Greta Thunberg has been in the news for quite a while, creating a lot of awareness of the pressing need to address the climate issues happening all around the world. Like other women who speak up for issues they believe in, Greta has also been accused of being a puppet and is being funded by other parties (think Malala Yousifzai).
Even though she may be hugely popular with the young children, environmentalists, climate activists, and NGO, she has also amassed a large list of people who despise her- mainly middle-aged men. I can understand their hatred for her; she is merely doing on the world’s stage what these men should have been doing. She’s been speaking up against the adults who have failed the next generation- what kind of world are you leaving us, she asks. Maybe these very adults don’t like their failures pointed out to them, or simply being berated by a child.
Greta has been hailed as a hero, influential activist among many other accolades, but the one thing I didn’t know about her was that she has Asperger’s syndrome. Given her condition, she has still managed to raise a voice singlehandedly, believed in her mission, and has got millions of people behind her.
I remember back in the 90s when I was studying for my GCSEs, and one of the subjects I had taken was Natural Economy, which was all about the environment and the devastation mankind has created on the world- deforestation, whaling, ozone layer and so on. Yes, a lot has been done- carbon emissions have been reduced, CFCs have been banned- but there is still a long way to go. This is where Greta does a great job of shaking up the politicians’ boots to do something because they have the power to do so.
Whether you agree with Greta or not, that is beside the point. The point that inspires me how as a young student, who decided to stay out of school, Greta took a principled decision to stand up for what she believed in, even if she had to do it alone. It takes guts to do something like, even when her family was against her decision. We have all heard the standard, if somewhat cliched statement, that we are all drop in an ocean and if we come together, we can create a tsunami and change the world.
As seen above, she sat outside the office, all alone with her signboard back in September 2018. She didn’t care when people didn’t believe her. She stood strong. Fast forward a year to September 2019, she is now able to hold gatherings where thousands and thousands of people show up to support her. It took a year to make her voice heard and have the world support her.
That strong conviction, that strong belief, that strong mindset, that strong desire to change the world has brought Greta to where she is, As she famously said, “We are the Change, and Change is coming, whether you like it or not.”
The book is a series of her speeches which she has delivered the world over, and along with that are series of pictures of her rallies. Included are the speeches she made at Davos and UN General Assembly.
As we go along with Greta speeches, we can see the change is coming, and how more and more people show up. It is a very quick read, you could probably read it within the hour, but her ideas are huge enough that they stick in your mind for a long time. Without fail, Greta successfully manages to convince the readers to do something about the environment and the climate crisis, and we can all play our part in doing that.
A lot of is directed towards the politicians and policy-makers in the government. She also repeatedly calls to speak to the scientists for they have all the data that reveals how bad our climate actually is.
I guess the most important question we need to ask ourselves is: what kind of world are we leaving for our children? For our grandchildren? In one of her speeches at the World Economic Forum, 2019, she says:
“I ask you to prove me wrong. For the sake of your children, for the sake of your grandchildren. For the sake of life and this beautiful living planet. I asked you to stand on the right side of history.”