17 February 2019

Best climate video ever? A Swedish Teenager's Compelling Plea on Climate

On an email list I am on,  this video was described as "the best climate video ever".  Best ever?  I don't know, but it's very, very good. A must watch. -- David

 Here slightly edited version of the speech by Greta Thunberg, courtesy of The Guardian:
Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire.

According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes. In that time, unprecedented changes in all aspects of society need to have taken place, including a reduction of our CO2 emissions by at least 50%.
And please note that those numbers do not include the aspect of equity, which is absolutely necessary to make the Paris agreement work on a global scale. Nor does it include tipping points or feedback loops like the extremely powerful methane gas released from the thawing Arctic permafrost.

At places like Davos, people like to tell success stories. But their financial success has come with an unthinkable price tag. And on climate change, we have to acknowledge we have failed. All political movements in their present form have done so, and the media has failed to create broad public awareness.

But Homo sapiens have not yet failed.

Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around. We can still fix this. We still have everything in our own hands. But unless we recognise the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably don’t stand a chance.

We are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people. And now is not the time for speaking politely or focusing on what we can or cannot say. Now is the time to speak clearly.

Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that Homo sapiens have ever faced. The main solution, however, is so simple that even a small child can understand it. We have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases.

Either we do that or we don’t.

You say nothing in life is black or white. But that is a lie. A very dangerous lie. Either we prevent 1.5C of warming or we don’t. Either we avoid setting off that irreversible chain reaction beyond human control or we don’t.

Either we choose to go on as a civilisation or we don’t. That is as black or white as it gets. There are no grey areas when it comes to survival.

We all have a choice. We can create transformational action that will safeguard the living conditions for future generations. Or we can continue with our business as usual and fail.

That is up to you and me.

Some say we should not engage in activism. Instead we should leave everything to our politicians and just vote for a change instead. But what do we do when there is no political will? What do we do when the politics needed are nowhere in sight?

Here in Davos – just like everywhere else – everyone is talking about money. It seems money and growth are our only main concerns.

And since the climate crisis has never once been treated as a crisis, people are simply not aware of the full consequences on our everyday life. People are not aware that there is such a thing as a carbon budget, and just how incredibly small that remaining carbon budget is. That needs to change today.
No other current challenge can match the importance of establishing a wide, public awareness and understanding of our rapidly disappearing carbon budget, that should and must become our new global currency and the very heart of our future and present economics.

We are at a time in history where everyone with any insight of the climate crisis that threatens our civilisation – and the entire biosphere – must speak out in clear language, no matter how uncomfortable and unprofitable that may be.

We must change almost everything in our current societies. The bigger your carbon footprint, the bigger your moral duty. The bigger your platform, the bigger your responsibility.

Adults keep saying: “We owe it to the young people to give them hope.” But I don’t want your hope.

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.

I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.


  1. "Wrong Kind of Green" is running a series on the promotion of Greta Thunberg. It seens that establishment NGOs are promoting her as a way to actually undermine real opposition to growth. What do you think? The fact that the source is from the Guardian, makes me very suspicious.

    1. What do you mean? A shell game? I dont hear or see that. I hear a young person who is being disarmingly honest.
      Whats wrong with the Guardian? Not enough spelling mistakes? Sensible well written articles? Responsive polite journalists?
      You make me suspicious.

    2. I was replying to the author of the article, David Spratt who I believe is reasonably informed on the subject of climate destabilization and along with the efforts of our capitalist masters to curb any serious efforts to stop it. Obvious Greta Thunberg is totally innocent, but she is being used by the capitalist ruling class. If you believe that the latter is also totally innocent, then I think you have been taking the "blue pill" for a long time.

      This is another sheep-herding operation going on to shepherd those concerned about climate destabilization into the chute that leads--well, maybe not to the slaughterhouse of managed elections as Bernie Sanders did in the US elections--but to control and diffuse the growing worldwide concern about the obvious signs of weather extremes--the first indications of climate destabilization.

      At this stage we can only point to the supporters behind this celebrity status of Thunberg and the many other manifestations of this sheep-herding operation. Morningstar and Palmer provide an exhaustive list of the promoters. The following is only a sample of what the authors found: worldwide coverage from media corporations, and their capitalist backers have managed to have Thunberg appear at the UN Climate Conference; at Ted Talks, at Davos, and they have used her celebrity status, which they created, to spawn other organizations supposedly concerned about climate destabilization: The Green New Deal (Democratic Party), We Don't Have Time (movement), Sierra Club's Sunrise Movement, and NGO supporters like the World Resources Institute. The articles goes into considerable detail about the capitalist associations of the directors and backers.

      It's patently clear what is going on. The hoi poiloi (ordinary people) are once again being played for fools. In contrast to what we've seen in the past: devastating world wars, this time it will result in human extinction.

  2. I said previously on Twitter that what Greta says is brutally honest and necessary, and that seh has sparked a whole new generation of climate activism. This is great. At these big "adult" set-piece events like Davos, it feels to me that the "adults" deflect or outsource their responsibilities to her. The clap what she says, then go back to doing precisely what they have always done, which is the opposite of what Greta demands, looking smug that they have basked in her reflection glory. None of this is Greta's responsibility and overall I think it is better that she speak at these events than not, but we should all be aware of the game that is being played.

  3. Frank White of Windsor Ontario, Canada, writes:

    Greta says: "Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that Homo sapiens have ever faced. The main solution, however, is so simple that even a small child can understand it. We have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases."

    Saying "we have to stop our emissions" is easy. The hard part is knowing what that entails -- And so far, I haven't seen any action plans that explain -- in sufficient detail -- just how to do that. It's mostly -- we MUST do this, we MUST do that, i.e. full of generalities.

    Even worse, the extensive research of Dr. Tim Garrett, Atmospheric Physicist at the University of Utah, concludes that "There is no chance of reducing global CO2 levels without incurring a total collapse of the global economy, and with it, the collapse of global civilization."

    Bet Greta has never heard of Dr. Garrett. Well, neither have most environmentalists and climate crisis advocates -- Or if they have, they don't talk about his research findings, possibly for fear of scaring away donors.

    To find out more about Garrett, follow this Shortlink https://wp.me/pO0No-4vA to an article titled "Tim Garrett explains why civilization is caught in a double-bind, ending with its collapse this century." From here you will find links to dozens more works by and about Garrett.

  4. >"There is no chance of reducing global CO2 levels without incurring a total collapse of the global economy, and with it, the collapse of global civilization."

    Do you accept that assertion, David? Too me the transition to clean stationary energy and clean land-based personal transportation and land transportation of goods is achievable and will create jobs and economic activity not shut it down. We know there are more jobs in renewables than FF but probably less jobs in EVs especially when AEVs become the norm. Many industries can shift to clean energy for industrial heat and hydrogen can fuel other processes like smelting steal. Agriculture remains the big problem, many project rapidly rising demand for meat, especially methane producing red meat which will increase the Ag emissions of countries like Australia, and they're already much higher than our AEGIS/UNFCCC accounting would indicate at face value.

    1. We do have to transform every aspect of our lives. In the same way we did when we adopted agriculture, the wheel, fire or coal. Its all going to be different. No one person or group can know definitively what the outcome might look like, but we can still dream, discuss, plan, adapt, re-use, learn about the earths robust recycling, carbon draw down, to make soils rich again. Maybe a lot of us will need to actually live on the land rather than in cities. Would that be so awful? Fight fewer wars. Have fewer children because those we do have will have a better chance of growing up. Its all possible. Take heart, this is an amazing opportunity. We need to cast away fear and embrace what we have done, in order to change and adapt it, rather than live our remaining lives in fear and inaction.