Greta Thunberg’s Unrelenting Approach Against Inaction on Climate Crisis
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has taken over the entire world with her blunt attitude and powerful words. 17-year-old Greta has become the face of leading protests against the inaction on rapidly changing climatic conditions. Focusing on the risks posed by climate change, Greta urges the political leaders for immediate actions against the same.
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It all started when one day in August 2018, she suddenly decided not to go to the school and went on a strike outside the Swedish Parliament. She sat there alone for days and demanded the government to reduce carbon emissions in accordance with Paris Agreement.
School Strike for Climate
Initially, she was alone in this initiative, but soon many students joined her in the strike, which lasted for three weeks. They organized a school climate strike movement under the name ‘Fridays for Future’. Greta was inspired to go on a strike by the name ‘March for Our Lives’ in support of gun control in USA, where students went on a strike after school shootings in February 2018. Greta’s influence spread through the globe and many people started participating in school strikes on Fridays.
When asked that ‘why is she missing the school?’ Greta has replied that she loves to go to the school but there is no point for studying a future which might not be there.
Greta Thunberg was invited to speak at the UN Climate Change Conference 2018 which took place in Katowice, Poland. She bluntly accused the world leaders of behaving like “children” and not listening to the scientists, who have been warning the world for years of the upcoming climate crisis.
She has attended many protests and strikes during the past year and her words have influenced masses. She has spoken in many national and international conferences about climatic changes and how the human race is advancing toward doom with their careless attitude.
Unwavering Commitment to Climate Preservation
A curious mind, Greta had developed an interest in climate change when she was nine years old and was diagnosed with Autism. Greta attributes her special interest and her uncanny ability to concentrate on her autism. She began doing research on climate change when she was only nine and has stayed on the topic for seven years.
Her parents – Svante Thunberg, an actor and Malena Ernman, a very-well known Opera singer – have shown unconditional support to their daughter and the cause of climate change.
She and her family have given up the air travel and are opting for green methods of living. Greta urges the world to reduce the carbon footprint and to do more efforts to save the earth.
Greta’s UN Speech
In UN Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019, Greta moved the world with her powerful speech, accusing the adults to have ruined her childhood and of many others like her. She accuses the world leaders of talking only about money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.
Greta says that the world is in the perils of the climate crisis. If we don’t act now and strongly, it might be too late and there won’t be a world to leave behind for the future generations. She said,
I am doing this because nobody else is doing anything. It is my moral responsibility to do what I can. I want the politicians to prioritize the climate question, focus on the climate and treat it like a crisis.
She further adds,
Adults keep saying: “We owe it to the young people to give them hope.” But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.
Greta says that the developed countries need to do more in order to protect the environment and help the developing countries to maintain a healthy living standard.
Anti-Greta Thunberg Criticism and Haters
Within a period of one year, Greta has faced many accusations and loads of criticism from being sick to mad, but she has laughed at her haters and took their criticism lightheartedly. Many politicians including US President Donald Trump and Australian PM Scott Morrison have mocked her, but she solely focuses on the crystal clear goal of stronger actions against the climate crisis.
Donald Trump has regularly aired his doubts over the climate change. He even called it a “hoax”, suggesting that it could change back again and blamed countries like India, China, and Russia for polluting air and water.
So, it was no surprise, when after Greta’s UN speech in September this year, the US President tweeted that “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” Without saying anything Greta slyly changed her bio to Trump’s tweet. Her move was applauded as a perfect comeback for Trump’s jibe.
She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see! https://t.co/1tQG6QcVKO
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he does not share the excitement about Greta’s UN speech and that she is ignorant to the complex situation of low living standards in African and many Asian countries.
Some people even abused her on social media, The conservative provocateur Dinesh D’Souza compared her look to a Nazi propaganda poster;
A Fox News guest called her a “mentally ill Swedish child” being exploited by her parents.
Children—notably Nordic white girls with braids and red cheeks—were often used in Nazi propaganda. An old Goebbels technique! Looks like today’s progressive Left is still learning its game from an earlier Left in the 1930s pic.twitter.com/E4q2KZ526s
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) September 22, 2019
Jeremy Clarkson, the English broadcaster, described Greta as “spoilt brat” and advised her to go back to school and leave the responsibility of environment protection to the adults. He further added that the grown-ups have been doing everything in their capacity while simultaneously improving the life standards of many people across the globe.
And that is not all. Many people slam Greta for her physical appearance and sexuality. An Italian youth soccer coach made some nasty comments on Greta using abusive words and was fired.
On October 7, an effigy of Greta was found hanging on a bridge in Rome, with a sign written in English that read ” Greta is Your God!”. The Roman authorities have condemned the act and promised to investigate it.
Honors and Awards
Greta has impressed the whole world with her unrelenting approach against the inaction on the climate crisis. Many organizations and authorities have appreciated and honored her with various awards for “inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts”.
Greta was bestowed with The Right Livelihood Award, which is widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’. A Dutch children’s rights organization will present its annual International Children’s Peace Prize to 16-year-old Greta on November 20. Greta was considered a strong nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali on October 11, 2019.
Greta’s UN speech in September has been immortalized into music. The British DJ Fatboy Slim sampled part of Thunberg’s speech during a performance of his song “Right Here, Right Now”. The mashup begins with Greta’s voice, delivering her ferocious speech to the world leaders about the climate crisis in sync with melody. The “right here, right now” part of her speech has been used throughout the song.
She also won the 2019 Nordic Council Environment Prize for her mobilization of millions of people around the world to demand stronger actions against the inaction on changing climate. However, she refused to accept the prize saying that her cause does not need any more awards but stringent methods to negate the climate crisis.
The Time magazine named Greta Thunberg Person of the Year 2019 for bringing a meaningful change with the galvanizing force of her influential personality.
Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, has called Greta Thunberg ‘Conscience of Gen Z’ in a personal statement, shared in LinkedIn by Aditya Birla Group. In this statement, he applauded the 17-year-old climate activist to inspire millions and pressurizing the world leaders to rethink their action and policies against climate change.
Pursuit to Save The Planet
Towards the end of January, 2020, chief executives, investors and policymakers will gather in Davos for the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum. Greta Thunberg, along with other young climate activists and school strikers from across the world, will be present to demand strong actions to eliminate the threat of climate crisis.
Greta has shared with The Guardian that she and fellow activists will demand the participants from all companies, banks, institutions, and governments to immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction. The immediate abandonment of all fossil fuel subsidies and divestment from fossil fuels is crucial to halt the climate crisis.
Speaking on a panel of young environmentalists in Davos, Greta Thunberg said that the increase in global temperature could not be kept below 1.5 degree Celsius if the goal of zero emissions was not achieved. She revealed that she had been told that it was not a good thing to tell people to panic over climate crisis. But, then she joked that it was fine as nobody listened to what she was saying.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump in his speech said that USA has clean water and air and to keep it that way he launched one trillion trees campaign. He also ridiculed the pessimism of environmentalists and said that it is time for optimism, to explore the possibilities of tomorrow and in order to do that rejecting the “perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of apocalypse”.
Need of the Hour
Greta’s critics have one thing in common that they don’t focus on the scientific fact that she states, which is: The IPCC has found that in about 11 years the earth will face a number of “tipping points” that threaten to destabilize the ecosystems around the world. It also jeopardizes the safety and infrastructure for millions of people and the global community must act on this information now.
No doubt, the previous generations have done a lot in fields of medicine, clean water, and food, but the process, however, has put the environment in jeopardy. The time is not to sit back and continue with the former policies. It is time not only to make but follow new and strict ones to reduce carbon emission and help save the world and participation of every individual is crucial – adults and young alike.
Instead of criticizing Greta Thunberg, all the communities across the globe need to come together and contribute to fixing the damage we have done to the planet. Although, many people are right in their opinion that going on strike is not going to solve anything. Merely striking against inaction on climate change is yet another form of inaction.
The one thing that people need to understand rather than shunning the advice of young people is that the young generation will be here, long after the present world leaders and policy makers are gone, to bear the brunt of climate crisis. Every opinion matters, irrespective of the source.
The planet needs more tangible actions – more forests to reduce our carbon emission, elimination of plastic products that end up choking the land and waters – to survive this horror that is to befall us all.