Greta Thunberg spoke at the Royal Festival Hall in London at ‘The Climate Event’ on 31 October 2022 – an event which was organised by Southbank Centre in partnership with Penguin. The video recording of the event was only made available on Youtube until the end of November 2022, unfortunately.
The audio above is a short excerpt of the video.
And then… hey, did you watch this Russell Howard interview with Greta? We recommend you give it a go! 🙂
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A critical mass of people must demand change
The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has gathered over 100 of the world’s leading climate and environmental scientists, green economists, activists, environmental psychologists, health researchers and authors behind a monumental work about the existential challenge of our time. They are all there:
Leading climate and environmental scientists such as Johan Rockström, Michael E. Mann, Zeke Hausfather, Stefan Rahmstorf, Glen Peters and Kevin Anderson.
Sustainability-oriented economists such as Nicholas Stern, Thomas Piketty, Kate Raworth, Jason Hickel.
Activist environmental writers and journalists such as Bill McKibben, Elizabeth Kolbert, George Monbiot, Naomi Klein and David Wallace-Wells.
Prominent environmentalists from developing countries such as Sunita Narain, Saleemul Huq and Wanjira Mathai.
Environmental and climate psychologists such as Per Espen Stoknes and Lorraine Whitmarsh. Historians of science such as Naomi Oreskes. Health researchers such as WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Writers like Margaret Atwood.
A total of more than 100 contributors with heavy expertise in each of their fields. And then the one who brought them all together, now 19-year-old Greta Thunberg, creator of ‘The Climate Book’ of over 460 pages, published in several languages.
→ ‘The Climate Book’ is available in Australia for $40.75 on www.booktopia.com.au
Greta Thunberg announces launch of The Climate Book
“This is self-destruction.”
~ Greta Thunberg
A special issue of the New Statesman is guest edited by Greta Thunberg, featuring contributors including Margaret Atwood, Amitav Ghosh, Rebecca Solnit, Ai Weiwei and Björk.
“We are living in a state of emergency: the climate, ecological and sustainability crisis is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced.
For too long, we have ignored the effects, and now we are living through the consequences. Twenty of the 21 hottest years since records began in 1850 have occurred in this century. Since 1950 the global number of floods has increased by a factor of 15 and wildfires by a factor of seven. The abnormally hot and cold temperatures experienced throughout the world (temperatures in Britain passed 40°C for the first time in July) caused by global heating are thought to contribute to as many as five million human deaths a year.
The natural world is being devastated: we are witnessing rapid species loss and the destruction of entire ecosystems.
This is a humanitarian catastrophe for those who are living, not just for those who come after us.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that, at current emission levels, the carbon budgets that give us a reasonable chance of staying below 1.5°C of global average temperature rise will be exhausted within this decade. This is the point at which the risk of irreversible and catastrophic climate change significantly increases.
Bear in mind that governments’ current (and bleakly unambitious) commitments are based on deeply flawed and under-reported numbers: an investigation by the Washington Post found a gap of up to 23 per cent in our annual global emissions, for which no country seems to be responsible.
Confronted by this existential threat, the world’s political leaders are in denial, actively delaying change and distracting the electorate. Rather than coming together to combat the crisis, the global community is fragmenting as wars are waged and great powers compete for control over scarce resources and territory. (…)
We should abandon the illusion that our politicians will come to the rescue of planet Earth, especially those who delight in calling themselves climate leaders. Time and again they have betrayed the faith that has been placed in them – using greenwashing and PR strategies disguised as politics.
But we cannot despair: the way we see and talk about the climate and ecology crisis has shifted. A critical mass of people – especially younger people – are demanding change and will no longer tolerate the procrastination, denial and complacency that created this state of emergency. I believe in democracy and in the power of collective wisdom.
It is not too late. We have a duty to help as many of our fellow citizens as possible understand the dire situation we are in. We must all do more to explain, inform and educate; public pressure can create profound change.
At the age of 19, I already feel like a broken record – but we need to keep repeating the message on climate action, constantly. For hope begins when we open our eyes and swap the impotence of words for the power of collective action.”
. . .
Excerpts from an article by Greta Thunberg which appears in a special issue of the New Statesman, guest edited by Greta Thunberg and featuring contributors including Margaret Atwood, Amitav Ghosh, Rebecca Solnit, Ai Weiwei and Björk.
→ Read more in the issue here
→ New Statesman – October 2022:
Greta Thunberg: “Our politicians will not come to the rescue of planet Earth”
“The UK has a special responsibility to lead on the climate crisis. But it prefers to deny, delay and distract.”
Fossil fuel advocates’ up in arms over Greta’s speech
Effectively addressing the climate emergency requires a rethink of everything. The media controlled by fossil fuel interests obviously don’t like this call for change – so they do what they can to make Greta look radical and outrageous. Two recent examples:
→ The Telegraph – 2 November:
Greta Thunberg: It’s time to overthrow the West’s oppressive and racist capitalist system
“The activist claims that the world’s current ‘normal’ – dictated by the people in power – has caused the climate breakdown.”
→ Sky News Australia – 2 November 2022:
Greta Thunberg and her ‘mob’ have a ‘problem with capitalism’
“Sky News host Chris Kenny says climate activist Greta Thunberg and her “mob” have a problem with capitalism and he would love to see her “lecture the communists in Beijing”. Mr Kenny said he is “still waiting” for Ms Thunberg’s speaking tour of China and for her to visit the “world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases by far”. “What a circus,” he said.”
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
~ Richard Buckminster Fuller, American author (1895-1983)
Note: There is a different way
The issue to discuss, really, is not whether or not Greta has a problem with capitalism. The issue to build a new model, a journey which – in Buckminster Fuller’s words – starts somewhere completely different.
In September 2022, Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard made headlines around the globe when he announced that he and his wife were not selling their company or taking it public. Instead, they transferred their ownership of Patagonia to a specially designed trust and a nonprofit organisation that were created in part to ensure that all of the company’s profits would be used to protect the environment.
There’s someone who’s got a different vision of what our world can look like.
“The more you know, the less you need.”
~ Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia Founder and CEO
“Your greatness is not what you have, but in what you give.”
~ Alice Hocker