Monday, September 23, 2019

Greta Thunberg is the Person I Want To Be

You've probably heard of Greta Thunberg by now, but if not, she's the 16-year-old climate activist who now travels the world (often by electric speedboat because she refuses to fly) yelling at adults for failing to act on climate change and possibly dooming us all to a sweaty death.

Like literally, she is not holding back anymore. Be warned, she is crying while she speaks and if you're anything like me the following video will make you cry, too.

The way she stares bitterly at the crowd while they applaud her calling them a bunch of fucking monsters for doing nothing while people suffer and die from climate change is just, fucking hell, Greta. You are everything I want to be and you're SIXTEEN.

Greta Thunberg breaks my heart over and over and over again. She is 16 and she has Asperger's syndrome and, as she says in the above heartbreaking, brutal, tearful and tear-inducing speech, she should be in school getting an education so she can live out her dreams. It makes me think that I or maybe even someone older, more privileged, with money and mental health should be up there doing what she's doing, but for some reason it's her. She does it because she's furious and heartbroken herself because we adults have failed her and possibly ended her dreams before they began.

She breaks my heart but she also inspires me. I'm going on a walk for her today. I'm meditating for her today. I'm fighting to get better for her so that I can have the strength to fight for her, alongside her, behind or in front of her, whatever she wants. She is a real life Disney princess and YA novel hero, and she would probably tell me to go fuck myself (in so many words) for saying that instead of taking action and I would say "YES MA'AM GRETA MA'AM."

Fuck us up, Greta.

Full transcript of her speech below, courtesy of NPR:

"My message is that we'll be watching you.

"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!

"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!

"For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you're doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.

"You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.

"The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

"Fifty percent may be acceptable to you. But those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice. They also rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tons of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist.

"So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us — we who have to live with the consequences.

"To have a 67% chance of staying below a 1.5 degrees global temperature rise – the best odds given by the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] – the world had 420 gigatons of CO2 left to emit back on Jan. 1st, 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatons.

"How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just 'business as usual' and some technical solutions? With today's emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 1/2 years.

"There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

"You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. 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. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.

"Thank you."

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