Complex Made Simple

Greta vs Trump: A clash of realization

When a teen challenges the leader of the free world, we should listen, take notes

Greta was supposed to have a normal childhood. She wasn’t supposed to worry about Earth, mass extinction What seems important to most is celebrating economic growth as the main achievement of mankind Greta made a heartfelt impassioned plea to the world

It was a bad day to be at sea. Despite the long summer sun, the Atlantic Ocean was a cold and unforgiving host. As Greta Thunberg left the English Channel, an icy squall screamed in her ears, pulling at her clothes and hair that flailed like a tattered flag in a storm. The Ocean was an unfamiliar dark green, and the deeper she looked the blacker it became. Cloudy grey skies filled the horizon, and the setting sun didn’t have a say in the matter. The weather reflected her mood; a dark foul feeling of resentment at what man has done to the planet. Below them, a species of shark went extinct.

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Greta’s zero-emission sailboat came across a white patch in the ever-darkening ocean. The water was black, so a white spot seemed oddly out of place. Was it a sandbar? It was impossible at these depths where whales and mermaids lived. As the expert skipper navigated his way around it, the island crystalized into a solid object. It was a floating island of plastic. Beyond the horizon was another patch but much larger. The debris went as far as the eye could see, and it represented humanity’s carelessness and waste. Milk cartons, barrels, plastic bags, and a myriad of random branded stuff just floated around, entangled and herding each other into a giant floating island of death. Ironically a sea bird gently landed on a Pantene shampoo container and started at the boat curiously. A few hundred miles North, a glacier cracked in half and fell quietly into the Ocean.

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Greta bit her lip and suppressed a tear of rage. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. She was supposed to have a normal childhood. She wasn’t supposed to worry about Earth, mass extinction, plastics, global warming, and limited resources. She was sixteen. Didn’t she deserve to romp in the secret world of teens, and leave adulthood for the adults? Greta had more intelligence and wisdom than most world leaders and was going to be heard. Her destination: New York UN Climate Summit, where politicians congregate and promise sweet nothings to the mics and cameras. Her main target: A large man, bent on undoing every policy his predecessor(s) set. Trump. Trump blatantly and loudly believes global warming is a hoax and proclaims windmills cause cancer. In the Amazon basin, a giant fire raged on.

Greta made it to New York and was received by green activists and rational humans as a hero. She symbolized nature. Uncorruptible, passionate, and loud. She would speak for a decimated nature. She would cry for forgotten extinct species. And she would plead a final plea, as humanity surges towards the point of no return. Dozens of species go extinct daily (as opposed to the natural background rate of five per year), large bodies of waters get hotter and glaciers melt but what seems important to most is celebrating economic growth as the main achievement of this latest version of mankind. Humanity has forgotten itself and is lost in a forest of material wealth and prosperity. In the ocean a turtle slowly strangles on a plastic bag.

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As the embodiment of economic progress and selfish interests crossed her path, Greta scowled glaringly at President Trump. Like a factory spewing incessant outflows into a river he was blissfully unaware of her presence. The cameras caught that moment and it became an instant social media classic. After Greta’s heartfelt impassioned plea to the world, as tears of rage and anguish fell on her face, there was a single response from the leader of the free world. Trump tweeted: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” No Comment.