Greta Thunberg climate activist


December 2018

Swedish Teenager's Climate Change Protest

Fifteen year old Greta Thunberg sets an example to us all by the determination of her protest against the failure of governments and adults generally to take climate change seriously.  Not only did she initiate a series of school strikes which spread worldwide, but she gave a quietly passionate address to the recent COP24 climate conference in Poland, in faultless English.  In one of the most telling lines of her speech, she said

"You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes."

Read more about Greta's  School strike in September    Address to COP24

View the video and read the read the full text of her speech to the climate conference.

 

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January 2019

Climate Change School strike in Fort William

Following the example of Greta Thunberg in Sweden, school Climate Change strikes for an hour every Friday morning, are spreading worldwide.

Jane Cassidy reports in the National   11 January"Holly Gillibrand, 13, a pupil at Lochaber High School in Fort William, is joining a growing global movement in which children stage Friday strikes. It began last year when Greta Thunberg, 15, from Stockholm, stopped attending school in the run-up to a Swedish general election, demanding the government reduce carbon emissions.

"After the election, she continued to strike only on Fridays, gaining worldwide attention and inspiring pupils across the globe to follow her lead. Gillibrand announced her intention to strike on Twitter last month, saying in a tweet addressed to Prime Minister Theresa May: “Every Friday 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!”

"Gillibrand 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.”

"By last month, more than 20,000 students had held strikes in at least 270 cities around the world."

Climate protest at Lochaber High School

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January 2019

"Our house is on fire"  -  Greta Thunberg speaks at World Economic Forum at Davos

The Swedish teenager, now 16, who hit the headlines by leading school strikes against climate change and addressed the UN Climate Conference in Katowice in December, has taken the train to Davos to tell the political and business leaders gathered for the World Economic Forum  "Our house is on fire . . .  I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act."

The Guardian  25 January            Text and video of Greta's speech

CNN  Ivana Kottasova and Eliza Mackintosh 25 January    Interview and pictures

See also a  TED Talk given by Greta   in Stockhom in late 2018.

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February 2019

MPs debate climate after school strike – but only a handful turn up

Student protest

The Guardian  28 February   Sandra Laville writes

In the week that the UK experienced its hottest ever winter day, just a handful of government MPs attended a debate on climate change in parliament on Thursday.

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said she had secured the discussion after being inspired by the thousands of UK schoolchildren who went on strike over climate change this month and wanted to thank them for forcing MPs into action.

"Moran said climate change had not been debated in the main chamber of the House of Commons for two years. She spoke, however, to a chamber where the seats were predominantly empty. At points, as few as 10 MPs sat on government benches, although the opposition side was more occupied. The lacklustre response to the debate from the government was in stark contrast to the condemnation by Downing Street to the thousands of children involved in the strike for climate change, calling it 'truancy'."

Her last statement seems to be wrong.  Rather, the government's and MP's indifference to the debate seems to be wholly in tune with the government's condemnation of the school and student protests.

Read the full report .

UK Parliament debate

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Monday 23 September 2019

Greta lambasts world leaders at UN

Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg delivered a fiercely emotional speech at the United Nations in New York today, during a climate change summit convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, from which Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro were conspicuous absentees.

"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!".   .   .“The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line.”

Guardian report by Oliver Milman  with video of Greta's speech

Full text of the speech

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January 2020

Trump and Greta at Davos

Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg are attending the current meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos, and both made speeches today.

The Guardian    21 January 2020 Graeme Wearden in Davos and Julia Kollewe

Environmental destruction is at the top of the agenda at the annual summit of the world's decision-makers.

In his keynote speech, Mr Trump said that it was a time for optimism, not pessimism, in a speech that touted his administration's economic achievements and America's energy boom.

He called for a rejection of "predictions of the apocalypse" and said America would defend its economy.

Speaking of climate activists, he said: "These alarmists always demand the same thing - absolute power to dominate, transform and control every aspect of our lives."

"We will never let radical socialists destroy our economy."

Trump's speech factchecked by APnewsVideosTrump's speech (extract)   [metro.co.uk]Trump's speech in full        [YouTube]

 

Greta Thunberg repeated her warning of a year ago to the same forum

"Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fuelling the flames by the hour, and we are telling you to act as if you loved your children above all else."

and ended her speech with three specific and forceful demands for action by world leaders

"We demand at this year's World Economic Forum, that participants from all companies, banks, institutions and governments: immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction; immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies; and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels.  We don't want these things done by 2050, 2030 or even 2021.  We want this done now."

Some criticisms of Greta discussed (Bigthink)

VideosGreta's speech (extract)  [The Guardian]Greta's speech in full       [Democracy Now]

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