"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words."
"I shouldn't be up here. I should be back at school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words," the 16-year-old environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, launched a scathing attack on world's top brass at the 2019 UN Climate Summit.
An amazingly determined teenager, Greta has undertaken a serious and sensitive task of fighting against the unfolding climate change crisis. Her message is simple: we are in a crisis, and we need to behave as if we are. And, while we continue to contemplate, this Stockholm resident grabbed the world's attention when she staged a school strike for the climate back in August 2018. Greta stopped going to school, skipping classes to sit outside the Swedish parliament every day.
She decided to do this till the general election in September the same year. The election passed, however, she continued to strike every Friday.
She has been credited with raising global awareness regarding the risks posed by alarming climate change. Her slogan is "I am here because our leaders aren't doing enough".
Greta has been on a year-long sabbatical from school. She believes that "handling climate crisis is way more important than attending classes". Tens of thousands of teenagers have joined her and her movement (#FridaysForFuture #YouthStrikeForClimate) is picking up in the UK, US, throughout Europe and Africa.
She is currently attending conferences and meetings with policymakers involved with combating climate change. However, it was not easy to persuade the young activist to come to America as she refuses to fly because f the high levels of emissions from air travel. She travelled for two weeks on a solar-powered sailboat from Sweden to the U.S.
Greta was joined by millions of young climate crusaders for a climate strike on September 20. Speaking at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday, Greta did not mince her words. She addressed the world's most powerful people with serious intent and raging concern.
"People are suffering. People are dying. The entire ecosystem is collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?" She added, "You're failing us, but the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say, we will never forgive you."
"You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency, but no matter how sad and angry I am I do not want to believe that because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil, and that I refuse to believe," she said.
Separately, Greta and 15 other children also filed a complaint with the UN on Monday, alleging human rights violations by five of the world's leading economies, which have failed to take adequate action to battle unfolding crisis. The five countries named in the petition are Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey.
The young voice is being supported by many across the globe.
Actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador, Priyanka Chopra cheered for Greta in a brutally honest post. Priyanka thanked the Greta Thunberg and called for means to battle climate change. She captioned her post, "Thank you, Greta Thunberg for giving us the much-needed punch in the face, for bringing your generation together and showing us that we need to know better, do more to save what is most critical. At the end of the day, we only have this one planet."
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How dare we fail you... and what audacity we have to not want to help you save what’s left. Thank you @gretathunberg for giving us the much needed punch in the face, for bringing your generation together and showing us that we need to know better, do more to save what is most critical. At the end of the day, we only have this one planet. #howdareyou
Actress Alia Bhatt also hailed for Greta Thunberg and captioned her instagram post, "Listen. Learn. Think. Act!"
Climate crisis is taking an ugly & alarming turn. The Antarctica ice mass loss rate has tripled over the last 10 years, glaciers are retreating across the world- including in the Himalayas, Alaska, Alps, Andes, Africa and Rockies. Global sea level has risen over eight inches in the last century. The average surface temperature of the planet has gone up by about 0.9 degrees Celsius since last two centuries. What more proof do we need to wake up from our oblivion and understand the serious climate crisis that the world is grappling with?
More power to you, Greta!
Featured Image: Instagram
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