The Swedish teenager who simply says it as it is.
“We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground, and we need to focus on equity.” ~ Greta Thunberg, 15, Swedish student
15-year-old Swedish climate action advocate Greta Thunberg says it as it is – with clarity and honesty. This has been her trademark right since she started her one-person school strike in August 2018 in front of the Swedish parliament. Four months later it has turned her into a modern-day oracle within the global battle field of climate activism.
Greta has succeeded in something which countless of other climate campaigners have failed: getting mainstream media’s attention, including the BBC and CNN. And not only attention. Admiration. The media loves Greta now.
“15-year-old was the highlight of the UN Climate Summit,” read a headline in the Danish newspaper Politiken on 17 December 2018, for instance.
It is nothing less than impressive how Greta has managed to rise from being this unknown school student sitting alone but determined with her school-strike sign, a water bottle and her school bag in Stockholm to only months later being recognised and hailed as the most significant speaker at a global summit where all countries in the world were represented to discuss how humanity will deal with the rising carbon emissions.
At Centre for Climate Safety we say, Good on you, Greta! – you are a huge inspiration to the youth all over this planet!
Here is an excerpt of what Greta Thunberg told the UN negotiators and climate activists at the summit in Poland:
“We have to speak clearly, no matter how uncomfortable that may be. You only speak of green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake. You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.
But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet. Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money. Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few.
The year 2078, I will celebrate my 75th birthday. If I have children, maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you. Maybe they will ask why you didn’t do anything while there still was time to act. You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.”
“This should be a history-changing speech. For a newsletter about taking courage to confront the most consequential problem in our history, I can’t imagine many people more courageous than Thunberg.”
~ Eric Holthaus, Grist, 18 December 2018
If you liked Greta’s talk from the COP24 summit in Poland, check out her TED talk from the previous month. Same same but different, not in the least because she addresses her place on the spectrum, and how her Aspergers has driven her to do what she does:
At the UN Summit in Poland, Greta’s father explained about how Greta got involved with climate action. He and his daughter were part of a live broadcast:
Greta & Svante Thunberg – Straight Talk
“We must hold the older generations accountable for the mess they have created…and say to them you cannot continue risking our future like this. And so we need to get angry and then we need to transform that anger into action,” 15-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg says. pic.twitter.com/1fMg08RFVg— CNN (@CNN) December 23, 2018
"You say you love your children above all else, yet you are stealing their futures right before their very eyes," – This 15-year-old activist @GretaThunberg just called out world leaders for their global inaction on climate change. pic.twitter.com/7F3F3Lw7L2— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 14, 2018
"Individual action" DOES matter – and is always "collective" https://t.co/FIT4lt05k7— Peter Kalmus (@ClimateHuman) December 14, 2018
As we enter 2019, the time has come to make a much stronger effort to “go zero carbon” as fast as we can. It’s time to join forces to end our governments’ immoral and suicidal inaction in the face of catastrophic climate change.
» Red Flag – 3 December 2018:
Student strike offers a way forward for climate action
“The Student Strike for Climate Action echoes the critical role high school students played when the environment movement first emerged half a century ago.”
» You can flick through 60 more photos from the school strike on 30 November 2018 in Melbourne on www.flickr.com
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» Follow the #ClimateStrike on Twitter
» Articles and podcasts with or about Greta Thunberg on this website