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By Jeff Moebus
Last month, La Vagabonde completed its 3,000 mile, 22-day voyage to Lisbon, Portugal. The 48-foot ocean sailing catamaran transported Greta Thunberg from the United States across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe to take her message to the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid.
Aboard La Vagabonde were the sort of people Thomas Edward Lawrence (as in Lawrence of Arabia) was referring to when he wrote:
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”
Thunberg too, is a dreamer with “eyes wide open.” She reminds me of a smoke jumper, one of those “hotshots” who parachute into the periphery of a totally uncontrolled wildfire, and sets back-fires to starve that wildfire of the fuel it needs in order to propagate, and to sow further destruction.
In the wildfire of climate change, Thunberg’s backfires consist of burning off the arrogance, indifference, deception, deceit, and betrayal of those occupying the highest seats of power, wealth, information, and security on this planet.
She is also attempting to burn off the ignorance and indifference of those who have up to now refused to confront and deal with climate change. Hence, the rise of the Extinction Rebellion, the Climate Kidz, and Fridays for Future — which have sparked a media-driven adult backlash reminiscent of America back when people against the War in Vietnam were called traitors and bums, and when those in favor of civil rights were termed enemies of civilization.
Upon making landfall in Lisbon after her trans-Atlantic crossing, Ms Thunberg declared:
By the end of COP25, there can be no doubt that we are not winning at all, and are in fact losing. In a blowout. Ms. Thunberg acknowledged as much midway through the Conference when she declared “…the Climate Movement has achieved nothing until emissions fall.”
Time’s Person of the Year could not possibly have a higher profile than at this moment. So now what? What can her generation — and the adults among us who share their concerns about the future of this planet — do right now to change that future?
Until her generation uses its collective buying power as consumers, its electoral power as voters, and its rejection of indifference as climate change realists, to cut a fire line across the fears, ignorance, arrogance, and deceptions of their parents, teachers, preachers, leaders, and elders, Nothing will change.
Picture Greta Thunberg standing — not on the bow of a sailboat — but at the head of a global economic and political boycott. That is when these dreamers of the day will become dangerous.