Almost one year ago, Greta Thunberg was in North America. Why was this young Swedish girl here, during the school year? She had become an advocate and a teen-age activist for Climate Action. She had been invited to the UN Meeting COPE 25 on Climate Change, to be held in Santiago, Chile. She had sailed on a racing yacht from Europe offered to her for the voyage, refusing air travel as too costly for the environment. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former Governor of California and action-star who had met Greta in Austria, became a Green advocate. He had also been convinced that climate action was necessary to stop humanity’s plunge into a hotter and hotter World. He lent Greta’s father and her, his Tesla for the cross-country trip from NYC to the Pacific Coast.
As Greta finished visiting the First Peoples of Alberta, at a rally in Edmonton, she headed to Vancouver, BC CANADA for a massive rally at City Hall. She had been taken in by the First Peoples and First Nations of both Canada and the United States, advocating Climate Justice and Equity in the face of continued environmental devastation.
I traveled to Vancouver, BC by train with my sign from Seattle on Friday, 25OCT20, to hear her speak and join the student and youth climate action as Scientists For Future had been ask to join on that day in advance of COPE 25. We only go where we are ask.
On my sign, I made mention of Luisa Neubauer who had just related the story of “Remembering Love” about when she and her friends had be confronted with both neo-nazis and police at a Climate Rally.
I will tell you my first impression of seeing and hearing Greta speak. She seemed “tall”. She was wearing a sky-blue raincoat, I believe, and as she spoke, she seemed “tall.” This sounds odd, I know. When I related this impression to a former student of mine in Seattle, he said, “Tall???” She is considered short for her age, and is pictured that way in the press. What can I say?
When she spoke truth about the Climate, the need for action and justice for First Peoples, she seems “tall”.
As Greta left Vancouver, she learned that Chile had made an about-face, and decided not to host the COPE 25 meeting. The actual place of the UN meeting was up in the air. She had to move quickly now. Her stop in Seattle, at Pike Place was brief.
Greta and her father were in contact with the Swedish Consul for Seattle, Ms Petra Hilleberg, and had been offered both a place to stay and a meal. Some small plans had been formulated for her to visit the National Nordic Museum based in Seattle’s Ballard District, which has a long history of advocacy for the Climate and Environment. Yet, all thoughts for Greta were for COPE 25 and not missing this opportunity to unite with student and youth from around the World and put forward their programme to the politicians in attendance, exposing their governments’ inadequacies and deceits.
Her next rally and public speech would be in Los Angeles, CA. There she learned that Spain would host the meeting in Madrid now, in place of Chile. She cut a path across the Southwest USA from California to the East Coast, where she was offered a ride on a recreational catamaran owned by a European couple. She was off again, to Europe, COPE 25, and history.