This is a deadpan, stunning performance from Fifteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. She addressed the U.N. plenary recently in Katowice, Poland, condemning global inaction in the face of catastrophic climate change.
But to do that, we have to speak clearly, no matter how uncomfortable that may be. You only speak of 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 civilization 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 are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.
The roof of my building is in disrepair. Literally. We share the building with five other units. I’ve shown pictures of the roof. I’ve taken people up there to look. It desperately needs upkeep and has for the past five years.
But it’s on the roof. It’s not seen every day. And no matter what proof I show my neighbors, and no matter how much I try to scare them with the facts that we could be adding so much more harm to our building, no body gives a rats’ ass.
This is the climate change argument in a microcosm. You can show literal facts to people. You can explain that warming waters cause fucked up weather. You can show photos and data that spans back years and years. But it doesn’t matter. If my politician told me, or my pastor, or the guy who read an article in my community fulfills my confirmation bias, by God … Climate Change is a hoax perpetuated by rich scientists who want to get richer off gullible idiots like you!
Keep in mind that as I move closer to the holiday season, and we plan to spend a week or so with people adamantly opposed to Climate Change, because, well, politics … this is important to me.
Larger than that, the point isn’t entirely if the climate is or isn’t warming. Or cooling. Or not. I think it’s a goddamn shame that we pump so much shit into our atmosphere, dump chemicals into our landfills and sewers, and then think, “Nah, man, all this shit is fine. The planet is going to do what it wants, because there have always been ebbs and flows of temperatures.”
It’s a shame that we, especially Americans, live a such grandiose lives that we waste so much. We Costco. We unroll toilet paper like it’s a water fountain. We paper towel everything. We buy too much food and throw it away. We waste waste waste. And nobody does a good god damn thing about it.
It’s conspiratorial as saying scientists get rich, but damn, doesn’t it seem shitty that big fucking companies get bigger and richer and the owners and stockholders make sure that they’re politically supported. The disparity between rich and poor in this country is widening, and ignorance is the best weapon for keeping the environment un-sacred.
I mean, look at this shit that people post on their social media:
I know that person. You know that person. It’s embarrassing.
I don’t even need to care that much. I don’t have kids. So there’s part of me that’s like, whatever fools. But then that’s irresponsible.
I guess whenever you have the hope of biblical apocalypse, you have no more room in your head for scientific apocalypse. No more room in the inn! Right? Right!