To The Editor:

It’s been said “follow the students, more often than not they’ve been on the right side of history.”

Recently a young woman, Greta Thunberg, has emerged from the collective conscience of concerned young people. Her prominence has not come from wealth, power or prestige, but from a simple understanding of the future their generation is facing. 

The knowledge base uncovered in the early part of the past century, and more fully understood in current times, is now playing itself out. My generation dropped the ball. Or more truthfully, we made a conscious decision to leave it for future generations to deal with. In short, we’ve laid this mess squarely in their laps. It’s no wonder that they’re rising up and calling us out on it. They have every right to. I hope their movement gains purchase, grows, and takes its place alongside the end of slavery in first world countries, and other righteous advancements of our civilization. 

As was with tobacco, and is now with climate change and the diminishment of biological diversity, there will always be those who allow political affiliation to outweigh an acceptance of growing bodies of evidence. Either way, history will play itself out and the “right side of history” will become clear. That said, it’s hard to imagine that reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and maintaining a richness of biological diversity will be more problematic for the next generations than the path we’re on. 

Who’d of thought that our next hero would be a 16-year-old girl in pigtails? The difference is, this hero is asking all of us to make the changes that need to be made.