In an excellent article on the revelatory encounter twixt prophet Greta Thunberg and treasury secretary Steve Mnuchen in Davos, Switzerland this week, economic journalist Rex Nutting asks the question: “Who knows more about economics?  Steven Mnuchin or Greta Thunberg?”  I would add: Who knows more about what it means to be a human being?  Who knows more about morality?  (And do they teach morality in business departments in colleges these days?  Have they ever?  Did they do so when Mnuchin went to college?) 

Greta Thunberg’s full speech to the World Economic Forum

Nutting also makes the point that “Mnuchin and his ilk are betting everything that we’ll survive climate change without breaking a sweat”—quite a different message from that of two DM’s ago when we honored the word sacrifice as being integral to a life of generosity. Just maybe Generosity is at the heart of being a human being. 

Nutting points out that “a guy who still insists that the 2017 tax cut ‘will pay for itself’ should not be lecturing anyone about economics, but there’s something about being in Davos that brings out the arrogance in people who think money and power confer wisdom.”  Ah!  There is that word again—wisdom.  Arrogance vs. wisdom.

Graffiti of the word “Wisdom” originally posted to Flickr by Frederic Bisson.

After predicting days before that the tax cuts “would start working any day now…and flood the treasury with tax revenues,” Mnuchin “had the gall to patronize teen-age climate activist Greta Thunberg” who declared that the world should immediately stop using, subsidizing and investing in fossil fuels.  “The facts are clear, but they’re still too uncomfortable for you to address,” she warned.  “You just leave it because you think it’s too depressing and people will give up.  “

Let us consider further the arrogance of Adultism at work here.  Is ours a society that worships the god Chronos?   Chronos was the father of six children who sat by his wife Rhea as she gave birth and ate each of the first five children to emerge from her womb.  Chronos was the ultimate consumer determined to consume all his children because he was afraid of losing his throne to one of them.

Painting by Peter Paul Rubens of Chronos devouring one of his children. Photo originally posted to Wikipedia by Museo del Prado.

Is Chronos the god of climate change deniers who are willing to consume and waste youth along with Mother Earth?  Ultimately Chronos vomited up all his children who, after a fierce ten-year battle, overcame him.  (That ten year war is telling since scientists today inform us we have ten years to turn back climate change.) Ecocide also leads to suicide which is very much on the rise especially among the young who are losing hope.

Adults like Mr. Mnuchen ought to start acting adult and instead of pooh-poohing the facts about climate change should learn to love truth and put truth first.  Become generous and take your talents and resources to stand with the young against this common enemy—the destruction of the planet.  What an opportunity—to be part of the solution instead of the problem!

Is this too much to ask?

See: Who Knows More about Economics? Steven Mnuchin or Greta Thunberg?

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, p. 185.

Banner Image: Greta Thunberg sitting in the European Parliament. Photo originally posted to Flickr by the European Parliament.

Queries for Contemplation

Are we worshiping the god Chronos when we refuse to face the reality of climate change? 

How important is truth and the love of truth and how do we fall more deeply in love with truth?  (Remember: Truth is another name for God.)

Recommended Reading

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
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13 thoughts on “Davos and Adultism – Revisited”

  1. Avatar

    I am so very thank-ful for the boldness and courage that is being put forth in defense of the Truth. The future of life on this planet depends upon this type of warrior energy- and a child shall lead them.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Martha,
      Thank you for writing and sharing your admiration for Greta Thunberg. For her to be an effective climate warrior, we adults need to follow where she is leading. Each of us must think of how we can respond to this speech in ways that make a difference for the planet. It was spoken for us as well as the Devos conference, I believe.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  2. Carol Kilby

    My heart is broken open when Matt writes of these times as a war between the Adult’ism or consumer’ism and truth or god. I had given up any belief in truth and now I must face the heart-ripping reality of truth as the godness that is implicate in the Matter and Spirit that’s Earth herself.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Thank you, Carol, for expanding on the elusiveness of truth, especially now when fake news tells different groups of people different stories. Obviously, truth is not information, nor is it a belief system, nor a philosophy. All of these systems can become rigid and self righteous. Truth is evolving along with the rest of the cosmos. Everything changes. Constantly.

      I resonate with your finding truth in Gaia: gravity, ground. Grain, gorgeous. No matter what our political, social, and religious differences, we are all held to the same soil and spun around the same planet. Might your “heart-ripping” truth join us there? We are each hanging on to this planet for dear life……

      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      In many ways, you are my model for supporting young prophets. You have championed several young people who have created worldwide art projects, and taken off to Washington to speak to their representatives as if they really mattered. I believe that support of the elders is crucial to the success of the young people. You are proof of that. Thank you for sharing your stories and your support.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  3. Avatar

    “And a child shall lead them”
    It’s so important to remember that little child within. And express her. As Rev William Barber said “No one can take away your right to sing (and dance).

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Ellen,
      Than you for this scripture quote that now takes on new meaning. It strikes me that if we remember our little child within, we can more easily connect with the young people who are confronting this climate crisis and walk alongside them.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  4. Avatar

    Rubens’ painting and the story of Cronos devouring his (and Rhea’s) children is a powerful metaphor for what is happening today among climate deniers. Britannica online says that Cronos was associated with agriculture, while his sister and wife Rhea was associated with fruitfulness. Both Cronos and Rhea were children of Gaea (Earth). So, it might be interesting to extend Matthew’s wonderful metaphor. Unbounded industrial agriculture (e.g., in the Amazon basin and that which led to the Dust Bowl in the 1930s) is the enemy of fruitfulness. Ah, but Rhea hid the last of her children, Zeus, with Gaea so that Cronos couldn’t devour him–and Zeus finally led his disgorged brothers and sisters to overthrow their father. In our day, Zeus, “the sender of thunder and lightning, rain, and winds” according to Britannica– is sending fires, floods, and hurricanes against Cronos. Cronos does not want to give up power, but Zeus’s story reminds us that Cronos can be defeated if we join forces with the children.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Whoa, Michele, what a tale you tell us! This really fleshes out the story of Cronos and his children. Besides a power hungry child eater, Cronos was the god of time, linear time, destructive time, the time that eats up our intentions and schedules us into oblivion until we arrive at our elder years wondering where the time went.

      If we listen to Greta and her brothers and sisters, we might access Kairos (Non-linear time, moments out of time, suspended, stretched out and charged with spirit.) instead of subcoming to Cronos.

      There have been times in human history when people have come together and created new life out of a common ethic and compassion – usually in response to a crisis, like people from the United States after 9/11, like Cronos’s children. Then we move into Kairos together. I both dread the coming of that crisis and hope that it comes soon. Then we might step up and make those changes we now only talk about.

      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

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