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Rick Bell: Going Gaga Over Greta – Now Let’s Get This Straight Before We Go Any Further


She’s coming! Greta is coming! She’s coming right here to Alberta!

Did you hear? Somebody said she’s already in Calgary! Or on her way!  Wow! Does that mean we’ll be on CNN?

Look at me, Mom!

I’m with Greta and she’s famous with millions of followers on Instagram and she’s so cool and the newspapers and TV love her and they hang on her every word as if it’s from her lips to God’s ears.

It’s all about being good to the Earth and how the adults in charge suck and if we don’t have a revolution round about noon tomorrow we’re all going to go the way of the dinosaurs and quick.

Yes, Greta Thunberg’s doomsday crusade has more than a few in this province falling all over themselves.

Now let’s get this straight before we go any further.

Greta, a saintly teenage Joan Of Arc figure to those who believe we are at the beginning of a mass extinction, should be welcomed here as all visitors are welcomed.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg addresses supporters during the rally for action on climate change on Sept. 27 in Montreal. Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

She should be allowed to say her piece without personal attacks and threats.

She should be allowed to say going as far as cutting carbon emissions in half in ten years is still unacceptable and too weak, no matter the level of fantasy in the statement.

She should be allowed to say all of us grown-ups have failed and failed badly and need to change our lives in a big, big way. Air travel. Bad. Gas-powered vehicles. Bad. Eat vegan too.

There goes Alberta beef. A double whammy. Oil and beef. Both bad.

Think I’m going to become a Trappist monk.

What I don’t get is what some folks who should know better think playing along with Greta is going to get them.

You know politicians like the two big city mayors — Calgary’s Nenshi and Edmonton’s Iveson — who want to talk to Greta about climate change and what they’ve done and what they can do.

Or groups like Canada Action or city councillors like Jeff Davison who want to show Greta around, pointing out all the wonderful ways Alberta’s oilpatch is doing a bang-up job on the environment file.

Can hear them already, pathetic as they sound, while they safely tuck away their I Love Oil and Gas T-shirts in the bottom drawer for the time being.

Calgary Flames skate at the Saddledome in Calgary Thursday, January 10, 2019. A new on ice sign has been painted in two of the corners supporting oil and gas. Jim Wells / Postmedia

Greta, Alberta is so much more environmentally friendly than bad actors like Saudi Arabia and we’re not big-time polluters like China and did we mention Russia or Venezuela?

We’re leading the world, Greta. We’re cutting edge.

Have they not googled Greta’s position on such things? No one is doing enough. No one is doing anything near enough.

There have been about 1,500 arrested in the chaos of climate change protests in London.

“If standing up against the climate and ecological breakdown and for humanity is against the rules then the rules must be broken,” says Greta.

Do these talkers think a few crumbs will make a loaf for Greta who wants so much more?

Then again, maybe they’re just playing a role and hanging out with Greta is a photo op to die for. After her UN speech some world leaders wanted selfies.

They can claim to care oh-so-deeply about the environment. For 15 minutes of fame and a selfie with Greta they’d worship Gaia the green goddess if you told them where to put the incense.

Yes, Greta’s trip is magic to them, so much better than a grip-and-grin snapshot where they hand out a cheque to renovate the kitchen in the community rink.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Swedish climate change teen activist Greta Thunberg before a climate strike march in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Sept. 27, 2019. ANDREJ IVANOV / REUTERS

With Greta they can appear the very image of moral superiority without having to do much but follow along, play their bit part and exhale … ahem .. the appropriate hot air.

Colley-Urquhart, a Calgary councillor, is almost begging Greta to come to Calgary, to the council chambers, to address the politicians, to look over city hall plans, to advise this group who can’t save themselves let alone anybody else.

Another councillor, Druh Farrell, wants to give Greta a white hat.

Rachel Notley, the former NDP premier, says Alberta needs leaders and Premier Kenney is a coward. Notley advises Kenney to meet with Greta.

“I would suggest he takes this issue seriously instead of just yelling at other people who do,” she says.

Kenney has no plans to be lectured.

Back at city hall, Coun. Jeromy Farkas is another person not caught up in all the hype and hyperbole.

“Why are we pandering to people who want to put an end to life as we know it?”



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