No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!…
Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money.” — Greta Thunberg (United Nations Climate Action Summit 09/23/2019)
“Hope is something you need to deserve… If we decided today that we were going to go through with combating climate change, then we definitely could do that. But only if we choose to and if we take the measures required.” — Greta Thunberg
“This week world leaders gathered in New York for the UN Climate Action Summit. They disappointed us once again with empty words and insufficient action. We told them to unite behind the science. But they didn’t listen.
They say we shouldn’t worry, that we should look forward to a bright future. But they forget that if they would have done their job, we wouldn’t need to worry. If they had started in time then this crisis would not be the crisis it is today. And we promise – once they start to do their job and take their responsibility, we will stop worrying and go back to school, go back to work.
And once again, we are not communicating our opinions or any political views. The climate and ecological crisis is beyond party politics. We are communicating the current best available science.
To some people – particularly those who in many ways have created this crisis – that science is far too uncomfortable to address. But we who will have to live with the consequences – and indeed those who are living with the climate and ecological crisis already – don’t have a choice. To stay below 1,5 degrees – and give us a chance to avoid of the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control – we must speak the truth and tell it like it is.
In the IPCCs SR1,5 report that came out last year it says on page 108 in chapter 2 that to have a 67% chance of staying below a 1,5 degrees of global temperature rise – the best odds given by the IPCC – the world had 420Gt of CO2 left to emit back on January 1st 2018.
Today that figure is already down to less than 350 Gt.
With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 and a half years.
And please note that these calculations do not include already locked in warming hidden by toxic air pollution, non linear tipping points, most feed back loops, or the aspect of equity, climate justice.
They are also relying on my generation sucking 100s of billions of tonnes of CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist.
And not once, not one single time, have I heard any politician, journalist or business leader even mention these numbers.
They say let children be children. We agree, let us be children. Do your part, communicate these kinds of numbers instead of leaving that responsibility to us. Then we can go back to ”being children”.
We are not in school today. We are not at work today. Because this is an emergency. And we will not be bystanders.
Some would say we are wasting lesson time, we say we are changing the world. So that when we are older we will be able to say we did everything we could. And we will never stop doing that. We will never stop fighting for the living planet and for our future.
We will do everything in our power to stop this crisis from getting worse. Even if that means skipping school or work. Because this is more important.
We have been told so many times that there’s no point in doing this, that we won’t have an impact anyway, that we can’t make a difference. I think we have proven that to be wrong by now.
Through history, the most important changes in society have come from the bottom up, from grassroots. The numbers are still coming in – but it looks like well over 6,6 million people have joined the weekforfuture, the strikes on this and last Friday. That is one of the biggest demonstrations in history. The people have spoken and we will continue to speak until our leaders listen. We are the change and change is coming.” — Greta Thunberg (Montreal, Canada 09/27/2019)