GRETA, AN ACTIVIST AND LEADER
“People need to realize our political leaders have failed us. And we need to take action into our own hands.” Listen to an excerpt on Greta Thunberg below from page 49 of English for NGOs Student’s book.
Audio Transcript for RECORDING #6: GRETA, AN ACTIVIST AND LEADER
The teen has inspired thousands of young people around the world to walk out of their schools on Fridays to demand adults take more action to protect their futures and those of future generations. She decided to walk out of her own school in Sweden, she told CNN, by herself. No one joined her the first day, she said. Then she kept at it, inspiring thousands. “People started joining me,” she said.
In December, a number of students left their classes and walked into the conference center in Katowice, Poland, where UN talks were being held. They held signs that, together, read: “12 years left.” That’s a reference to the latest dire report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which says global climate targets could become impossible in just 12 years. The report says emissions need to be cut about in half by 2030, which would require a near-complete overhaul of the global energy system.
“Adults sometimes forget about the young people,” said Małgorzata Czachowska, one of the Polish students inspired by Thunberg.
Toby Thorpe heard about Thunberg in Tasmania, Australia, and led a walkout of his own. That led to more than 10,000 students walking out of classes, he told CNN. He and others hope that effort will grow.
Thunberg, who describes herself on Twitter as a “15-year old climate activist with Asperger’s,” said she was inspired by the school walkouts in the United States that followed the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
She is asking students around the world to walk out of their classes each Friday to demand adults take climate action. Those actions include big systems changes like transitioning to cleaner sources of energy including wind and solar power. Thunberg told CNN she doesn’t fly, doesn’t eat meat (beef is a major contributor to climate change), and tries not to buy new things unless they’re absolutely necessary in order to do her part. She uses the hashtags #climatestrike and #fridaysforfuture.
“We have done this many times before and with so little results,” she told CNN. “Something big needs to happen. People need to realize our political leaders have failed us. And we need to take action into our own hands.”