October 4, 2021

Greta Thunberg’s “Blah, Blah, Blah” Speech Mocking World Leaders—Impactful or a Teen’s Angry Outburst?

“Blah, Blah, Blah…”—Greta Thunberg Mocks “So-Called” World Leaders.

This morning I got into a little back and forth on Twitter, my first experience with an armchair hate spewer who probably doesn’t even know which country Greta Thunberg belongs to.

A right-wing extremist, his Twitter bio also says: “patriot.” Not an American, but from India. All riled up in his tweet, he also mentioned how the “west people” cause more harm to the environment. He is right on that count though.

The irony here is that Greta went after American President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and other European leaders, mocking them using their exact words.

Why did this Indian gentleman get so riled up? A girl, a young girl telling “wise” men what to do…? Ah, the fragile ego. Leaving this for another time.

 

In her speech at Toward COP26: Pre-COP and Youth Event: “Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition” in Milan, Italy, Greta Thunberg, the 18-year-old Swedish climate activist, quoted prominent world leaders including Biden, Modi, Boris Johnson, dismissing their big commitments to solve the climate crisis as empty words—blah, blah, blah.

“It’s not about some expensive, politically correct, green act of bunny hugging or blah, blah, blah.”

“Or Build Back Better, blah, blah, blah.”

“Green Economy, blah, blah, blah.”

Net-zero by 2050, blah, blah blah.”

(For the complete speech, refer to the video below.)

She is angry but she is not without hope. Not bitter, either.

Her mocking the inaction, her criticism, disapproving gestures are not a sign of resentment, but activism. Activism can look different for different people, different issues, different geographical areas, different situations. No change has been brought about by smiling and playing to the gallery.

Some people feel that her speeches and protests and activism will not yield any result. Finally, she has no decision-making power or control over policies and actions of any country, they say. Those people might not understand the meaning and importance of activism.

Greta is forward-looking and actually believes that we can still solve the climate crisis. Which is refreshing, considering I do not share her optimism and enthusiasm. I feel the generation being born currently is doomed, not necessarily in terms of becoming extinct but enduring the devastating effects of the ecological destruction already done—forest fires, floods, hurricanes, pandemics, unbreathable air, un-nutritious food laden with chemicals, water with micro-plastics…What life will that be…?

Since the generations before us (and ours) have already ruined the ecosystem, it is her generation and those being born now who will face the worst consequences—we can already see them unfolding, and they will get exponentially worse. She is fighting to change the systems for herself and her peers and juniors. Let us not be an obstacle, if we can’t help.

She is not naive, though. She knows that current technology cannot help resolve the climate crisis, which means we, the people, as well as the governments, have to take extreme measures. She explains this in her speech.

Research published last week in the journal, Science, showed that children born today will experience many times more extreme heatwaves and other climate disasters over their lifetimes than their grandparents/those born in the 70s, even if countries fulfil their current emissions pledges.

The study combined extreme event projections from sophisticated computer climate models, detailed population and life expectancy data, and global temperature trajectories from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Read about another study here: New Study shows that Climate Change is Scaring the Sh*t out of our Kids.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference. It will be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021.

Greta ended her keynote address with these empowering words:

“We can no longer let the people in power decide what is politically possible. We can no longer let the people in power decide what hope is. Hope is not passive. Hope is not blah, blah, blah. Hope is telling the truth. Hope is taking action. And hope always comes from the people.” 

So what does Greta want?

She wants action. She wants action now. She wants dramatic action now.

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Further reading:

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abi7339

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/27/children-set-for-more-climate-disasters-than-their-grandparents-research-shows

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