Greta Thunberg dismisses PM’s climate change speeches as ‘blah, blah, blah’

Greta Thunberg
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Greta Thunberg has mocked the prime minister by quoting parts of his speeches on climate change and adding “blah, blah, blah”.

“Blah, blah, blah”

Giving a speech at the Youth4Climate summit in Milan, Italy, the Swedish activist said the words of “our so-called leaders” had led to “no action”.

The 18-year-old used soundbites from speeches by Boris Johnson such as “build back better” before dismissing them as “blah, blah, blah”, prompting applause from the audience.

Boris Johnson
Prime minister Boris Johnson was mocked by Greta Thunberg for failing to live up to his promises (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

During her speech on 28 September, she said:

This is not about some expensive, politically correct, green act of bunny hugging.

Read on...

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Build back better, blah blah blah. Green economy, blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050, blah blah blah. Climate neutral, blah blah blah. This is all we hear from our so-called leaders. Words that sound great, but so far have led to no action.

Thunberg’s speech comes ahead of the COP26 international climate conference in Glasgow which will see world leaders pursuing a target of limiting any further temperature increase to 1.5C. The Canary reported on how some people involved in COP26 are already predicting the conference will fail to deliver the needed change. Jasmine Norden reported that:

A senior UN figure reportedly said:

We are not going to get to a 45% reduction, but there must be some level of contributions on the table to show the downward trend of emissions.

This isn’t the only less-than-aspirational view on the potential of Cop26. On the official Cop26 website, the first goal of the conference is:

Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach

 

The phrase ‘within reach’ is a lot more vague and non-committal than the Paris Agreement’s original pledge to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

The summit will involve calls to accelerate the phasing out of coal, curtail deforestation, speed up the switch to electric vehicles, and encourage investment in renewables.

“30 years of blah, blah, blah”

UK ministers are keen for the COP26 conference to involve face-to-face meetings and speeches after the event was delayed by a year because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Speaking about the words of world leaders on climate change, Thunberg said:

Our hopes and dreams drown in their empty words and promises. Of course, we need constructive dialogue – but they’ve now had 30 years of blah, blah, blah, and where has that led us.

Over 50% of all our CO2 emissions have occurred since 1990 and a third since 2005. All this while the media is reporting what the leaders say they are going to do, instead of what they are actually doing.

Don’t get me wrong, we can still do this. Change is not only possible but urgently necessary.

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  • Show Comments
    1. To me, Greta was also saying that, while bone-dry-vegetation world regions uncontrollably burn, mass addiction to fossil fuel products undoubtedly helps keep the average consumer quiet about the planet’s greatest polluter, lest they feel and/or be publicly deemed hypocritical. Meanwhile, neoliberals and conservatives remain preoccupied with vocally criticizing one another for their relatively trivial politics and diverting attention away from some of the planet’s greatest polluters, where it should and needs to be sharply focused.

      Industry and fossil-fuel friendly governments can tell when a very large portion of the populace is too tired and worried about feeding/housing themselves or their family, and the virus-variant devastation still being left in COVID-19’s wake — all while on insufficient income — to criticize them for whatever environmental damage their policies cause/allow, particularly when not immediately observable. In fact, until recently, I had not heard Greta’s name in the mainstream corporate news-media since COVID-19 hit the world.

      As individual consumers, far too many of us still recklessly behave as though throwing non-biodegradable garbage down a dark chute, or pollutants flushed down toilet/sink drainage pipes or emitted out of elevated exhaust pipes or spewed from sky-high jet engines and very tall smoke stacks — even the largest toxic-contaminant spills in rarely visited wilderness — can somehow be safely absorbed into the air, water, and land (i.e. out of sight, out of mind); like we’re inconsequentially dispensing of that waste into a black-hole singularity, in which it’s compressed into nothing.

      I have long said that, collective human existence has been dangerously analogous to a cafeteria lineup consisting of diversely societally represented people, all adamantly arguing over which identifiable person should be at the front and, conversely, at the back of the line. Many of them further fight over to whom amongst them should go the last piece of quality pie and how much they should have to pay for it — all the while the interstellar spaceship on which they’re all permanently confined, owned and operated by (besides the wealthiest passengers) the fossil fuel industry, is on fire and toxifying at locations not normally investigated. As a species, we really can be so heavily preoccupied with our own individual albeit often overwhelming little worlds, that we’ll miss the biggest of pictures.

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