Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate-change activist addressed the opening session of the United Nations Climate Actions Summit 2019. She expressed strong disapproval at the failure of world leaders to take genuine measures to combat climate change. Her words at times bordered on an outright condemnation of the attending leaders.
The speech will go down as the most scathing attack by a girl who represents today’s youth. Greta Thunberg began with an ominous “we will be watching you”, which portended the scathing attack which was to follow. Her refrain of “how dare you?” ripped into the heart of the millions watching over the world. She spoke for the angry youth of today, furious at the mockery of past generations which has all but destroyed their future. They have been ignoring repeated calls for the need to rein in climate change.
Greta Thunberg at U.N.: "You are still not mature enough to tell it like it is. You are failing us. Young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you." https://t.co/5ZPcsQ1Bbr pic.twitter.com/58gwYMqBQV
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 23, 2019
Greta Thunberg’s speech comes days after hundreds of thousands of youth took to the streets to demand immediate action on climate change. This was before the world leaders gathered at the UN to jump-start efforts to minimize carbon emissions.
Her voice quivered but the words she spoke at the UN climate summit were firm and clear. She spoke scathingly of the suffering and death caused by a collapsing and dying ecosystem. All that the people who could make a change have only done is sell false dreams of perpetual prosperity which comes only to the privileged few. Greta Thunberg held back tears as she went on “how dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.”
It is a little past a year since Greta Thunberg plunged into the climate change movement. She was a lone protester as she stood in front of the Swedish Parliament holding a sign saying “school strikes for the climate” and began skipping school one day every week. Her unusual form of protest soon reverberated around the world and this week, millions of youths heeded to her call. Now she has directly addressed and castigated the most powerful assemblage of people on the planet. She has been hailed as the “voice” of our planet and received the Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
She scathingly pointed out that the stringent cuts in emission being touted would just give a chance of 50% to limit future warming within the global goal of a further 0.4° from the current levels.
She warned that the world would not let the leaders get away. The time had come to set a limit.
Warming trends have alarmingly exceeded existing scientific models and environmentalists are understandably alarmed.
A recent climate study has revealed that since 1970, the oceans are warming at a faster rate than predicted; almost 40% higher than estimates.
Even the UN has noted with alarm that global emission is showing no signs of slowing down and the last few years were the warmest ever. And this change is dangerously affecting the climate.
Greta Thunberg accused the attending world leaders, “you have stolen my dreams.” She injected a conciliatory note when she said that they perhaps have failed to realize the urgency of the situation.
It is heartening to note that today’s youth have realized the seriousness of the circumstances. If changes can be made to our policies, our planet can still recover from the wounds that we have inflicted on it. If they take steps even now and are ready to act there is still hope.
Featured Image: Stephanie Keith
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