Climate change has now become a trite issue at major international platforms, daises and tables. And yet, we haven’t moved an inch towards altering our current reality. We homo-sapiens have brought rather sombre times upon ourselves. Times which will grow darker to when death will be mercy. Our sacrilege for this planet will soon devour our existence. Our ignorance towards falling trees and vanishing species has proven how imbecile we are. Soon it’ll be too late to lament.
But there is a ray of hope. A little girl, who has decided to battle against the moguls of the century and their obstinate indignation.
“For way too long, the politicians and the people in power have gotten away with not doing anything to fight the climate crisis, but we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer. We are striking because we have done our homework and they have not.”
“We must hold the older generations accountable for the mess they have created.”
“We need to get angry, and transform that anger into action.”
These concrete words belong to no ordinary person, but a 16 year old climate activist – Greta Thunberg.
Greta is a young Swedish school going girl. And she has made a firm decision to fight for climate justice. With her prudent worries, and incessant determination, she has set a wave in action which has forced youth from all around the world to stand together for one single cause – a future.
In November 2018, Greta sat outside the Swedish parliament, holding a banner that read – “School Strike for Climate”. And she passed to everyone, leaflets saying “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.”
Her grievance against the Swedish government was that, they weren’t taking any steps towards the enforcement of their newly enacted and most ambitious climate law : To be carbon neutral by 2045.
Greta was deeply concerned about the issues discussed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, and so she decided to strike against the Swedish government. She argued that education was irrelevant if educated ministers were so irresponsible and reluctant to take any action to change the current climatic situation.
Even in her family, she made everyone switch to vegan food and restrained them from flying.
Greta’s parents and teachers are quite worried about her, owing to the fact that she has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and Selective Mutism. But Greta has refused to capitulate. She says, “ I feel like I am dying inside if I do not protest.”
According to her teacher, “ Greta is a troublemaker. She is not listening to adults. But we are heading full speed for a catastrophe, and in this situation, the only reasonable thing is to be unreasonable.”
Steadily Greta’s movement gathered stout support. By December 2018 almost 20000 students had held strike in at least 270 cities. These numbers quickly escalated to 1.4 million students from a plethora of 112 countries by 15th of March, 2019.
Thunberg says that she is not a climate scientist herself. She is merely repeating what scientists have been communicating to the public for decades, so far without much success. Students would no longer have to leave school to protest if the public only started listening to scientists, but that the political situation doesn’t work that way.
Even the United Nations General Secretary – Antonio Guterres has endorsed the school strikes initiated by Thunberg. “My generation has failed to respond properly to the dramatic challenge of climate change. This is deeply felt by younger people. No wonder they are angry.” admitted Antonio.
In her subsequent speeches at World Economic Forum and European Parliament, Greta said –
“ Some people, some companies, some decision makers in particular have known exactly what priceless value they have been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. I think many of you here today belong to that group of people. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel everyday. 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 the house was on fire – cause it is.”
Soon after which she got nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on 13th March, 2019. Which, if she wins, she’ll be the youngest to do so.
It’s a 12 year journey from now, if we don’t undo the mess we have made, our sins shall then become irrevocable. We must take a step that counts, and take it TODAY!!