Greta Thunberg issues a simple demand about how we tackle the climate crisis

The Canary

Greta Thunberg has said the only way forward in the fight against climate change is to “treat the crisis like a crisis”.

The Swedish climate and environmental activist was speaking ahead of the airing of the BBC series Greta Thunberg: A Year To Change The World, which follows her journey during a year off school in 2019 as she explores the science of global warming and challenges world leaders to take action.

Over three episodes, the 18-year-old witnesses first-hand the consequences of climate change and also meets climate scientists and experts, among them naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

Thunberg told the PA news agency: “I would like to see us starting to treat the crisis like a crisis, because that’s the only way forward.

“We can’t say ‘I would want them to do this, I would want them to shut down this, and I would want them to start this, and so on’ because, as long as that’s not coming from the people, as long as people are not demanding it, it’s undemocratic, and democracy is the most powerful tool that we have.

“It’s the most precious thing that we have, which we need to take care of, and so what I would want is for us to treat the crisis like a crisis. That is the only way forward.”

Greta Thunberg (centre) with scientists on Canada’s Athabasca Glacier (Mark Ferguson/BBC/PA)

Thunberg, who also founded the School Strike for Climate movement, described meeting Sir David as “truly remarkable”.

She said: “It was an amazing opportunity. And it was something that I will never forget. I have spoken to him several times, I think, four times, but only online.

“And then I met him in person and it was truly remarkable. And it was something that I will never forget.

“He’s such an extraordinary person who has been able to experience so much and has witnessed these changes really first-hand as they happened, from the beginning, from when we first became aware of these things.

Greta Thunberg with Sir David Attenborough (Alex Board/BBC/PA)

“So, of course, he has a perspective and a story that very few people have, definitely.”

In the series, Thunberg visits Canada’s Athabasca Glacier, which scientists tell her is melting faster than models had predicted, with a contributing factor being soot from surrounding forest fires falling on it.

She also visits a coal mine in Europe, where she meets Polish workers who tell her about their fears for their industry and the mining culture.

Thunberg said: “Being able to stand on top of a glacier and someone says ‘This will be gone soon, and there’s no way of saving it’…

“Of course, that’s very emotional, and to meet people who have lost everything and to witness these kinds of events first-hand and to witness the consequences of the climate crisis and to meet the people who are actually being affected by it already today, that’s very powerful.

“But also meeting people like the Polish coal miners, that was a very, very important meeting, and also very moving.

“I made many different interviews as well that didn’t make it in the final cuts, but they were just as important and just as incredible to be able to experience.”

– Greta Thunberg: A Year To Change The World begins on BBC One on April 12 at 9pm.

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. There is no crisis. First we were told an ice age was coming, then a hole in the ozone layer, then global warming, now it’s climate change. If you can’t see the reasons behind this then Al Gore and many others have some magic beans to sell you.

    2. Democracy is the best way forward but what is it as the clouds of corruption hide its light? . It’s here, there, everywhere and but needs definition by doing something to show it off. Maybe some news about where it works, and how in the smaller countries. Those powerful countries looking through their global warrior tinted glasses are hopeless in inspiring democracy.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.