Category Archives: Greta Thunberg

A House On Fire. Greta Thunberg Speaks Boldly and Clearly.

Angst. A general sense of depression.  Wide-spread, generalized anxiety.  These are not circumstances resulting from being on the Autism Spectrum.  They are underlying conditions which many esteemed philosophers and sociologists have identified as being widespread in today’s world, in an era they term ‘modernity’.

This sense of unease and dislocation within society is so prevalent that it has been suggested as being the root cause of mass shootings in America, of the violence directed at other ethnicities, immigrants, corporate moguls and politicians. Even toward our neighbours and our domestic partners.

These erudite writers, ranging from Hanna Arendt to Pankaj Mishra, Richard Sennett and Marshal Berman, credit this sense of impending doom “even where there is none” to a general anxiety arising from the unsettled sensation created by living in a world where rapid change creates constant instability in almost every aspect of our lives. 

But what if these are not the primary factors creating this uncomfortable sense of ennui and lack of purpose?  What if one teenage girl, whose message is being largely ignored, has been pinpointing the underlying cause all along?

What if Greta Thunberg’s metaphor for our continually warming planet, our Earth, is fitting? Our house is on fire! [1](41) And we are all aware that nothing is being done about it because our leaders are too concerned with their own personal and political agendas to give the environmental crisis the attention it not only deserves but urgently requires.

 Greta Thunberg frequently travels the world from her home base in Sweden to Vienna, Strasbourg, London, and New York quoting the science behind the issues. She boldly states the near impossibility of correcting the situation if we continue to delay taking the steps which would slow the damage, while at the same time allowing third world countries to raise their standard of living.  

She asks those in charge of representing their governments on environmental issues, “Is my microphone on? Can you hear me?” and, “Did you hear what I just said?”

Her frustration arises from the fact that while world leaders repeatedly gather to discuss climate change agendas, very little is achieved.  Politicians, statesmen and numerous other representatives go back to their constituencies to raise self-fulfilling agendas.

In a scathing indictment of the current environmental situation, she told the attendees at the 2019 Climate Initiative that while deferring the decision to act responsibly in this matter may not greatly affect the representatives who were present, it would be devastating to those of her generation. 

“It is our future that has been sold, so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money.”

Is this unconscious, but prescient knowledge the reason so many children today seem to suffer a total lack of enthusiasm for life?  Not their addiction to screens and social media, but the underlying knowledge that they are doomed, powerless to change the tide of world events?  Is our general sense of malaise born of despair, of a sense of inability to influence our leadership toward any vital and meaningful action?

Thunberg’s Asperger’s clarity of thought has enabled her to speak boldly and without hesitation to high-ranking officials in many organizations including parliaments,  the Climate Initiative, the World Economic Forum, and the UN General Assembly. 

She credits her success in creating a worldwide movement that at times has rallied over six million participants, to the fact that she doesn’t think like a ‘normal’ and social person (28).

How does she see the environmental situation changing?  In speech after speech, she entreats world leaders to listen to the science behind the destruction of the Earth’s ecosystem.  She suggests a democracy and a politics based on that science (50) urging our leaders to forge a new system which would help to mitigate personal, self-serving, short-term agendas.

As for missing school to participate in the strike for change in the political response to climate change, Thunberg says, “We are not in school today.  Because this is an emergency.  And we will not be bystanders.”

Thunberg metaphorically describes our environmental situation as knowing that your house is on fire and yet, sitting down on the sofa and casually discussing what should be done next. 

Thunberg’s point is that such a response is unimaginable.  Inconceivable.  And yet we on planet Earth find ourselves in an unacceptably perilous situation and yet, with the possible exception of Ireland, we are failing to respond in a proactively effective fashion.

I see her frustration mounting as I read her speeches.  In her science-based estimation, the situation is dire, the consequences for her generation’s future almost unthinkable. 

But the people currently in power fail to act, as from their vantage point they will not be the ones to ultimately pay the price for their inaction.

This failure to act gives licence to individuals and organizations to react precipitously, possibly resulting in irresponsible and counter-productive activities. 

Those who will suffer through elevating environmental crises, ones which could still be mitigated if we act now, are currently too young to have a political influence.

Is this the root of our contemporary society’s general anxiety?  Our sense of frustration and hopelessness?  Does this not engender and fuel eco-terrorism?

We must open our eyes. The science is clear.  An environmental apocalypse is imminent! Our house is on fire!

[1] All page references in this article refer to No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg, a Penquin Book.


Aspies: How We Interact With Our World

I have always known that those of us with Asperger’s see the world differently. Perhaps more intensely than others see it.

Sometimes our Asperger’s can provide a unique viewpoint, enabling us to see events from a more focused and vital perspective, and from this distinctive intellectual position, create avenues for provoking change.

Take, for instance, Greta Thunberg, who views environmental issues with great clarity. Thunberg was able to focus on her local environmental situation and with great determination, work to effect change in her community.

Greta’s single-minded conviction that action needed to be taken if the youth of today were to inherit a world in which the reduction of pollution and restoration of natural resources was of prime importance, stirred people to action around the world.

Because of her insistence that something be done, beginning in her home, then in her community, then in the larger, global community, Thunberg has effected tremendous change in the social and legal responsibilities of some nations toward environmental issues.

There is a rather astounding blog by Mark Hutton, My Asperger’s Child, in which he details a fifty positive traits which he associates with his child. (

Among these traits are the following:

Being conscientious, reliable and persistent.

Having a lot of passion when pursuing activities with which they engage.

Bringing a new, highly original perspective to problem solving.

Not recognizing hierarchies; evaluating people upon their intentions & actions, not their ‘positions’.

Displaying honesty

Possessing high integrity.

Having exceptional memories.

These characteristics are not only positive but are essential qualities when dealing with the complexities of international relations.

Consider how they have aided Thunberg in her goal of changing how the citizens of the world view the possibility of changing national and international attitudes toward environmental issues.

Not recognizing hierarchies is a plus if you are a teenager meeting people in power without being intimidated by their status.

Having an exceptional memory is important when you are quoting statistics, and bringing vital issues to the attention of international forums.

These positives are only a few Hutton names; for a complete list go to his blog or to


Greta Thunberg: One Person, One Aspie Can Rock the World.

Can One Person make a difference?

If you are a student taking part in the Fridays for Future climate change protest, then you are an individual who is taking action aimed at creating global, national and local change.

And you may have become aware that Greta Thunberg, an Asperger teen from Sweden believes that one person can work to create positive changes in  our world.

What convinced her of that?  Possibly her conviction came from the way in which her parents responded to her concern about climate change.

Greta asked her mom and dad to acknowledge that the earth is in a dangerous state due to many factors.

She pointed out that the quality of her future life was in jeopardy because of government and individual inaction. And she felt that if her parents shared her concerns and honestly cared about the world that she would grow up to live in, they would personally make lifestyle changes.

She wanted them to change some of their routines and eating habits so that their personal lives would reflect their acknowledged growing concern about the environment.

And they did.  They made changes that were not easy for them.  For instance, they agreed to give up air travel, which meant her mother had to forego some choice roles in her career as an opera singer.

Because her parents agreed to effect changes in their lives as a result of her discussions with them, she realized that she could be persuasive. Perhaps this ability to create change could reach others beyond her family.

At the age of 15, Greta decided to take her protest beyond her home, to the grounds of the Swedish parliament buildings.  She did this on a school day.

She was protesting the lack of any real climate action on the part of the government and she felt it was important enough to miss school to make this happen.  It was the first strike for climate change.  It had an attendance of one!

Last week, almost four million students around the world protested with Greta.

On this coming Friday, the 27th of September, the Friday for Future strike will come to BC, to cities and towns such as Tofino, Victoria, Campbell River, Burnaby, Vancouver and Prince George, as well as Gabriola and Saltspring and other Islands. Check the map at the links given below to find out if your community is included.

Are you ready Aspies?  Ready to Rock the World?

To find the locations for the Friday for Future Strike, including the one this Friday, September 27, 2019, check these websites:

Please be sure to read the information regarding security.  Certain safeguards are suggested.  Remember that at any large gathering, people who are more interested in making trouble than affecting political change could become involved.  Know what action you need to take to protect yourself if such a situation should arise.

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