Greta Thunberg has given a clear warning on the need for action
A cold damp fog has enveloped Cabragh now for days on end.
I came but did not linger and soon returned to the comfort of home. As the evening drew in, I spotted a small white Penguin book that someone had stuffed into my stocking a few nights previously - could it have been Santa himself with his global view of the world he traverses?
The cover is plain white, the letters are in black and it is printed on recycled paper. The author’s name, Greta, is highlighted, the title is much smaller “No one is too small to make a difference”- a collection of Greta Thunberg’s speeches from climate rallies across Europe to audiences at the UN, The World Economic Forum, the British Parliament etc.
Having witnessed the largest local consumer spend I have ever seen at Christmas, I thought that in the first week of this new year that it might be worthwhile to set out some quotes from this book and in the quiet downtime that you have at this time of the year that you might reflect on the future and what it holds, not alone for us, but for our children.
Stockholm September 8 2018. “This is a cry for help - to all the newspapers who still don’t write about and report on climate change - to all of you who have never treated this crisis as a crisis - to all the influencers who stand up for everything except the climate and the environment - to all the political parties who pretend to take the climate question seriously - to all the politicians that ridicule us on social media - to all of you who choose to look the other way because you seem more frightened of the changes that can prevent catastrophic climate change than climate change itself. Your silence is almost worse of all. The future of all the coming generations rests on your shoulders - every single person counts - just like every single emission counts - every single kilo - everything counts - our lives are in your hands.”
Davos world economic forum January 25 2019. “Our house is on fire - we are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people. Now is the time to speak clearly. We have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases. And either we do that or we don’t. There are no grey areas when it comes to survival. The bigger the carbon footprint, the bigger your moral duty. Adults keep saying “We owe it to the young people to give them hope.” But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear that I feel every day. And then I want you to act as if your house is on fire. Because it is.”
European and Economic Social Committee Brussels February 21 2019. “And I am sorry, but saying everything will be alright while continuing to do nothing at all is just not hopeful to us. In fact it’s the opposite of hope. You can’t just sit around waiting for hope to come - you’re acting like spoiled, irresponsible children.”
European Parliament Strasbourg April 16 2019. “We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction and the extinction is up to 10,000 times faster than what is considered normal. Erosion of fertile topsoil, deforestation of our great forests, toxic air pollution, loss of insects and wildlife, the acidification of our oceans. These are all disastrous trends being accelerated by a way of life that we here in our financially fortunate world see as our right to simply carry on. Everyone and everything needs to change. Make the very best of science the heart of politics and democracy. I ask you to please wake up and make the changes required possible.”
House of Parliament London April 23 2019. “I was fortunate to be born in a time and place where everyone told us to dream big. People like me had everything we needed and more. Things our grandparents could not even dream of. We had everything we could wish for and yet now we may have nothing. Now we don’t probably have a future anymore. I hope my microphone was on. I hope you could all hear me.”
The fog did eventually lift in Cabragh to reveal a wonderland of blue sky, shining water, sculpted trees and tranquillity.
Will it lift across the world in 2020 and beyond. To paraphrase the song - “We’ve got the whole world in our hands.”
Slán go fóill agus úrbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh go léir.