‘How dare you!’ We can’t ignore Greta Thunberg’s powerful and important challenge.

Greta Thunberg
Fréa Lockley

On 23 September, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg addressed world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit. In just four minutes, she spoke more sense than most adults about the devastating impact of climate breakdown. And her challenge to world leaders, and indeed all adults, is something we can’t ignore.

How dare you!

“This,” said Thunberg, “is all wrong”. And she continued:

I shouldn’t be up here.

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I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!

You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

Thunberg’s emotions poured into each and every word she spoke. And although the audience clapped and cheered, this is a powerful challenge that urges a meaningful response. Children and young people are currently leading the way in demanding action to prevent climate breakdown. Yet, it’s the adults who have full control of economics and structures of power. And as Thunberg also pointed out, this message isn’t new:

A picture says a thousand words

Footage also emerged on social media showing Thunberg glaring at Donald Trump as he arrived at the UN. It says everything:

Trump later mocked Thunberg. And many saw his vile sarcasm as bullying:

Yet in doing so, he demonstrated perfectly just how vital her words truly are.

Her speech gave a concise and damningly accurate summary of the current targets to limit climate catastrophe. But as she stressed:

There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

She also issued a compelling warning to all adults and world leaders:

You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: we will never forgive you.

We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.

Thunberg is right; one way or another, change is coming. Without action, we stand little chance of survival. Our very future depends on ensuring everyone in any position of power listens to Thunberg and all the young people taking action.

Featured image via YouTube – Greta Thunberg

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  • Show Comments
    1. I do ignore it. Most certainly I do.

      This girl’s rise to orchestrated ‘celebrity’ is merely reflection of our dismal society and of malevolent ‘news’ media interests intent on producing profitable distractions for the masses.

      It is naive to believe her utterances, heartfelt though they may be, will influence anything. Her ‘celebrity’ has been manipulated so that prominent individuals and institutions must give her audience lest portraying themselves as churlish. Of course they will applaud her, it costs nothing and gives impression of benevolent attention.

      Putting a child on the podium will not accomplish what her non-commercial backers seek to achieve. Sentiment is shallow and soon evaporates. Meanwhile, decision-takers must be convinced by adults to acknowledge stark reality affecting them and their kin along with everyone else.

    2. Greta’s been co-opted, probably by big business, to later steer us away from commercial and industrial failings and towards local and personal efforts such as recycling and turning the lights off.

      Who elevates a sixteen year-old girl to world prominence and international platforms? Powerful people intend to carry on regardless and blame Joe and Jane Average for making the world toxic. “Share your bathwater!” “Paper not plastic!” “Don’t flush if you pee!” etc etc…all while continuing to poison our water, land and air.

    3. So a 16 year old girl speaks truth to the World, and tells the world that the ‘gifts’ adults keep promising to their children are actually parcels of the most toxic, worst-smelling shit in existence, which also has the merit of being factual and true.

      It is NOT naive to believe Greta Thunberg’s words or efforts, it is however delusional and blind to ignore the fact she is ALREADY influencing people, and hence they are already turning on her.

      It is naive to believe the words of adults in power however. The thing is that they will try to use her, ignore her, vilify her, change her, but it is already too late. Climate change is a reality, she is not trying to convince anyone of that, but what she is doing is trying to convince ALL OF US to do something about it, to keep our promises to our children.

      Getting the message in front of World leaders, gets the message to a great many people, particularly as the MSM is all over that kind of stuff.

      The fact that there are now plenty of people trying to crush her spirit and counter her efforts, proves she is already having an effect, it also speaks volumes about those criticising her efforts.

      I note with annoyance that some RT contributors (like Graham Dockery) have started to write articles which are clearly oil-industry supported attack pieces, trying to make out that she is spreading depression and fear, when it is them and World leaders that have been deliberately creating it, and now those ‘contributors’ are seeking to make Greta Thunberg responsible for the fear and misery they have caused, and continue to cause.

      Get a damned grip on reality! It’s not the child who is terrified of their future prospects who should be vilified and silenced, but the fucking stupid adults who have made those children and people so fearful and disenfranchised in the first place.

      People who try to undermine a child’s wish for a better, safe, and VIABLE future ARE the damned problem. Why tell children we are doing these things so they can inherit a better world, when that couldn’t be further from the truth? Actions speak louder than words! It seems silly to have to keep repeating this fact, but words are nothing without active proof.

      The system, parents, and the media are all guilty of misleading and lying to children about reality, and about the sheer bloody mindedness of humanity, a species that claims to love life, but on the whole despises itself and all life, and considers itself to be of such supreme importance (even divinely destined as such) that even the things that are essential for life to continue, are considered to be of far less importance, like the quality of the air we breath, the water and food that sustains us, the pollution that we create and the list just goes on.

      Those who criticise a child for standing up in front of the World, to do what NO Adult was prepared to do (out of fear generated by other adults), are cowards, particularly as it seems that most adults are emotionally compromised beings who can’t separate reality from their own delusions, or who can’t work out that they are even living a delusion, because the reality is that all adults and most children are in fact already in some delusion or other.

      Delusions like Nationalism, delusions of democracy, delusions of infinite food and resource supplies, delusions of grandeur, delusions of divinity, delusions within delusions, what a deluded species we are.

      To be a Human adult on planet Earth means carrying one or more delusions, or are in the process of being deluded, or programming someone else into our delusions. We even pass on our delusions with violence, forcing others into those delusions regardless of the damage done to other Life.

      Adults are far more deluded than children (that’s why they get so angry when their delusional thinking is exposed).

      Greta Thunberg is perhaps the greatest human being alive right now, and it is exactly because she is a child speaking wisdom to those who should be much wiser but aren’t, and showing true emotional attachment to the World that created her, unlike so many who see that as a weakness, and hate the World, Universe and Life that they are a part of.

      I certainly haven’t seen a single critic of Greta’s offering anything of better value, and just because she is a child, that is no excuse to pretend that she isn’t speaking the truth. Is she helping to spread depression? good, it is a sign that people are waking up to reality, not continuing on in a fantasy world, which is what most of our adult policies and politics are, a delusional and farcical fantasy which even children aren’t blind to any more.

      Those that argue she is not going to be listened to, in an effort to destroy her credibility and efficacy, are the flag-wavers for ignorance, who champion nothing except apathy, and don’t-rock-the-boat politics. One thing is for certain, if no one says or does anything about Climate Change (and our delusional states), no one will survive what’s coming, and that will be the end of life, certainly as we know it.

      I fully expect to see callous, heartless, and delusional articles mocking her emotional state at the UN (because every adult knows that the powerful are sociopaths, and we must emulate them (s.i.c.)), not because that’s what I/we want to see, but because I know we are all living in times where even a child’s fears are turned against them by adults who claim to Love, where the only sacred things are the worst of our traits.

      The World needs Greta Thunberg, and it needs US to act decisively in life’s favour. When I say ‘life’, I am not talking about Human Life above all other Life, I am talking about ALL Life in its many forms, with Humanity deliberately second to the rest. Only if we have this humble attitude towards all living things, can we possibly hope to survive and thrive.

    4. Greta is speaking Truth to Power and has my support.

      The critics of her are displaying their lack of humanity and awareness. We have a common home, planet earth, our only home which is at risk of extinction due to the continual growth of human economic activity.

      Humankind must learn to live in a stabilised economy. We are killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

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