Greta’s most important speech? Next step?

Greta’s most important speech? Next step?

By Jan Oberg

December 14, 2019

Here is a good backgrounder with her speech and an interview at COP 25 in Madrid: Greta Thunberg Slams COP25, Says Response to Climate Crisis Is “Clever Accounting and Creative PR”

What she says in her intro is really important, important as a criticism of the world’s media: If she does not say something personal and emotional, few will listen.

This fact-oriented speech has received much less media attention – proving her important point: When you speak facts, rely on research and appear “dull”, the media cannot get their satisfaction in terms of drama, individual story/identity, smashing superficial headlines and sensationalism.

While one can certainly point out that she says less-thought-through things about democracy and the Free World towards the end of this speech, she is growing better and better – and she obviously knows more than anyone in decision-making positions. And in the mainstream media.

Now, what does that tell you about that Free World?

Probably that it is in Free Fall in terms of action courage, knowledge and vision.

Listen to her content. Listen to the urgency in her voice. Listen to the anger.

Anger, yes – because we have known that these challenges would require urgent changes since the days of Rachel Carson (1962), Georg Borgström, Greenpeace 1971, the Club of Rome Reports, to mention just a few.

But in democracy, political candidates are not elected if they tell you what needs to be done. Rather, they have always had to promise the citizen voters gold and green forests – both of which seem now to be vanishing.

Listen to what she actually says: Don’t trust your leaders (she has met them). Trust only the people.

One can only hope that the people power she supports will set itself through. To a certain extent, it seems to do so when it comes to climate change. But not when it comes to the other – at least as urgent and serious – global challenge: the risk of major war including nuclear weapons use.

So I have one hope: That Greta Thunberg will one day speak not only about class differences and the rich people’s overconsumption and the role of the largest polluting companies – and government failures and manipulations – but that she will say these words: Armament, warfare, resource-waste, militarism and opportunity cost from continuing the warfare society that the West – the US/NATO in particular – has become in blatant defiance of every respect for Nature.

And for the wishes, visions and dreams of people worldwide.

She – we – shall have to couple the climate discussion to the struggle against every aspect of the Earth-destroying militarism.

2 Responses to "Greta’s most important speech? Next step?"

  1. Marc Herbermann   December 15, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    Greta Thunberg probably knows more about climate science than most current political leaders. I share her disillusionment with the political implementation of scientific recommendations and agreements. It is similar to the abolition of nuclear weapons. For decades there have been treaties, agreements and declarations of intent to reduce them. But states find ways to undermine these treaties.

    She, however, does not present research results that support her hopes in “the people” and “democracy”. In most countries, that is my impression, the careless use of natural resources, the excessive consumption of electricity, for example through the constant use of smart phones, regular flying by plane, using a car at any opportunity or eating meat is considered normal and unproblematic.

    • JO   December 17, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      Dear Marc Herbermann – i agree with you and you may see my little formulation about that being less thought-through than the rest of her brilliant, fact-based speech. But let us hold on to the urgenty important role she plays in the field where she is definitely an expert. My best – Jan


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