Are You Dropping Things More Frequently?
INTERESTING STUFF – 28 September 2019

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them

Every now and then – much more frequently these days than I would ever have believed in the past – something happens in the world that is not directly related to the topic of this blog but is so important that I want to give us a chance to discuss it.

Events move so quickly these days that you might think I'm talking about the whistleblower and the U.S. House of Representatives' opening a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump. It certainly meets my criteria for this kind of blog post.

But I haven't caught up to that yet. I'm still on climate change, on the worldwide climate strike marches last Friday and that astonishing young girl who is wise and brave beyond her 16 years, Greta Thunberg.

Listen to her fierce and powerful speech to the United Nations' Climate Action Summit in New York City on Monday. Even if you have heard it before, it's worth paying attention to again. And again.

(You can read the transcript of Ms. Thunberg's U.N. speech at NPR.)

Isn't she wonderful. In the 30 years that have passed since science made it clear that humankind is killing our only planet, have you heard any world leader match her understanding and passion and intention?

She reminds me a bit of David Hogg and his fellow students who survived the Valentines Day 2018 mass shooting at Margery Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and who are making their way through college these days while still working as gun control activists.

Ms. Thunberg inspires me. She makes me believe that we – humankind – can win the climate challenge before Earth is destroyed by it – even while I am still pessimistic.

Pessimistic about Earth's future because the leaders of the world attending the U.N. Climate Action Summit haven't offered a whit of concrete support for Ms. Thunberg's almost desperate call to action.

In an opinion piece in The Guardian, Michael H. Fuchs, noting that the United States should be leading world-wide cooperation to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis, compared Greta Thunberg and the U.S. President Trump:

”Her remarks reminded us what leadership, courage and sacrifice look like...”, Fuchs wrote.

“Trump refusing to participate in the UN climate summit was little surprise from a president who gutted domestic environmental protections, announced his intention to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement, and is even trying to prevent California from enacting higher emissions standards for automobiles.”

In Isaiah 11:6, the Old Testament tells us,

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.

In the aftermath of terrible, frightening events like shootings and climate, it does seem like it is the children, not adults, who are leading the humane response.

Ms. Thunberg, who is actually a teen, won't be a child for much longer but as far as I can tell she is working circles around the grownups who refuse to face our ultimate existential problem.

It occurs to me that if her passion were matched with the knowledge of scientists, with others who can apply the scientists' solutions and still others who can organize countries worldwide, maybe, maybe, maybe there is a chance to save the planet.

Pipe dream? I hope with all my might it is not.

Last week, former U.S. President Barack Obama called Greta Thunberg “one of our planet’s greatest advocates.” It looks like she may have arrived at the last minute but perhaps there is still time if we start soon.

While she was in New York City, Ms. Thunberg was a guest on The Daily Show with host, Trever Noah. It's worth the eight minutes of your time.

If you want to know more about Greta Thunberg, Wikipedia has some good background, and there is a 30-minute Vice documentary titled, Make the World Greta Again about her early efforts. You will find it here.



Comments

I often thought of that Bible phrase when reading about David Hogg & Greta Thunberg. World leadership on the climate crisis wont come from the US altho we along w/ China are the top 2 methane producers.

We were once a great country. We built a rocket within months to travel to the moon. We can do this. Other countries will have to do it without us.

The Paris Accord had no real teeth. It was just an agreement.

My thought on the Isaiah writing refers to the ready acceptance of our differences, without question.

A metaphor, that we easily lie together, even in our vulnerable dream states.

This young woman thrills me with her attitude, which I hope spreads far and wide. No more "shoulds," nor country boundaries on this subject, we've got to get this one right, together.

Thanks for this, Ronni.

We marched with Greta and millions of others in NYC for the Climate Strike. The crowd was diverse in terms of race AND age. Greta is a prophet and a true inspiration.

Ms. Thunberg is awesome! Intelligent, determined, informed, and not afraid to take action.

But oh how it saddens me that it takes a child/teenager to show the adults of the world how one should act, how to face a very endangered future. And yet, so many adults deny what is happening to the planet or don't respond at all. Instead, we are going to leave Ms. Thunberg, and all our children, a horribly damaged planet on which they will try to survive and undo our damage. Shame on us.

Greta is so right that people turn away from climate change because it is just too disturbing and they'd rather live out their lives in the same comfortable way they've always lived. When I find myself saying, "Well, I'll be dead before this happens," I remind myself that my granddaughter will be alive, God willing, and I don't want her to suffer. We should all think of our grandchildren and our friends' grandchildren, and all the young people in the world. What we do today determines the world they will live in.

She's marvelous. I enjoy how she addresses her autism and how it gives her super powers.

I too am a fan of Greta along with my 11-year old granddaughter. We watched her UN speech together and the interview with (my favorite) Trevor Noah. Today, thanks to you, Ronni, we will watch the documentary done on the first climate strike. My sentiments are aligned with the writers above, and I feel sick for the planet we have left our descendants. But I am encouraged that the youth are rising up fiercely and with great determination to change how we do things. We must all be Greta in our daily lives if anything is to improve.

She is a world treasure. So many good people in the world.

She is an exceptional young lady and amazing.

But what I find truly amazing is that there are trump supporters who dislike her, criticize her and probably threaten her and all because she is trying to instill awareness of the destruction climate change will cause for everyone.
What is wrong with these people?

What is wrong with tRump supporters? They are tRump supporters! Doesn't that pretty much say it all?

Yes! Ms. Thunberg is a marvel. She takes time to think about what she is saying, and she doesn't yell, that alone is thrilling in these times. I can't say enough about her, she has been my heroine since I first heard her.
And she has it right, that though we should all do the most we can in our private lives, we must, most of all, push the government and corporations to make appropriate laws and decisions.

I think people need reminding - or perhaps they've never realised it - when we ask and work for a "green" environment, for an environmentally friendly planet, we're attempting to give our species a chance to survive. We are not trying to save the planet, we can't. We are trying to save the environment that homo sapiens needs to live on this planet. People cannot live without sufficient oxygen, water, food, energy. We are consuming so much, so fast, that it can't be replaced, and in the forseeable future, we will be one of those hundreds of species that goes extinct each day.

All Trump did was mock Greta Thunberg with a sarcastic tweet. What is wrong with this man!

Kids today get it. That's what keeps me hopeful about the world.

I am a retired high school teacher and I couldn’t be more proud of Ms Thunberg and the world’s children for standing up for their future. I love the title of your post.

Thank you, Ronni, for this stimulating offering today. The title "And a little child shall lead them."  really got my attention.  I can't add much to all the great comments already voiced, except to share a brief family story. 

When my grandson was about 10 or so he attended a Charter  school in California.  His creative teacher wanted to give them ways to understand and impact the world around them.  She told them about the fate of the California Redwoods dying in increasing numbers, and proposed they could plant some as a class. After they had  finished the few planned, my Grandson, who loved being out in the woods anytime said something to the effect (remember my memory isn't  exactly verbatim) "I bet we could plant a hundred."  It lit a spark in his teacher.   Long story, short version, they did !! Of course had the the help of donated funds, parents, etc.  His fine teacher later left the public school system and began a non-profit program called "Play in the Wild" taking city kids of all ages into nature  to camp overnight and meet our green earth first hand. It is still  active as  Playinthewild.org  even though the same little boy is now nearly 30 y/o. 

 As can often be said,  "And a little child shall lead them.", I am like you, Ronni, and hope the ones with decision making power are listening.

This young lady certainly deserves to have her views exposed to the world emphasized here and elsewhere. Surely doubting adults cannot dismiss what she has to say about our planet’s environmental state that generations coming after our own can expect to encounter.

I am encouraged that our young generations seem to demonstrate an increased concern and awareness about what’s really important in life, perhaps with declining focus on our celebrity obsessed culture. I hope their time and efforts translate into involvement in demanding a more ethical democratic government with leaders who strive to live and govern with high moral and ethical values so sorely needed now, especially.

I am in agreement with the others commenting here in support of Greta Thunberg. She is a brave and intelligent young woman and is setting an example that is so much more responsible and insightful than many adults who are responding with criticism and derision -- the shame is on them for acting like bullies and fools, our president among them. I hope Greta will continue to speak truth to power, and never lose her passion for fighting for the right thing, no matter what. The world and all that's in it needs and deserves no less.

It saddens me to see and hear about all the hate Greta has received from the ignorant people in the world who don't want to face up to their responsibilities. She is a very courageous young woman, and proof positive that one person can make a difference!

Montreal hosted GT Friday where she led a huge peaceful march.l

Arnold Schwarzenegger loaned GT an electric car for the drive from NYC to Montreal.

GT's father drove.

Respect.

This is an often contextually misunderstood quote that has NOTHING to do with children "leading" adults.

Isaiah 11:6, which reads:

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.

As you can see right away, the text has nothing to do with a child leading adults. It states that a child shall lead the wolf, lamb, leopard, young goat, calf, lion, and fattened calf. This may seem strange if we do not continue to read a few more verses to get a better understanding of what is being discussed here.

Verses 7-9 continue:

The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
----------------
This passage is a discussion of the Day of the Lord.

This is the day that Christians look forward to when Jesus Christ will remove the curse of sin from our world and restore peace to all of creation.

As a result of this peace, wolf, lion, lamb, cobra, calf, bear, and children will all live in harmony. A child will be able to lead a lion (or a wolf, etc.) around without fear of harm.

Let us stop using this phrase as if the Bible tells us that children will one day lead adults. It says nothing of the sort.

If we are going to quote Bible verses, let us quote them in context. Isaiah 11:6-9 is a wonderful passage that describes what God has in store for this fallen world that has so much violence, fear and death. It will be a world of peace.

Jay Makak...

Of course, the quotation means what you say it does. Most of us know that. There is also a long tradition of people using familiar quotations in new situations that give a different meanings. There is nothing wrong with doing this.

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