We have all by now heard of Greta Thunberg, a Swedish schoolgirl who made headlines around the world in August 2018 by refusing to attend school in the face of climate devastation, and the severe ramifications for humanity.
The simplicity of her stance in striking inspired school children around the world to emulate her, to call out government and declare that ‘enough is enough’.
This girl and her journey should be an inspirational one for us all. Her actions represent the quality and bravery of the upcoming generations – our children and grandchildren.
Greta’s message resonates with her own generation. School children continue to take action, skip school and protest. I assume that these children have been supported by their parents and schools. Some children would not have been supported in this action and just ‘wagged’ school. Perhaps others have not participated, whether by their own choice, or because they haven’t been allowed.
To see a variety of stories around the topic of Greta, climate change strikes and our reactions to this, check out The Guardian.
This month, Greta travelled to New York to attend a UN summit on climate change. She brought attention to her quest by travelling via yacht, instead of flying and contributing to the carbon load. Then we heard her speak.
It is surprising (and embarrassing) the vitriol pouring from so many after listening to Greta. Some of the people commenting in the negative do not surprise. They have almost nurtured an expectation as people that are behind the times, misogynistic, unsympathetic about difference and climate change deniers. Even those that may have some sympathy and awareness of the climate fiasco, aren’t prepared to hear a 16-year-old girl ‘tell them off’. And unfortunately, her presentation style grates.
Have you heard the slang sayings ‘fish wife’ or ‘harpy’? Derogatory terms for ‘a course scolding woman’ and ‘a very unpleasant female person’. These hateful descriptions could be applied to the presentation style.
Let’s be honest here. In marketing, beauty sells, sexy sells, a honey toned voice sells. Promises of success, wealth, love, safety and longevity – for ourselves and our children – sell. A message of doom, coming from a red faced and screeching teenager, that does not sell.
People also question who is feeding her the agenda? She has presented fact-based, scientific reports to support her case. But who is feeding her the line?
Does it matter where she is getting it from, if the information is accurate, science based and might help to create a required shift in consciousness? But of course, one socially awkward 16-year-old girl can’t be allowed to just stand up for her beliefs, with passion. Because it makes the rest of us look bad. Lazy, selfish and apathetic. Really, it comes down to selfishness!
I have at least one friend on Facebook who has not been shy to share phrasing such as “irritating and annoying”, but who at the same time announces that “we are too stupid and selfish to do anything significant until it’s too late, so (I’m) just counting down the clock until we are engulfed in war and natural disasters of our own making.” This is one specific person, but I feel it covers a gamut of feeling from people. And many people will hold back from saying the negatives, because in a PC world we aren’t encouraged to express the unpopular majority viewpoint; otherwise, we become the monster. That new term for favouring one group or thing over another – reverse discrimination.
I personally, passively worry and acknowledge that whatever I do will make little to no difference, with regard to anything, but especially to climate change. I also don’t have confidence to take a stance on something if I don’t personally understand every detail behind the issue. Basically, I’m not a scientist, and throw my hands in the air.
I have, however, for many years now boycotted the cheap product (discount) retail stores – the one buck shops, two buck shops, euro shops, reject shops – even KMart or WalMart or Target. Stores that sell a lot of crap that won’t last long, with a high proportion of plastic.
Plastic that not only litters and doesn’t decompose, but (I believe) wastes fossil fuel (oil) both as an ingredient and of course in the manufacture process itself.
I also actively try to not just collect stuff. Except books. I have to admit. And I’ll continue to buy books until the day it is legislated that we are no longer able to use trees to create paper.
Generally, I pay the carbon tax on airfares too. Not every time.
Now, if every single person in the world followed or performed even these small steps – it would make some difference. Every single person.
This doesn’t apply to desperately poor people; they can’t afford to collect crap.
Developing countries want what we have, aspire to it, and why not?
Each generation engages in the notion of the next generation being better off, it is what they’ve worked for. This really peaks with ownership and wealth.
Two buck shops allow us to buy whatever piece of rubbish that appeals, allowing us to feel we’ve some say, some power, some ability to beautify ourselves and our homes.
Comfortable people – those at any level of the wealth spectrum that fools us into thinking we’re safe – don’t want to change.
Somebody else will sort it out.
It isn’t real.
It is somebody else’s problem. AKA some future generation.