” People always tell us that they are hopeful. They are hopeful that the young people are going to save the world. But we are not. There is simply not enough time to wait for us to grow up and become the ones in charge.”Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg hardly needs any introduction. As a 15 year old student from Sweden, she captured world headlines in 2018 with her “School Strike for Climate.” Since then she has travelled the world speaking at rallies, marches and protests, received a number of awards, and been named one of Time Magazine’s Next Generation Leaders. This short volume is part of a global series called I Know This to be True, produced in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and designed to inspire a new generation of leaders. Based on interviews conducted by Geoff Blackwell, the book is a brief introduction to Greta, her motivation for direct action on climate change and her call to all of us to listen, learn and be part of the movement to change the world, not just for her future or the future of young people, but for the future of all of us. Greta is a powerful and articulate speaker, so I am just going to let her speak for herself.
“I have a dream: that governments, political parties and corporations grasp the urgency of the climate and ecological crisis and come together despite their differences – as you would in an emergency – and take the measures required to safeguard the conditions for a dignified life for everybody on earth.”
“This is not the time and place for dreams. This is the time to wake up. This is the moment in history when we need to be wide awake.”
“According to the IPCC, we are less than twelve years away from not being able to undo our mistakes.“
“I think everything matters. And that is because everything we do matters, and that is why we have to really make a change in every way of our daily lives. Not just about the environment, but the way we treat other people, and the way we see life.”
“The one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere. So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then, and only then, hope will come.”
“We all have a choice. We can create transformational action that will safeguard the living conditions for future generations. Or we can continue with our business as usual and fail.”
Even Australia rates a mention…
“I think one tipping point was when Australia started school-striking for the climate in November 2018, and there were tens of thousands of children on the streets marching.”
And for our politicians…
“Leadership means that you dare to take decisions that are for the greater good, and that you don’t only see for yourself but for everyone; that you see what is best for everyone, and that you dare to be uncomfortable in saying uncomfortable things if necessary. And to not only see yourself.”
This was an excellent little read and is my first read for the Gaia Reading Challenge for 2023 hosted by Sharon from Gum Trees and Galaxies. Other titles in this series include Jacinta Ardern, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Waleed Aly and Stephen Curry. Royalties from I Know This to be True go towards the free distribution of the series in countries with developing economies or economies in transition.
6 thoughts on “Gaia Reading Challenge 2023: I Know This to be True – Greta Thunberg”
Great choice – Greta and all the young people like her do give me hope. I was particularly impressed with the smart way she dealt with Andrew Tate, she is a role model for us all.
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I really liked how she points even beyond our concern for the environment to how we treat people in all areas and her comments about leadership are particularly insightful. Always good to see young people challenge older generations to live honestly and with respect for the entire world.
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It’s not often that such a young person can have become such a household name, and a consciousness-raiser too. I’ll look this one out. Thanks!
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Yes, I do wonder whether much of the attention she has attracted is because of her young age. She has become a strong voice for climate change, but as she gets older, will the media be looking for the next young thing? I hope not. I hope that she will be able to keep on motivating us to keep our eyes on the ball.
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I sense she will. She seems a very driven individual who will keep battling on.