Monday 18 March 2019

Greta Thunberg responds to the critics: '...Please stop asking your children for the answers to your own mess.'

Following Friday's world-wide schoolchildren's strike Greta Thunberg has responded to her critics on Facebook. This is what she says:

On Friday March 15th 2019 well over 1,5 million students school striked for the climate in 2083 places in 125 countries on all continents.

The favorite argument here in Sweden (and everywhere else…) is that it doesn’t matter what we do because we are all too small to make a difference. Friday’s manifestation was the biggest day of global climate action ever, according to It happened because a few schoolchildren from small countries like Sweden, Belgium and Switzerland decided not to go to school because nothing was being done about the climate crisis. We proved that it does matter what you do and that no one is too small to make a difference.

People keep asking me ”what is the solution to the climate crisis.” And how do we ”fix this problem”. They expect me to know the answer.

That is beyond absurd as there are no ”solutions” within our current systems. No one ”knows” exactly what to do. That’s the whole point. We can’t just lower or heighten some taxes or invest in some ”green” funds and go on like before.

Yes there are many many things that are very good and necessary, and improves the situation. Such as solar- and wind power, circular economy, veganism, sustainable farming and so on. But even those are just parts of a greater picture.

We can no longer only focus on individual and separate issues like electrical cars, nuclear power, meat, aviation, bio fuels etc etc. We urgently need a holistic view to adress the full sustainability crisis and the ongoing ecological disaster. And this is why I keep saying that we need to start treating the crisis as the crisis it is. Because only then - and only guided by the best available science (as is clearly stated throughout the Paris Agreement) can we together start creating the global way forward.

But that can never happen as long as we allow the ”yeah-but-what-about-nuclear-power-then-debate” to go on and on and on. This is wasting our time. This is climate delayer-ism. We need to keep a great number of thoughts in our head at same time and yet move forward with the changes at unprecedented speed.

Nuclear power, according to the IPCC, can be a small part of a very big new carbon free energy solution, especially in countries and areas that lack the possibility of a full scale renewable energy supply - even though its extremely dangerous, expensive and time consuming. But let’s leave that debate until we start looking at the full picture.

Some people seem so desperate to go on with the comforts and luxuries of their every day life that they tell others to not have any children. As children, speaking for our little sisters and brothers, we don’t find that very encouraging. It is not us or future generations who have created this. And yet - once again - you blame us.

If not even the scientists, politicians, media and the UN currently can speak up on what exactly needs to be done to ”solve” the climate crisis (in other words, dramatically lowering our emissions starting today) , then how could we, some schoolchildren, know? How can you leave that burden to us?

Once you have done your homework, you realize that we need new politics. We need a new economics, where everything is based on our rapidly declining and extremely limited carbon budget.

But that is not enough. We need a whole new way of thinking. The political system that you have created is all about competition. You cheat when you can because all that matters is to win. To get power. That must come to an end. We must stop competing with each other. We need to start cooperating and sharing the remaining resources of this planet in a fair way. We need to start living within the planetary boundaries, focus on equity and take a few steps back for the sake of all living species.

We are just passing on the words of the science. Our only demand is that you start listening to it. And then start acting.

So please stop asking your children for the answers to your own mess.

1 comment:

Philip Grant said...

Greta says: 'The favorite argument here in Sweden (and everywhere else…) is that it doesn’t matter what we do because we are all too small to make a difference.'

I am reminded of some words from a song (by Joan Baez, I think) in the 1960's: '... but if two and two and fifty make a million, we'll see the day come round.'

In respect of Climate Change, that day can't come round soon enough. Good luck, Greta, and all of the young people who are following her example.