It has never been seen before. A 16-year-old Swedish girl with a vision for a viable planet has inspired a global movement for change. Millions of people, mostly young people, all over the world who made a powerful but peaceful protest about the transcendent issue facing the world – the future of life on earth itself – represent by far the most hopeful development since we first became aware of Gaia damaging human activity. Because it is precisely these people who, perhaps before it is really too late, will vote, agitate, collar and deliver the changes in lifestyles that are so desperately needed.
We are a huge debt to Greta Thunberg. Although evident in some quarters, her message has extraordinary power and resonance, much of it down to its great seriousness. When she told the US Congress this week ̵
"This is above all an emergency and not just an emergency," she said. “This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced. And we need to treat it accordingly so that people can understand and understand the urgency. Because you cannot solve a crisis without treating it as one. Stop telling people that everything will be fine when in fact, as it looks now, it will not be very nice. "
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It is this blunt saying and the bold statement of truth that has led some, consciously or not, to diminish her and her motivations. It is stupid to do that and meaningless, because while critics can attack Greta all they want, the tasks and science speak almost for themselves. However, they have benefited from the reinforcement from this remarkable young woman.
She states the position admirably accurately: there is a 66 percent chance of removing some of the worst aspects of climate change if measures are taken over a ten-year period. Some countries, regions and cities are making impressive progress, setting their goals for carbon neutrality and eliminating the combustion engine ever closer today. Theresa May promised in her last act as prime minister to make Britain's carbon neutral by 2050. This is progress, but not enough. The remaining signatories to climate change in Paris at least acknowledge the threat of the threat, its immediacy and the scientific evidence.
But the world knows that there are others who are resistant to reason and reason for self-preservation. Despite frequent and freakish weather that is already costing lives and damaging their economies, the US and Australian governments, with their large natural resources sectors, could go so much further than they have done. It is also worrying to witness the deliberate destruction of the rainforests in Brazil and Central Africa, sometimes encouraged by people like President Bolsonaro. China has invested heavily in its electric vehicle industry, but is still building power plants powered by fossil fuels at an alarming rate. There and in many other countries, the authorities simply do not allow the type of strike action and protests that have promoted renewed global debate.
Above all, this is the perfect reminder to everyone attending the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on what's at stake. The question can hardly be greater. As the poster says: There is no planet B, and as the young people tell the generation of today's leaders who hold the very existence of future generations of humanity in their hands, you may die of old age, but your children and grandchildren will die of climate change. We have been warned.