At the start of the week, during her trip to the United States, Greta Thunburg addressed the UN hoping to encourage them to act on the climate emergency. As a representative of our generation, she accused the adults in the room of ruining her childhood.
“People are suffering, people are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the middle of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is your money, and fairytales of eternal economic growth.” As she speaks, the words, drenched in anger and despair, are spat out. Each syllable a plea.
Desperation colours her voice as she asks them “how dare you?”
I watched the clip, over and over again, in my bed. The video, in all of its 143 seconds, felt cathartic, like a scream. As if my entire generation was standing beside Greta, yelling into the microphone as well.
Right now, I feel a lot like the story of the frog being boiled alive. It was about a frog put suddenly into boiling water. He jumps out. But when the frog is put in tepid water and then brought to a boil slowly, he didn’t realise the danger he was in and stayed, and died. Don’t let us make that same mistake with our environment.
I know that if you aren’t living somewhere that is being immediately affected by global warming it is easy to pretend that it isn’t really happening. Even if you are someone who deeply believes that we are facing catastrophic danger, the day-to-day effects can be hard to notice, making it is easy to carve out these pockets of time to eat your lunch and scroll through Twitter without concern.
But there are things we can be doing, in order to warn all the frogs of the warming water. We can elect members of Parliament that believe this is the pressing issue of our generation and in between elections we can call them, we can start recycling, we can turn up to rallies, we can boycott companies that don’t start moving towards renewable energies. We can make sure that our voices are heard.
Showing up to climate strikes over and over starts to feel a lot like Groundhog Day, but it truly is a matter of believing that eventually we will win. Because if you subscribe to the myth that climate change is an inevitability, you will only confirm it as reality. For anyone who believes in a better future, who wants to scream with Greta, that is simply not an option.