This is awesome! A 15 year-old school girl from Sweden, Greta Thunberg, telling United Nations (UN) leaders the truth right in front of their faces, and she doesn’t hold back.
Watch this three minute speech here, or read the full transcript below.
Greta Thunberg talks so clearly and accurately and says so many things the senior UN officials really wouldn’t want to hear. Some of my favourite things she says are;
- “we have to speak clearly, no matter how uncomfortable that may be”
- “you are too scared of being unpopular”
- “you are not mature enough to tell it like it is”
- “I care about climate justice and the Living Planet”
- “our civilisation is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money”
- “the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few”
- “you have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again”
- “we have come here to let you know that change is coming”
- “real power belongs to the people”
She is so right that nobody wants to tell it like it is. Governments these days have become institutions to protect large, powerful companies and incredibly rich individuals. They do not act in the best interests of the general population and the survival of all on Earth. This has to change, but it might not be easy.
Greta is so right when she says that the “real power belongs to the people”, the problem being that we just don’t know it. The main idea behind Use 10 Percent Less is that if everyone in the whole world just started consuming 10 percent less stuff, it would make a massive difference and the Earth would greatly appreciate it. And, we’re only talking about 10 percent of the stuff we use – that should be easy for the average person to handle and there’s no reason we can’t do it – we just have to want to.
Full Transcript – Greta Thunberg UN speech
My name is Greta Thunberg, I am 15 years old and I’m from Sweden. I speak on behalf of climate justice now. Many people say that Sweden is just a small country and it doesn’t matter what we do, but I’ve learned that you are never too small to make a difference. And if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to. But to do that we have to speak clearly, no matter how uncomfortable that may be. You only speak of the green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake. You are not mature enough to tell it like it is, even that burden you leave to us children. But I don’t care about being popular, I care about climate justice and the Living Planet. Our civilisation is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money. Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few. The year 2078, I will celebrate my 75th birthday. If I have children, maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you. Maybe they will ask why you didn’t do anything while there still was time to act. You say you love your children above all else and yet you’re stealing their future in front of their very eyes. Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground and we need to focus on equity. And if solutions within this system are so impossible to find, then maybe we should change the system itself. We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again. We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time. We have come here to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people. Thank you.
- An article from the BBC – Greta Thunberg: The Swedish teen inspiring climate strikes
- From Life in the Right Direction, and example of how the average people could make a difference – Is modern life over complicated?