As youth climate campaigners in the U.S. city of Brooklyn on Wednesday plan to continue a climate strike at least partly inspired by the ongoing vigil begun by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg in Sweden earlier this year, a new TEDx Talk released this week reveals that what inspired the Swedish teenager to take action was as simple as it was profound: she fell into sadness as she saw the leaders of the world—even those who admitted human-caused global warming was an "existential crisis"—continue to act and make policy decisions as though no emergency existed.
"I think in many ways we autistic are the normal ones and the rest of the people are pretty strange—especially when it comes to the sustainability crisis."
Everyone keeps saying, Thunberg declares in the 11-minute talk, that climate "is the most important issue of all, and yet they just carry on as before. I don't understand that. Because if the emissions have to stop, then we must stop the emissions. To me that is black or white. There are no gray areas when it comes to survival. Either we go on as a civilization or we don't. We have to change."
As a key part of the talk, Thunberg describes how at the age of eleven, several years after learning about the concept of climate change for the first time, she fell into a depression and became ill. "I stopped talking. I stopped eating," she explains. "In two months, I lost about ten kilos of weight. Later on I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, OCD, and selective mutism—that basically means I only speak when I think it's necessary."
After a short pause, she adds, "Now is one of those moments."
"For those of us on the spectrum," Thunberg explains to the audience, "almost everything is black or white. We aren't very good at lying and we usually don't enjoy participating in the social game as the rest of you seem so fond of. I think in many ways we autistic are the normal ones and the rest of the people are pretty strange—especially when it comes to the sustainability crisis."
Towards the conclusion of her talk, Thunberg says that "this is when people usually start talking about hope—solar panels, wind power, circular economy, and so on—but I'm not going to do that."
And continues, "We've had thirty years of pep-talking and selling positive ideas. And I'm sorry, but it doesn't work. Because if it would have, the emissions would have gone down by now—they haven't."
Finally, she says: "Yes, we do need hope—of course, we do. But the one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere."
THUNBERG - is a Swedish climate activist. At the COP24 climate
talks in Poland, Decembel 2018, Miss Thunberg addressed the
Secretary-General of the United
Nations. She received a standing ovation for one of her talks. She is
behind the global school strike created to call attention to climate
change. She is a rebel. With a cause. Thunberg is 15 and autistic and
the newest, youngest and most powerful voice on the world stage demanding
the world address global
warming. Go Greta!
‘We Have Not Come Here to Beg World Leaders to Care,’
15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Tells COP24. ‘We Have Come to Let Them Know Change Is Coming’
“We can no longer save the world by playing by the rules,” says
Thunberg, “because the rules have to be changed.”
Striking her mark at the COP24 climate talks taking place this week and next in
Poland, fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden issued a stern rebuke on behalf of the world’s youth climate movement to the adult diplomats, executives, and elected leaders gathered by telling them she was not there asking for help or demanding they comply with demands but to let them know that new political realities and a renewable energy transformation are coming whether they like it or not.
“Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago,” said Thunberg, who has garnered international notoriety for weekly climate strikes outside her school in Sweden, during a speech on Monday.
Greta Thunberg skiftede skoledag ud med strejke foran den svenske
Rigsdag. Nu kan hun få brug for at skippe skolen for at besøge en
Sommerens svenske skovbrande fik bekymringen for klimaforandringer til at blusse op i vores
Men politikerne tog slet ikke emnet alvorligt nok, mener 15-årige Greta
Under den svenske valgkamp sad hun dagligt foran Rigsdagen i stedet for i klasselokalet med skiltet
"Skolestrejke for klimaet".
Hendes happening fik opmærksomhed i medier verden over, og Greta Thunberg gik blandt andet lige i hjertet på den tidligere bodybuilder og skuespiller Arnold
I et opslag på Twitter hylder han den 15-årige pige og inviterer hende på besøg i Østrig i forbindelse med en konference om
klima, han selv står bag.
- Jeg elsker at se nogen, der ikke bare klager, men kommer ud og gør noget ved
det. Du inspirerer mig. Fortsæt med skolen, og jeg vil være vært for dig i Wien på vores R20_AWS (Austrian World Summit, red.), så du kan inspirere endnu flere
mennesker, skriver skuespilleren på Twitter.
I love seeing someone who doesn’t just complain but gets out and does something about it. You inspire me. Keep up with school and I’d love to host you in Vienna at our @R20_AWS so you can inspire even more people.
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) September 9, 2018
Thunberg said that she was not asking anything of the gathered leaders -
even as she sat next to UN Secretary General António Guterres
- but only asking the people of the world “to realize that our political leaders have failed us, because we are facing an existential threat and there’s no time to continue down this road of madness.”
Thunberg explained that while the world consumes an estimated 100 million barrels of
oil each day, “there are no politics to change that. There are no politics to keep that oil in the ground. So we can no longer save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.”
“So we have not come here to beg the world leaders to care for our future,” she declared. “They have ignored us in the past and they will ignore us again. We have come here to let them know that change is coming whether they like it or not. The people will rise to the challenge.”
“On climate change,” said Kevin Anderson, professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester, the teenage Thunberg “demonstrates more clarity and leadership in one speech than a quarter of a century of the combined contributions of so called world leaders. Wilful ignorance and lies have overseen a 65 percent rise in
CO2 since 1990. Time to hand over the baton.”
The climate crisis, she said, “is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced. First we have to realize this and then as fast as possible do something to stop the emissions and try to save what we can save.”
OF LOGIC - The message is spreading. Bold words are stirring
us up. How that might translate into action is another matter.
We need to concentrate on building the infrastructure for electric
vehicles, encourage low
carbon shipping, build more wind
farms and make houses that are virtually energy self-sufficient.
These are the actions that will bring about change.
only way to make this happen is to insist on targets that
includes programmes to deliver from each nation, with sanctions
for those countries who will not do the right thing -such as the
Trump and Vladimir
Putin. Some environmental problems need research money to
take ideas to technology
level 9 for market.
- Bold indeed. Depression and autism have not stopped Greta
Thunberg from making her mark, or from getting her message
across. Rather the opposite, her charm is that she is not flashy
in any way, but rather an intelligent person who is willing to
stand up for what is right - against all odds.
MEDIA - Greta Thunberg is on Twitter and Instagram with huge
Learn while ye
may for the benefit of your fellow man. Use what you know to help
make a better place for the future. Climate
oceans and plastic
pollution are three of the biggest menaces for human society.
Greta is right on the money.
We need action now, hot hot air.
Big thanks to all those who are or were prepared to stand up for what they
believe as Climate
TO ARMS - They are school kids temporarily sacrificing their education in order to save our futures from dangerous climate change.
On November 30, over 15,000 boys and girls went on strike from school in every capital city and over 20 regional centres across
On March 15, they
are going even bigger and inviting adults to join them in solidarity for a Global Climate Strike!
We ask, should that not include every country in the world?
THE HERALD 10 JANUARY 2019
- A 13-year-old Scottish pupil is starting a week of strike action outside her school to protest over the lack of progress on climate change.
Holly Gillibrand, from Fort William, will stand outside Lochaber High School for an hour a day between 8.45am and 9.45am to raise awareness over the issue.
Her action has been inspired by 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg who last year went on strike from school in Sweden after a spate of heat waves and wildfires.
Her demands for the Swedish government reduce carbon emissions gained worldwide attention and she has inspired thousands of pupils across the world to take part in student strikes.
As of December 2018, more than 20,000 students had held strikes in countries across the world including
Australia, Austria, Belgium,
Canada, the Netherlands,
Germany, Finland, Denmark,
Japan, Switzerland, the UK and the
Holly said: "I am striking because we are running out of time. Thousands of children around the world should not be having to miss classes because of our leaders inability to treat the climate crisis as a crisis."
Holly announced her planned weekly strike in December from her Twitter account in a message addressed to
Theresa May in which she said: "I am going to be striking from school because I will not sit silently while you and the British government contributes to the destruction of our only planet."
Friday 15th February will see a UK-wide Youth Strike 4 Climate with students of schools, colleges and universities planning actions around the UK, including one at Glasgow University.
The action is part of a campaign run by Extinction Rebellion which is demanding that the UK Government reduces carbon emissions to net zero by 2025.
In a recent interview with The Herald Holly said: "Climate change is what concerns me most about the world. My family have been worried about climate change, but it’s only started dawning on me in the last few years that it’s really serious and that we need to do something about it.
"We stopped eating meat because that’s bad for the environment and we try to limit the amount of times we go in the car. We use green energy and we’re going to start growing our own vegetables.
"Politically, there just needs to be much more action, because politicians and leaders are having all these climate talks, but nothing is actually happening."
By Andrew Denholm