Greta Thunberg, a 16-yr-old Swedish girl dealing with Asperger’s syndrome was shown pictures of starving polar bears, plastic in the ocean, melting ice caps and flooding at school- and she found the purpose of her life. In her first interview to an Indian newspaper, Economic Times, Greta Thunberg, who last year bunked school and sat alone in protest in Stockholm, turning soon after into one of our planet’s most strong voices on the environment.
Greta Thunberg energised her climate strike movement, Fridays for Future (FFF), with students vowing to boycott school on Fridays until their countries adhere to the 2015 Paris agreement, which aims to prevent global temperatures from rising 1.5C (34.7F) above pre-industrial levels. On 15 March, an estimated 1.6 million students from 125 countries walked out of school to demand climate change action. Before another global strike on 24 May, political leaders must switch from disruptive tactics to political negotiations to begin serious work towards curbing climate change.
She also sent a strong message to our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “Take this seriously and act. Otherwise, in the future, you will not be taken seriously. You have such a big responsibility and if you don’t do something, you will be much blamed for this crisis.” She stressed that none of the reigning governments have any sort of strategy in place and that we are facing an existential crisis.
Greta sent a shout out to Indian children addressing climate change, “I think thousands of Indians have been school-striking for climate and that is amazing and they are so brave. Those who aren’t striking, they should read about this climate crisis and see what is going on, and then they need to hold the older generation accountable Of course. According to statistics, India is one of the top countries in the world that emits. India emits a lot since they have a lot of people and they have very dirty coal and so on. First of all, start treating this as a crisis and try to make people aware, and of course, reduce emissions. But since India is a developing nation, countries like Sweden need to go first and reduce emissions more than India. The most important thing everyone needs to do right now is to read and educate yourself. You will understand what you have to do. I am just a child, just a messenger.” (excerpt)
When asked about her plans to visit India and China (as China has more emissions than Sweden), she responded saying that she would love to. However, since she does not fly, traveling by road would be difficult. She would love to visit India if she gets an invitation.
She is not alone on her journey. If we look at revolutions and philosophies over the span of human history, there has been one question that has been either asked directly or alluded to, in all cultures. It’s too late to stop climate change, but we can delay it. Those in the know, realize we are talking about climate change, often referred to as “global warming.” According to a new report, up to one million plant and animal species globally could become extinct. Our experience with cherished landscapes and wildlife has helped define and shape our national character and identity for generations. Protecting these natural resources is a cause that has led to the creation of “global” citizens from all walks of life and political stripes, including hunters, anglers, hikers, birders, wildlife watchers, etc.
Yes, climate change will bring an end to our empire, the human empire- BUT NOT TODAY, not anytime soon. We will fight it till the end!
This article has been contributed by SUBAH, an enabler of CSR in India.
SUBAH is an enabler of CSR rendering advisory and consultative services on CSR in India to industry, businesses and non-profit organizations. They enable alliances between organizations with corresponding social purposes. With a mission to build enduring and sustainable communities for a better tomorrow, Subah is continually assembling an ever-growing diverse community of conscious stakeholders, groups, & citizens. Connect with them at SubahTeam@gmail.com.