Greta T, on the climate crisis, try to focus on the positives; in my experience, it's the best way to message others!

I educate youth on the climate crisis, and trust me, it is a serious crisis. Beyond serious. And I am very grateful to Greta Thunberg and other youth (Jamie Margolin is one of Greta’s pals and she generously collaborated with the Chicago Gifted Community Center’—and our institutional partner, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy’s–efforts to educate youth on the climate crisis at our second Kids Climate Summit in April of 2021). Influenced by Jamie M, Greta T., and others, one of my students, a fifth grader in Illinois, wrote a terrific tribute to Greta:

I now believe it is up to the future generations, current generations, and my generation, to take action. The climate crisis is severe. That’s the honest truth. There is no time for talking about what the world will look like in the future, because the situation gets worse every minute we talk. So start small. That’s what Greta Thunberg did. One day she sat outside the Swedish Parliament and refused to go to school. Not until things get better, she said. Now, she has a fully grown movement across the globe! She has been resilient in the hate of red-faced, orange-skinned politicians who criticize her for standing up for what’s right. All of us should be as passionate as Greta and her peers. We not only must be strong in front of the people who tell us NO, but shout back YES!
We can’t let the world be washed away.

Ok, I agree with youth that we can’t let the world be washed away. I have been to Antarctica and seen the beauty of the ice. I have attended a COP (Copenhagen in 2009) and witnessed the passion of good people. Yes, I think that some dirty pols around the world are trying to destroy our world, but in my heart of hearts, I believe that the good guys will prevail! And I want to pass on one message to Greta: I am 63 and have learned over time that positive messages work the best. My fifth-grade student and Greta, and no doubt Zero Hour’s, Jamie Margolin, are frustrated as all heck, but I urge them to stay positive! I have lapses, but most of the time I try to live up to some of the standards set by former first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”*

Heartfelt thanks to Greta T, Jamie M, my fifth grade student and youth around the globe who are sincerely acting on the climate crisis! May the force–not the marginalizing pols–be with you!



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