[ Dr KK Dey ]
Greta Thunberg is a brave Swedish youth climate activist. She has received worldwide recognition for her efforts to fight climate change.
Thunberg was born on 3 January, 2003 in Stockholm, Sweden. Her mother, Malena Emman, is an opera singer and her father, Savante Thunberg, is an actor. Thunberg began here climate activism at the age of 15.
This girl of Class 9 wrote an article about climate change and secured the top most position. Later on, she came in contact with people who are fighting against climate change. In 2018, the school children of Florida, USA, decided not to go to school as some of their classmates used to create a fear psychosis using guns. Even they demanded that the laws of manufacturing firearms in the country be changed. This kind of protest encouraged Greta Thunberg, so she tried to inspire her class friends, but initially did not receive any cooperation from them.
During summer season, the temperature of Sweden was so high that it broke the record of the last 250 years. To fight climate change with the simple message, ‘School strike for climate’ handwritten on a poster board, Thunberg began skipping school on Fridays and protesting outside the Swedish parliament. Her action spread and influenced millions of young people all over the world to organize and protest.
Thanks to social media, she posted the picture of the protest before the Swedish parliament on Instagram through Twitter, lauching ‘Fridays for future’.
2018-2019 came to an end. Thunberg criticized American President Donald Trump and other top leaders of the rich countries of the world, demanding that the planet be saved from global warming and new rules be framed with regard to climate change.
In the meantime, Trump and Thunberg faced each other on 20 January, 2020, regarding global warming. The international media gave it a lot of importance. Thunberg became very popular and an idol among the school children of the world. She received support from different social and climate activists of the world.
Once the very powerful Donald Trump insulted her. Even then she did not stop and expressed her views: “We will never forgive them who are pushing the very existence of human being towards extinction. Nobody can hurt us with satirical words.”
In the meantime, Thunberg and her associates appealed to the leaders and lawmakers of many countries of Europe to work with great caution with regard to climate change. Thunberg also travelled and met leaders of many countries, addressed many gatherings, seeking a solution for climate change, and appealed for a recommitment to the Paris Agreement.
At the age of 11, she suffered from a disease which made it difficult for her to speak. But with her great willpower she fought against the disease and transformed into a great orator.
“Economics and politics cannot be viewed separately from the calamities of climate change.” This is the sign of maturity of Thunberg.
We should not only discuss about climate change but must come forward with positive mind to work together. Let Greta Thunberg be the ideal for the younger generation of the world.
We human beings of this planet are responsible for the pollution affecting nature. This is a great threat to all of us. We must avoid plastic/polythene use. The birds and fishes of the sea are killed because of this pollution. The depth of the rivers and sea are decreased. We must respect Mother Nature. Again, in 2020, the coronavirus has emerged as the great threat to human beings all over the world. Apart from the sea, the air and the soil are affected very badly. At the age of eight, she first learned about the climate crisis. Since then she has made efforts to lower the carbon footprint by not flying and becoming vegan, which influenced her family to do the same.
In December 2018, her speech at the United Nation COP 24 in Katowice, Poland, went viral.
“You are not mature enough to tell it like is,” she said at the summit, addressing the secretary-general. “Even that burden you leave to us children. But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice in the living planet.”
She was invited to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City in September 2019. Thunberg travelled across the Atlantic on a yacht, accompanied by her father and a supporting crew. She was so careful about zero emission of the yacht. On 28 August, she arrived in New York City, and met with former president Barack Obama and later spoke before the House of Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Select Committee in Washington, DC, on September 18.
Thunberg barely spoke before the committees and instead pushed forward the latest UN report. “I don’t want you to listen to me,” she said, “I want you to listen to the scientists.”
On 20 September, Thunberg walked with millions of protesters in New York City to demand climate action at the New York City global climate strike, the largest demonstration for climate protest in history with 4 million people marching all over the world. The next day, she spoke at the UN Youth Climate Summit. Her speech on 21 September, 2019, at the United Nations Climate Action Summit made headline news. Speaking before leaders, lawmakers and UN Secretary-General Antionio Guterres, Thunberg criticized with one of the most indignant speeches.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I am one of the lucky ones. People are suffering, people are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of external economic growth. How dare you!”
She added: “For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal dear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed arc still nowhere in sight! You are 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.”
Days later, Thunberg joined 15 other young activists to file an official complaint that five countries – Argentina, France, Germany, Brazil and Turkey – have not honoured their Paris Agreement pledge and have therefore violated the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child treaty.
Thunberg’s “How dare you” speech attracted so much attention that President Donald Trump, a vehement climate change denier, felt compelled to offer a mocking tweet: “She seems like a very young girl looking forward to a right and wonderful future. So nice to see!” he wrote.
In response, Thunberg changed her Twitter bio temporarily, using Trump’s language against him. Her profile read: “A very Happy Young girl looking forward to a wonderful future.”
To fulfill the dream of Greta Thunberg, we must help her by contributing not to pollute this beautiful planet.
So, the present pandemic of the coronavirus has taught us to respect and live with nature. The question of powerful nation and poor nation is irrelevant today. We have observed now that the rivers and seawater are quite clean. The sky is so beautiful and we can hear the sweet voices of different kinds of birds even at midnight and early morning. The butterflies dance freely.
But the fear is that after a few years, industries will start functioning and the pollution level will intensify, leading to horrible situations. So the world leaders will have to work out efficiently, so that there is favourable transition of the climate while production is revived. Otherwise humanity will face a much more difficult period than the coronavirus outbreak. We human beings are very greedy and selfish. We are to be alert to protect and preserve the resourceful and beautiful gifts of nature, so that we can reserve them for our future generation. Thus, our planet will not face any disaster in future. Hope and pray to almighty to bestow blessings to our planet for better understanding and respect between Nature and human beings/animal kingdom. (The writer is a retired consultant for surgery, who worked at the then general hospital in Naharlagun.)
[ Dr KK Dey ]