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Greta Thunberg on our doorsteps

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Sensitive, adult readers, here is a very challenging challenge for you.

Imagine this: There is a forceful-sounding knock at your door. Who should it be but the unsmiling, bristling Greta Thunberg!

She is doorknocking, personally confronting people of your generation, demanding to know of you (in the spirit of her impassioned and guilt-pinning "How dare you!" speech at the UN Climate Summit) why you did nothing to help stop our planet become the poor ravaged thing it is now.

Greta Thunberg, centre, at a climate strike in Montreal, Canada. Picture: Getty Images

What will you say to her? How will you justify having spent decades blissfully caught up in capitalism's whirligig, just ravenously, recklessly consuming, consuming, consuming, estranged from nature, from our planet's fragility? Will Ms Thunberg's withering gaze wither you?

Not to excuse himself, but only to try to explain to himself his "neanderthal" failure to be fully planet-sensitive until now (he is 84), the great left-liberal writer and thinker Lewis H. Lapham has just been writing on related subjects. In his online piece Paying the Piper: Acquiring an acquaintance with nature when capitalism has put nature's future at risk, he gives a Thunbergesque diagnosis of the planet's present dire plight.

Then he continues........

© Canberra Times