[Vision2020] 1-21-20: Full Speech by Greta Thunberg at World Economic Forum in Davos

Nicholas Gier ngier006 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 23 15:01:56 PST 2020

Thanks, Ted, for posting this.  This amazing young woman is, some people
say, an Old Soul.  I could not help but compare her clarity, her
intelligence, her moral compass, and her comprehension of the facts to the
Fool in the White House.  It just takes my breath away.

On Thu, Jan 23, 2020 at 2:32 PM Ted Moffett <starbliss at gmail.com> wrote:

> Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
> --------------------------------------
> https://www.democracynow.org/2020/1/21/our_house_is_still_on_fire “Our
> House Is Still on Fire”: Full Speech by Greta Thunberg at World Economic
> Forum in Davos
> *AMY GOODMAN:* We end today’s show with the words of a 17-year-old:
> Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. She just turned 17 in the last
> weeks. She addressed world leaders today at the World Economic Forum in
> Davos, Switzerland.
> *GRETA THUNBERG:* One year ago, I came to Davos and told you that our
> house is on fire. I said I wanted you to panic. I’ve been warned that
> telling people to panic about the climate crisis is a very dangerous thing
> to do. But don’t worry. It’s fine. Trust me. I’ve done this before. And I
> can assure you: It doesn’t lead to anything.
> And for the record, when we children tell you to panic, we’re not telling
> you to go on like before. We’re not telling you to rely on technologies
> that don’t even exist today at scale and that science says perhaps never
> will. We are not telling you to keep talking about reaching net zero
> emissions or carbon neutrality by cheating and fiddling around with
> numbers. We’re not telling you to offset your emissions by just paying
> someone else to plant trees in places like Africa, while at the same time
> forests like the Amazon are being slaughtered at an infinitely higher rate.
> Planting trees is good, of course, but it’s nowhere near enough of what is
> needed, and it cannot replace real mitigation and rewilding nature.
> And let’s be clear: We don’t need a low-carbon economy. We don’t need to
> lower emissions. Our emissions have to stop, if we are to have a chance to
> stay below the 1.5-degree target. And until we have the technologies that
> at scale can put our emissions to minus, then we must forget about net
> zero. We need real zero, because distant net-zero emission targets will
> mean absolutely nothing if we just continue to ignore the carbon dioxide
> budget that applies for today, not distant future dates. If high emissions
> continue like now even for a few years, that remaining budget will soon be
> completely used up.
> The fact that the U.S.A. is leaving the Paris accord seemed to outrage and
> worry everyone. And it should. But the fact that we are all about to fail
> the commitments you signed up for in the Paris Agreement doesn’t seem to
> bother the people in power even the least. Any plan or policy of yours that
> doesn’t include radical emission cuts at the source starting today is
> completely insufficient for meeting the 1.5- or well below 2-degree
> commitments of the Paris Agreement.
> And again, this is not about right or left. We couldn’t care less about
> your party politics. From a sustainability perspective, the right, the
> left, as well as the center, have all failed. No political ideology or
> economic structure has been able to tackle the climate and environmental
> emergency and create a cohesive and sustainable world, because that world,
> in case you haven’t noticed, is currently on fire.
> You say children shouldn’t worry. You say, “Just leave this to us. We will
> fix this. We promise we won’t let you down. Don’t be so pessimistic.” And
> then nothing. Silence. Or something worse than silence: empty words and
> promises which give the impression that sufficient action is being taken.
> All the solutions are obviously not available within today’s societies,
> nor do we have the time to wait for new technological solutions to become
> available to start drastically reducing our emissions. So, of course, the
> transition isn’t going to be easy. It will be hard. And unless we start
> facing this now, together, with all cards on the table, we won’t be able to
> solve this in time.
> In the days running up to the 50th anniversary of the World Economic
> Forum, I joined a group of climate activists demanding that you, the
> world’s most powerful and influential business and political leaders, begin
> to take the action needed. We demand, at this year’s World Economic Forum,
> participants from all companies, banks, institutions and governments
> immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction,
> immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely
> divest from fossil fuels. We don’t want these things done by 2050 or 2030
> or even 2021; we want this done now.
> It may seem like we are asking for a lot, and you will of course say that
> we are naive. But this is just the very minimum amount of effort that is
> needed to start the rapid sustainable transition. So, either you do this,
> or you’re going to have to explain to your children why you are giving up
> on the 1.5-degree target — giving up without even trying.
> Well, I’m here to tell you that, unlike you, my generation will not give
> up without a fight. The facts are clear, but they are still too
> uncomfortable for you to address. You just leave it, because you just think
> it’s too depressing and people will give up. But people will not give up.
> You are the ones who are giving up. Last week, I met with Polish coal
> miners who lost their jobs because their mine was closed. And even they had
> not given up. On the contrary, they seem to understand the fact that we
> need to change more than you do.
> I wonder: What will you tell your children was the reason to fail and
> leave them facing a climate chaos that you knowingly brought upon them?
> That it seemed so bad for the economy that we decided to resign the idea of
> securing future living conditions without even trying?
> Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fueling the flames by the
> hour. And we are telling you to act as if you loved your children above all
> else. Thank you.
> *AMY GOODMAN:* Seventeen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg
> addressing world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
> She spoke just after President Trump spoke at the gathering, touting the
> economy but not talking about the climate crisis, which is the focus of the
> World Economic Forum in Davos. That does it for our show. We’ll post her
> whole speech online at democracynow.org.
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A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they
shall never sit in.

-Greek proverb

“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.
Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance
from another. This immaturity is self- imposed when its cause lies not in
lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without
guidance from another. Sapere Aude! ‘Have courage to use your own
understand-ing!—that is the motto of enlightenment.

--Immanuel Kant
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