I know, given the situation the climate crisis fell off the agenda again. But since I read it, why not think about not only the current virus crisis but also the imminent climate one. Actually, it seems one may prove that we can do something about the other. You can see here, how pollution levels dropped in Wuhan during the lockdown. At the end of it, will we come to our senses and realize we don’t need all those things?
The booklet is basically a collection of Greta’s speeches from 2018 and 2019. Frankly, it doesn’t make fora good reading, as it is pretty repetitive. But literary mastery is not the goal here. Getting the message across is. And Greta is using the classic tried method of repetition of key phrases, ad nauseam. Is it needed? Of course. Will it have the desired effect? I don’t know. It didn’t really on me and I am not denying we are facing a climate crisis.
You can boil down the message to a few key points:
- the climate crisis is a crisis but we refuse to treat it that way
- the media is not reporting on the climate crisis in a way it would on any other crisis (checkout the coronavirus coverage, climate issues cannot hope to ever get this amount of coverage before it’s too late)
- the future of the planet and our civilization or even species rests on the shoulders of the current political class, yet nothing is being done
- our house is on fire and we have to panic, complacency will not save us
- time is running out
It is a call to action and as such, it may work for some people. Like I said for me it is not necessarily doing the trick and I doubt it will scare cynical corporations and politicians enough. They think it election periods and dividend payouts, not in perspective longer than that. It has been amply proven with, for example, UKs delayed reaction to the current situation. There were two months to prepare, it was obvious it is inevitable. But keeping the pubs open was more important. Keep calm, eh?
That’s exactly what Greta is trying to get us not to do. Don’t keep calm. Save yourselves. And maybe that is what was missing she talks about herself, her generation, but really now it’s not even about our children, we have to save ourselves. I think this point has to be driven home a lot more forcefully. And maybe the virus will prove to us we can change, though I am pessimistic about it. As a species we’ve been through crises before, it changes us for a while, but does it transform us? Really?