It is unprecedented. A 16-year-old Swedish girl with a vision for a viable planet has inspired a global movement for change. The millions of predominantly young people around the world who have made a strong but peaceful protest against the world's transcendent problem – the future of life on Earth itself – are by far the most hopeful development since we became aware of it harmed human activities. Because those are the people who may, before it's really too late, vote, agitate, argue, and implement the much-needed changes in their lifestyles.
We owe Greta Thunberg an enormous debt. Although she is maligned in some areas, her message carries an extraordinary power and resonance, largely due to her sheer seriousness. As she said to the United States Congress this week ̵
"This is primarily an emergency and not just any emergency," she said. "This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced. And we have to treat it accordingly, so that people can understand and understand the urgency. Because you can not solve a crisis without treating it as one. Stop telling people that everything is alright when it actually looks like it's not very good. "
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It is this blunt speech and the bold statement of the truth that has led some, consciously or unconsciously, to belittle them and their motivations. It is foolish and pointless, because while the critics can attack Greta at will, the data and science speak for themselves. However, they have benefited from the reinforcement of this remarkable young woman.
She admits the position admirably: There is a 66 percent chance of averting some of the worst aspects of climate change if action is taken within 10 years. Some countries, regions and cities are making impressive progress in pursuing their CO 2 neutrality goals, bringing the combustion engine ever closer to today. Theresa May, in her last term as Prime Minister, promised to make the United Kingdom carbon neutral by 2050. This is progress, but not enough. The other signatories to the Paris climate change at least recognize the reality of the threat, its immediacy, and the scientific evidence.
But the world knows that there are others who are resistant to reason and the cause of self-preservation. Despite the frequent and crazy weather that is already costing lives and damaging their economy, the US and Australian governments, with their large sectors of natural resources, could go much further than before. It is also depressing to witness the wanton destruction of the rainforests of Brazil and Central Africa, sometimes sponsored by personalities such as President Bolsonaro. China has invested heavily in its electric vehicle industry, but continues to build fossil-fueled power plants at an alarming rate. There and in too many other countries, the authorities simply do not allow the kind of strike action and protests that have triggered another global debate.
Above all, this is the perfect reminder of all the participants in the UN climate summit in New York, which is at stake. The problem could hardly be bigger. As the posters say: There is no planet B, and as the boys say of the generation of today's leaders who hold the existence of future generations of humanity in their hands, you may die of old age, but your children and grandchildren will suffer of climate change. We were warned.