Greta Thunberg, Our Joan of Arc

Last year, when Greta was nominated as TIME’s Person of the Year, the jealous infant currently occupying the White House mocked her. “Trump mocks Greta Thunberg after she wins Time Person of the Year. “So ridiculous,” Trump tweeted. “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!” ”

The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., also weighed in on Thunberg’s selection, blasting the magazine’s decision.”Time leaves out the Hong Kong Protesters fighting for their lives and freedoms to push a teen being used as a marketing gimmick,” he wrote. “How dare you?”

Climate Change is the single greatest challenge that exists today. –Said by intelligent people around the world

When she was mocked, I realized how important she was. Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist who has gained international recognition for promoting the view that humanity is facing an existential crisis arising from climate change.

Greta Thunberg - The world's most prominent climate activist

GRETA THUNBERG ©Filippucci 2019

Greta Thunberg is our contemporary Joan of Arc and has succeeded in turning vague anxieties about the planet into a worldwide movement calling for global change. Because of Climate Change, because of the Pandemic, because of the erupted pustule of Racism, I see countless Joan of Arc’s all over the world. They fight despair, neglect and exhaustion. They are all screaming to vote those out who would destroy the world because of their refusal to accept scientific reality.

Fifty-eight years ago in 1962, Rachel Carson wrote, “The Silent Spring,” which documented the adverse environmental effects caused by the indiscriminate use of pesticides. Two million copies later – despite threats of lawsuits by Velsicol – the company that manufactured DDT, her brave work ignited the Environmental movement. A year later, Carson died of breast cancer.

“No witchcraft,” Carson wrote, “no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new life in this stricken world. The people had done it themselves.”

Yes, things are very dark right now. Do you remember “The NeverEnding Story,” a fantasy film from 1984? Remember how Fantasia was slowly being devoured by a malevolent force called “The Nothing”? This is what is happening now. The Nothing of Ignorance wants to swallow us up. Joan of Arc fought the English from devouring France. Greta is fighting against selfish arrogance from consuming the planet.

Last Christmas, I created a 3D Greta to send to friends over the holidays. I designed a Virtual Greta as a constant reminder to help where I can, choose kindness first, and to seek solutions, not ignore problems. This is not always easy for a half-Italian like myself who shoots from the lip.

Greta of Earth – she is here to galvanize us to do the work. Vote out anyone who is not paying attention. They will all topple like those Confederate statues. Eventually our negative relics will be replaced by statues of worthy humans who inspire us to be better. Look around. There are many. Some we have forgotten like Rachel Carson, others we are just noticing…like Greta.