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.