No one is too small to make a difference by Greta Thunberg

I think Greta Thunberg is amazing. It’s little more than a year since she decided not to go to school and start a strike for the climate outside the Swedish Parliament. And look what she has achieved since then! She has rallied school children all over the world to strike, she has spoken eloquently at the European Parliament and the UN Climate Change Conference and she has rattled the cages of politicians.

So when I saw her tiny little book No one is too small to make a difference, I thought I needed to give it a read. This is a collection of her speeches, so I suppose it is possible to be more environmentally friendly and not buy the book (which has 68 pages and is also much smaller in size than normal books), but watch her speeches online instead. But I’m not a watcher, I’m a reader.

The speeches are very well written and very passionate. They are full of scientific facts which should make us all sit up and took notice. If governments and businesses don’t take action on carbon emissions now, irreversible damage will have been done by 2030. Taking action now to stop carbon emissions will be enough to limit the rise in the planet’s temperature to 1.5-2C – still a change, but not a catastrophic one. But is it even possible to stop the carbon emissions?

Although the book is entitled No one is too small to make a difference, it feels like we are too small as individuals, because it is a rallying cry to governments and big businesses. But there can be no doubt that Greta Thunberg herself has made a huge difference by drawing attention to these things.

Being on the old side (46), I have been aware of this sort of stuff since the 1980s (who else remembers CFCs, aerosols and the ozone layer?) which makes it even more unbelievable that still so little has been done about it. I know I need to do more myself. We all do. We should stop flying and drive electric cars. I can’t imagine what my kids would say if I told them there would be no more holidays in Europe, but it may have to be done. The plan has always been that our next family car will be an electric car, or a hybrid at the very least.

I would recommend that all teenagers and adults should read this book – or watch the speeches online. There is a little bit of repetition in the speeches as they were delivered at different times and in different places, but for me that only serves to reinforce the message.

If you and your kids want to do more as individuals, I would definitely recommend reading this brilliant blogpost from A Green and Rosie Life.

Greta Thunberg, No one is too small to make a difference, Book review

Author: Sarah Mummy

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14 Comments

  1. Sarah,

    You’re not “on the old side”, but I definitely am, and I’ve been keeping an eye on environmental issues since the early 1970s.
    I don’t think people realise how dramatic the changes would be if we phased out the use of fossil fuels, or even (less ambitiously) reduced net CO2 emissions to zero.
    For instance, virtually all the contents of my home and probably of yours (food, clothes, furniture, gadgets), and even the building materials our homes were constructed from, were produced / manufactured, and transported most or all of the way from their places of origin to where they are now, using energy from fossil fuels.
    You could have holidays in Europe if you travelled there by electric train. Intercontinental travel on battery-powered jumbo jets? — not in my lifetime.

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    • I think I’m on the old side compared to a lot of my readers and certainly compared to most bloggers.
      It is crazy when you stop to think just how much fossil fuels are used for everything. It’s good that you’ve been aware for so long. I saw an interview with Prince Charles recently dating back to the 70s and I was in awe of his environmental knowledge. But I think back and I realise I’ve been aware for a long time too. I’ve been recycling for as long as I can remember and used to take things to the banks when they didn’t collect them at the kerb. I remember when leaded petrol was phased out, along with the CFCs in the aerosols. It feels like the pace of change hasn’t been fast enough since those days.
      I could definitely manage a European holiday on electric trains!

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  2. Thanks for the recommendation. I think I’ll get my children to watch some of Greta’s speeches, they’re too young for the book but they’re of an influential age where this sort of thing can have a big impact. I agree with you, she is amazing. We are also planning on a hybrid next. It’s not enough, but we all need to make the small changes we can because they do add up.
    Nat.x

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    • We wanted a fully electric car, but the prices are horrendous at the moment, so a hybrid is better than nothing. Very good idea to show the girls Greta’s speeches. My daughter is keen to read the book, so she will be reading it next.

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  3. My eldest daughter has been following her speeches online, definitely one for their generation to draw inspiration from #readwithme

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    • She really is. It’s good to see young people following her lead, although a lot more still needs to be done.

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  4. She is amazing for sure. I worry we have gone too far in treating our planet badly and like you I question my own choices over the years and now. Young voices always make people wake up and I love that never seems to change. Individuals can always make a difference in so many positive ways. One of the things I love about my chaotic parenting is that it does seem to have turned out 3 teenagers one of whom wants to be Prime Minister one day and intends to do politics at university. We got some bamboo toothbrushes today – every little action can help and we must overcome and save the planet and future generations. A book to buy as a gift for Christmas so everyone sees more Christmases moving forward #ReadWithMe

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    • That’s a very good idea about the Christmas presents, I hadn’t thought of that! We can’t worry too much about our choices in the past because what’s done is done, we just need to keep moving forward, being positive and making whatever changes we can. It’s great to hear about your teenager’s political ambitions. I really hope it works out!

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  5. Yes I am a fan of Greta Thunberg too. Shame so many troll her. I’ve already read Rosie’s brilliant post last month. I’m trying to do as many things as I can manage to become more sustainable. I’ve added an angle to my blog this year documenting my progress. And I’ve lost count of how many facebook groups I’ve joined on reducing plastic, zero waste etc but I’ve found I don’t have time to read all the ideas on facebook, as there are so many.

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    • It’s great that you are making so many positive changes. I’d say I’m better than average, but there is still plenty of room for improvement!
      I think it’s awful that people would troll Greta like that. They really need to have a long hard look at themselves!

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  6. This sounds like a really great book to give my niece for Christmas, she is very enthused by Greta’s actions.

    #ReadWithMe

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    • That is a very good idea! I think it would make a perfect Christmas present for a lot of people.

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  7. I’ve been meaning to pick up this book so I’m glad to read your review. Greta is fantastic. Like you I remember learning about the environment when I was little, and I’m horrified that we have made such little progress in that time. We rarely fly and my husband drives an EV but ultimately change needs to come from the top. I hope governments start listening and acting soon! #ReadWithMe

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    • The book is definitely worth a read. I hope the governments will start to listen soon or it will be too late! But I do think we all have a responsibility to do our bit too. We really want an EV and that is our aim for next time we get a new car.

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