While the picture could possibly find its place in the meme ‘hall of fame’, it does reflect the seriousness with which the 16-year old Swedish climate activist is pursuing her campaign.
“How dare you,” roared Greta Thunberg, in front of the world leaders, at the 2019 UN climate action summit in New York.
‘We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth – how dare you!’
Greta Thunberg’s Speech and The World’s Response
Greta delivered an emotional speech – a desperate plea for climate protection – even as US President Donald Trump reiterated his reluctance towards this impending threat, sayingthediscussions around climate at the UN summit is “not his agenda at all”.
However, not all leaders shared the same view. Following Greta’s speech, which many experts believe could be one of the final calls to protect the environment from permanent damage and impending threat, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that her country would aim to double the funding of the global climate protection from 2 to 4 billion euros.
A few other world leaders, too, stood in support of Greta. While an ultra-optimist can give the shaped conversations of key peoplearound climate protection a positive spin of “better late than never”–the problem still lacks the necessary urgency. The world is still lagging on the targets set in The Paris Agreement.
Parts of the Problem
As long as Donald Trump remains in the office, the USA– the most influential and wealthy country – would still be out from The Paris Agreement.
The world’s leading firms and industries remain indifferent and money-centric with very little outlined social responsibilities.
The affluent billionaires, barring few, remain cozied in their fantasy land filled with fortune.
The news channels continue to romanticize the growth rate, negative campaigns, and nostalgiaof utopia that never existed.
The campaigns around the world feel merely a token. The #SaveTheClimate hashtag on social media fades with every new song-drop from Post Malone.
Yes, it’s a cliché – boring even. But the need for urgent and aggressive measures is imperative. 2020 could be the very last chance to save the environment.
The Impact of Climate Change
Ice is melting at a drastic rate, contributing to the sea-level rise. The temperature is rising, affecting different habitats. We’re experiencing more extreme weather conditions – from incessant rain to blistering drought. There are more documented cases of floods and hurricanes than ever. Acres of forest areas are destroyed at historic rate.
And the worst part?
This will continue to happen; the ecosystems will continue to change; things will continue to get worse. And this isn’t just a problem of selective countries like the USA and Germany but of the entire world, including Bangladesh.
Climate Change and Bangladesh
If anything, the onus is an even a bigger one for Bangladesh, which is known to be one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of global warming and climate change due to its unique geographic location and high population density among various other factors.
According to a report by International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), a UK-based think tank, rural Bangladesh households are already spending a whopping 158 billion taka a year on repairing the damage caused by climate change and on preventive measures. (Source) This, then, is giving rise to plenty of other socio-economic challenges like the struggle of families headed by women, since a woman’s average income is much lower.
But… Is the World Serious Now?
Likely not!The news articles will be archived. The hashtags will go away. The public “rage” would simmer. And the conversations will soon turn when, for instance, the UN releases its economic data.
On the more micro-level, climate protection would become an after-thought for the public in the midst of rain, elections, and political conundrum.
One of the worst things – disheartening still– is, however, even if the world citizens come together to save the environment, the needle would likely remain unmoved. Because our elected representatives on the national and international levels remain ignorant to the gravity of the problem that the worldfaces today!
Yes, we must cut global greenhouse-gas emissions. We must invest more time, energy and money in the environment-saving campaigns. We must invest more in the education of the masses. We must increase the efficiency of the food chain system.
But are we ready to take such measures? Are we going to take the necessary action?
As pessimistic as this sounds: perhaps not!
Joining voices and creating an echo that waves around the world is the need of the hour.
Like Greta said, “We are in the beginning of mass extinction, and all you can talk about is the money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
Syncing with that idea to ask those in power “how dare you” is essential now. Else, it’s just one or few at present, but in a few years from now, we will have a generation that will tell us, the people in 2019 and 2020, “we will never forgive you.”