- None of the alternate energy solutions -wind, solar or tidal- have matured or scaled enough to replace fossil fuels.
- Humans, however, cannot now be weaned away from lifestyles that are energy-intensive. They want comfort, luxury, entertainment and travel. (Sounds true, Greta?)
- So how do we cool the planet? We must adopt nuclear power for a period during which renewable energy can mature and take over.
- Nuclear power has one of the best safety records. Yes, there is the spent fuel problem but an engineered solution to overcome it is available. Nuclear waste is a far lesser evil than extinction.
All hell broke loose. His flock called him a traitor. I was saddened but have now recovered to see sense in his solution. I have lost many friends though. One can read about Lovelock here.
Lovelock and I are Greta’s elders who she accuses of having robbed her life and not having cared for her.
I ask Greta.
Lovelock has proposed a solution widely agreed as a sensible one.
A) Will you accept it? Will your captors?
B) Have you ever heard of him or his solution?
C) If you reject it, have you another solution that can avert our extinction?
Greta, first ask yourself if 3 above is true and then attempt C.
My guess is you will not undertake this exercise.
Because you are a victim of child abduction by a Post Communist Cabal which is intent on preventing you from discovering solutions. It is in its interest to keep the world shaken and agitated for it is in such times that it prospers.
I have watched their members for long.
When your abductors have gone to bed, stealthily read what I wrote about them in OpIndia two years ago:
You will understand it is them who have fought induction of nuclear power, knowing well there is no solution now other than that. World leaders have had to cope with them at every step and turn.
It is your captors who’d be responsible if extinction comes about.
Deliver the same speech to them, Greta Thunberg, and demand they protest in the streets for nuclear power.
Leave bitching to your elders. You must focus on solutions for the planet.