On May 1, 2019 England declared the “Climate Emergency”. It was the first country to do so. The threat that looms over life on our planet and the pressure of environmental groups made it take this big step. With the Climate Emergency Great Britain set name and last name to gravity. It is the object of this review to present the chain of scientific discoveries, protocols, agreements and warnings about the Earth’s climate system, carried out at different times, they mostly failed or were postponed. All these mistakes and omissions led to the Climate Emergency, a late declaration, but still useful, because it has removed from the lethargy to people who until now stayed out of the problem, as evidenced by the multitudinous demonstrations of young people and adolescents throughout the world, ready to fight for its future.
1750. The Industrial Revolution, begun in England, has been taken as a starting point or benchmark of the average world temperature, specifically the year 1750. However, the Revolution would have several moments and a long period. Factories require an immense amount of coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels. It is time for the start of massive emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the economy of chimneys, iron and steel, the steam engine, the thunderous locomotives that vibrate the earth in its path, the new ships that they do not need sails to navigate and of the machines of the textile industry that spit out fabrics and dresses that flood the world at unbeatable prices. It is the industrial City, which with its colorless gray and black, its perennial soot and its toxic smoke that makes breathing difficult, attracts the attention of the first climate visionaries. Their concerns are based on the consequences that all this could bring for the future.
XIX century. The restlessness of the scientists begins to outline on subjects that later would be key for the knowledge of the climatic change. Among these pioneers are Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier, who in 1824 used the greenhouse analogy for the first time. In 1859 John Tyndall discovered that carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and water vapor trap infrared radiation, which provides a relatively stable temperature on Earth, essential for life on our planet. In 1896 Svante Arrhenius proclaims that fossil fuels could accelerate the warming of the Earth. In 1899 Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin, develops in detail the idea that changes in climate could be the result of variations in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. In the following decades, already into the 20th century, the presumptions of Arrhenius and Chamberlin would be dismissed, because the belief that CO2 did not influence the temperature of the planet and the greenhouse effect was attributed exclusively to water vapor was maintained.
1860-1890. In the United States a new phase of the Industrial Revolution begins, which focuses on the food industry, and not on the textile as it happens on the other side of the Atlantic. Already in this period more land is used for cultivation in North America than in all its history until that time. The farms increase from two to six million, the planted area doubles, the wheat production rises from 173 to 635 million bushels and the corn and cotton harvests tripled. The cheapening of costs and prices of foods and the advances of medicine announce an accelerated growth of the human population.
1900. The world population stands at 1600 million inhabitants. From this moment on there will be an explosive growth never seen, which will extend throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
1930. The steam engine has given way to gasoline, diesel and electric engines. In these times, one million of new technology tractors are already operating in the United States. Combine harvesters, mechanical threshers, trucks and large combined motorized machines are introduced massively by the newly released fuels. There is a second major change in the production mode of the field. The small family farm is no longer efficient and gives way to the large specialized plantations, dedicated to monoculture. This causes the massive exodus from the countryside to the city. Between 1870 and 1930 the rural population in the United States decreased from 80% to less than 40% and then migration would continue at an even higher rate.
Historians Samuel Elliot Morison and Henry Steeler Commager, in their “History of the United States of North America”, give an early warning about the damages caused to the ecosystems due to the massive techniques of plantings and harvests in the United States. Excessive extraction of subsurface products, intensive cultivation and destruction of forests leads to erosion, drought and floods. According to these authors, about forty million hectares, one sixth of the total area of the southern United States, had been lost or damaged by erosion. The overproduction of food and the growth of the population supersede Malthusian theories. The declaration of the Climatic Emergency, 80 years later, is the other side of the coin that Malthus feared.
1930-1950. Super machines are scattered around the world, especially after World War II, and the story is like that of the United States. Large amount of forests disappear; cities are nourished by waves of people who come from the countryside in search of better opportunities. The increasing amount of agricultural machinery, transport of loads, automobiles and airplanes that use the new fossil fuels are increasing the CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.
1950-1955. Gilbert Norman Plass, Canadian physicist, another concerned about the future, performs new calculations on infrared radiation at the beginning of the decade. In 1955 he published his results, in which he concluded that CO2 emissions affect the climate and can modify it over time.
1952, December 5-9. In the British capital, an unprecedented environmental pollution event surprises Londoners. The “Great London fog of 1952” is a phenomenon that obscures the city with a dense smoke, caused by the excessive and uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels in industry and transport. It is believed that the phenomenon caused the death of 12,000 people and left another 100,000 sick.
1957. Concerns about the effects of fossil fuels continue. Roger Revelle and Hans Suess suggest that gas emissions from human activities would increase the “greenhouse effect”, which would cause global warming over time. The Hammond Times describes Revelle’s research and warns about the effects of large-scale CO2 use. Use the terms “global warming” and “climate change”. Their advices, as in previous warnings, would fall into forgetfulness for a long time. The 1960s are little news about these issues.
1960.The world population has almost doubled since 1900, rises to 3000 million inhabitants.
1967. Syukuro Manabe and Richard Wetherald use new digital equipment and make the first detailed calculation of the greenhouse effect. They discover that, in the absence of unknown regenerations such as changes in clouds and the doubling of current carbon dioxide levels, they would result in an increase of approximately 2 °C in global temperature.
1972. On the initiative of Sweden, together with the UN, the “First Earth Summit” is held, known as the “United Nations Conference on the Human Environment”. From it comes the “Stockholm Declaration”, which has been compared with the Declaration of Human Rights. The document is oriented towards the normalization of the relationships of human beings with the environment.
1970-1990. The ink of the Stockholm Declaration had not dried up when one of the greatest ecological catastrophes in the world began. In Borneo, the third largest island on the planet, shared by Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei hostile deforestation runs over the huge rainforest of Southeast Asia. For decades, Indonesia has become the number one exporter of wood in the world, above the Amazon and Africa together. The empty spaces left by the trees are occupied with the oil palm, known for its negative environmental impact. Borneo would soon become the largest exporter of palm oil in the world.
The rainforest, lung of Asia, where humidity and mud made it difficult to light a fire, in just 30 years it becomes a dry and arid place, where dozens of fires occur daily, whose influence reaches distant regions. Dr. Lisa Curran, a prominent scientist who spent twenty years in Borneo studying its climate, extensively documented the extreme changes suffered on the island. We can affirm that in Borneo the first local climatic change of our planet occurred in modern times.
1974. Mario Molina, Mexican scientist and Frank Sherwood Rowland, American scientist, demonstrate for the first time that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) reduce the ozone layer, essential for life on Earth.
1975. Wallace Smith Broecker publishes a scientific article: “Climate change: are we on the border of pronounced global warming?” Since then both denominations are beginning to be used more and more frequently.
1979. The National Academy of Sciences of the United States, led by Jules Charney, describes the effects of CO2 in a broad way, relating its use to the increase in global warming.
1988. James Hansen, a NASA climatologist, testifies before the US Senate that human-caused warming has already considerably affected the global climate.
1989, January 1. The Montreal Protocol enters into force. Two years earlier, representatives of 43 nations signed the key document to reduce the holes in the Ozone layer. They were committed to maintaining the CFC production levels of 1986 and reducing them by 50% in 1999. Montreal is successful, but it would be postponed several times. CFCs are gases used in refrigerators, air conditioners and atomizer thrusters. The ozone layer has the property of filtering ultraviolet rays, protecting the skin from cancer, the eyes of the cataract, among other syndromes.
1992. “The Second Earth Summit” takes place in Rio de Janeiro. The “Rio Declaration” is issued, reaffirmation of the “Stockholm Declaration”, approved 20 years earlier. The creation of the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” (UNFCCC) is approved. In addition, the need to preserve biodiversity according to sustainability criteria is discussed. Consequently, the International Convention on Biological Diversity is promulgated.
1994, March. COPs are born, the conferences of the parties. The COP is the supreme body of the newly created UNFCCC. Its purpose is to provide practicality to its main objective, the stabilization of greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere.
1995. COP1 is held in the city of Bonn. Since then a COP is celebrated every year.
1997, COP3, Kyoto. In this friendly and beautiful city of Japan, the Kyoto Protocol was born, with a date of death incorporated. It is the first universal document created to regulate human activities in relation to GHG emissions. In Kyoto, binding targets are set for 37 industrialized countries. It is agreed to enter into force in 2009 and its expiration date is pre-marked for 2012, establishing that developed countries should reduce their emissions by 5% compared to the 1990 level. Two of the largest issuers, the United States and China, they do not ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
1998. The United States drill its first well through commercial fracking. Hydraulic fracturing, as it is also known, is an unconventional procedure for obtaining oil and gas from shale. Through the combination of vertical and horizontal perforations it is possible to reach the coveted fuels that until now were hidden in the terrestrial beds, between 3,000 and 5,000 meters deep. His peers near the surface are on track to run out. The International Energy Agency has indicated that the United States could become the largest producer of oil in 2018, thanks to the fracking method.
2000. The world population has doubled for the second time in the 20th century. An unprecedented event in human history. The growth since 1960 has been from 3,000 million to 6,000 million inhabitants.
2000. Paul Crutzen coined the name of Anthropocene to denominate a new geologic epoch that would cancel the Holocene, epoch in which now we live, initiated 12,000 years ago. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry, specialized in atmospheric chemistry, affirms that human activities have begun to cause biological and geophysical changes on a planetary scale. However, as the name Anthropocene does not comply with the traditional nomenclature of stratigraphy, geologists do not accept to define it as a geological epoch.
2007, November 21. Mongabay Latam, reports that since 1970 more than 600,000 square km of forests in the Amazon rainforest have been destroyed, almost 10%. Today this figure is near 20%.
2009, COP15, Copenhagen. In this fifteenth installment of the COPs, humanity cited an immense hope. It was thought that the Danish capital would have the privilege of giving good news to the world by announcing the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. In quantifiable terms it meant the reduction of CO2 emissions to less than 50% by 2050 compared to 1990. The euphoria is short-lived. Three weeks before the beginning of COP15, a meeting is held in Thailand, in which China and the United States decide that the Copenhagen agreements would not be binding, so that the destiny of the Summit was set before it began.
It was very bad news, and the few hopes of saving it are buried the last night, when the presidents of China, the United States, India, Brazil and South Africa, without the presence of the European representatives, nor the other countries, hold a meeting at the closed doors and in just three sheets write a non-binding agreement that is not even put to a vote. Finally, it is only exposed to the “taking of knowledge” of the assistants, together with the promise that in 2010 they would work on a political platform, the basis for constructing binding legal commitments. The summit, as is to be expected, was described as failure and disaster by many governments and environmental organizations.
2009-2015. During this period, scientists Johan Rockström from Sweden and Will Steffen from the United States, together with scientists from the Stockholm Resilience Center, draw up a list with “nine limits of the planet that would be extremely dangerous to cross, an issue that has already occurred in the case of four of them “. These limits are: climate, alteration of vegetation cover, extinction of animal species and alteration of biogeochemical flows, in which the phosphorus and nitrogen cycles play an essential role.
The other five borders correspond to consumption of primary resources, energy use, population growth, economic activity and deterioration of the biosphere. According to the report, since the Second World War these limits have soared that some have called it the “time of great acceleration”, with an emphasis on the 1950s. Others even talk about “hyper acceleration” in the 1970s. All these tendencies have been described as “unsustainable”. In 1946 none of the nine limits had yet been crossed, and “humanity consumed less than one planet”, as indicated by Unesco, which collects all this information in a publication. There it is stated that “in those two moments it would have been possible to undertake another path, but today it is much more difficult to do so”.
2010, September 22. In the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly it is pointed out that the agreements reached eight years ago at the Third Earth Summit, South Africa 2002, regarding the preservation of biodiversity were not fulfilled. 190 countries signed the Convention on Biological Diversity, for 2010 but they did not comply. Achim Steiner, director of the UN Environment Program, expressed the failure through this lapidary phrase: “We have created the illusion that, in some way, we can keep ourselves without biodiversity, or that it is secondary in the modern world.”
Ten years later, in 2019, the report of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), would report that one million animal and plant species, of the eight million existing, are threatened with extinction. An “unprecedented decline” in recent geological times.
2011. Following the Fukushima accident, German Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered the closure of the country’s 17 nuclear power plants. The closure of the last floor would take place in 2022.
2011, COP17 Durban. Birth of the Kyoto Protocol-II and the beginning of his death. The luck of the planet was not better than in South Africa the previous year, although something was advanced by establishing a date for the start of the second period of the Kyoto agreements, with a view to 2013, to avoid a legal vacuum in the area of climate change.
2013, COP19. Warsaw. The initial objective in Poland was to reach an agreement to reduce GHG emissions from 2015. However, several countries opposed it, including the host, the largest coal producer in Europe. On this occasion the UN presented a document where it is almost certain that the human being is the main cause of global warming, since the 1950s. Faced with this new failure, there is a massive abandonment of NGOs and trade unions, fact unpublished until that moment in the COP.
2014, September 20. The newspaper El País, from Spain, states: “A report from Greenpeace Brazil, made public in May, documents up to five different ways to whiten illegally obtained wood. According to the IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), only in the States of Maranhão and Pará, almost 500,000 cubic meters of wood had false documents in 2013. ”
2015, COP21, Paris. The Paris Agreement is born, the most ambitious global agreement to fight against Climate Change. Adopted by 197 countries, its signature officially begins on April 22 of the following year. Its entry into force is scheduled for 2020. The Agreement provides for the limitation of the increase in global temperature to 2º C, from its pre-industrial level, by reducing GHG emissions. Through the premise “Zero fossil fuels”, it is intended to replace these with renewable, alternative or clean energy. The Paris Agreement proposes measures to combat climate change such as adaptation, mitigation and resilience.
2016, October 26. The 400 PPM (Parts per Million) of CO2 in the atmosphere is reached for the first time since humans appeared on Earth. This is serious and measurable proof that climate change is caused by humans, since in 1950 its level was 320 PPM. On 04-24-2018 another record is reached, according to the Mauna Loa Observatory, located in Hawaii, with 411.26 PPM. On May 13, Mauna Loa would report that the CO2 level rose again, standing at 415 PPM.
2017, June 1. Donald Trump announces the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement, although the northern country must remain two years longer, according to the document’s bylaws.
2017. The world population increases 25% with respect to 2000, standing at 7,500 million inhabitants.
2017. For the first time two hurricanes, Irma and María, acquire category 5 in the Atlantic Ocean, before moving to the Caribbean. This unprecedented fact raises suspicions about the relationship of global warming and the intensification of cyclonic systems.
2017. The production and sale of electric cars is increasing. The silent and carbonless car is the hope of a world without smog, noise or gases that increase disease and global warming. Encouraging news about electromobility begins to arrive. In 2019 China sets a sales quota of 10% of hybrid vehicles. 2020 Volkswagen plans to place 25% of electric cars. For 2025 Volvo aims to produce 20% and Mercedes Benz between 20% and 25%. Norway indicates 2025 for ban of automotive gasoline traffic. France will do so in 2040. The global top year for the elimination of emitting vehicles is 2050, to comply with the provisions of the Paris Agreement.
2018. The temperature in Siberia marks record reaching 40ºC during the summer of this year.
2018, may. Established in the United Kingdom “Extinction Rebellion” (XR), a socio-political movement, formed mainly by young people, which uses non-violent resistance to protest climate degradation, loss of biodiversity and the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse. XR aims to gather support globally, around the urgency of coping with the climate collapse.
2018, June 5. We should not look at what they say but at what they do. The newspaper El País, of Spain, headlines: “Trudeau, champion of environmental discourse, gives a strong boost to the oil industry.” The Canadian Government announces the nationalization of the Trans Mountain pipeline to ensure its expansion, causing criticism from politicians, indigenous groups and NGOs.
2018, June 5. The UN, in an article entitled “Either we divorce ourselves from plastic, or we forget the planet,” reports that about 13 million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans each year, affecting biodiversity, economy and our health.” The qualities of this material, cheap, light and easy to produce, have led to its production reaching quantities that we are unable to cope with. Only a small fraction of the plastics that are discarded is recycled.”
2018. The news indicates, more and more frequently, that the electricity generated by solar and wind energy is increasing worldwide. This is due to the constant reduction in costs and prices. The substitution of fossil fuel-based energies for clean or green energies, added to the boom of the electric car, is the hope of humanity for a better world for all.
2018, August 20. Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish teenager in ninth grade, stops attending school until her country’s general election on September 9. Claim the heat wave and forest fires in Sweden. Demand that the government reduce carbon emissions based on the provisions of the Paris Agreement. His protest consists of sitting every day in front of the Riksdag, the Swedish Parliament, holding a sign with the text: “school strike for the weather”. In the images of those days you can see a small girl, childlike, oval face and scant of smiles, Nordic braids, sitting on a gray brick floor, the same color of the wall that supports his back. He wears red, blue and white plaid shirt, brown cotton pants and blue rubber shoes. She looks lonely in the photos, only with her purple backpack as a company. Nobody seems to care about her or the backpack, or the sign that motivates her sittings: “Skolstrejk for klimatet”, although it is a white sign, of good size and handwritten letters legible from a far.
2018, September 9. After the Swedish elections Greta returns to school, but she continues her sittings, only on Fridays. No one yet imagines that this creature in a few months would become the global climate leader that would inspire millions of young people to make mass demonstrations for climate change in hundreds of cities on five continents. Slowly, other young people accompany her in their sittings on Fridays. From week to week the schoolchildren grow in number, they stop attending school that day and together with Greta they take part in the school strikes on Fridays. This is the origin of the movement “Friday For Future” (FFF), which in record time wins sympathizers around the world.
2018, October. World Wide Fund (WWF), in its flagship publication, “Living Planet Report – 2018”, released every two years, issues a information that shocks the planet. The world population of vertebrates – mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles – has been reduced by 60% between 1970 and 2014. As a solution it raises the need to reach a global agreement by nature. The main threats are “directly related to human activities, including loss and degradation of habitat and overexploitation of wild fisheries”. In this way, “resources are consumed as if we were on 1.7 Earth planets”.
2018, October 1-5. In the city of Incheon, South Korea, holds the 48th Session of the IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In this meeting, the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC has been presented, whose main objective is to limit the temperature rise to 1.5ºC from its pre-industrial level, instead of the 2 ºC proposed in the Paris Agreement. This goal, according to the report, will require “unprecedented changes” at a social and global level, due to the seriousness of the planet’s situation due to the sustained increase in global temperature, with all its consequences.
2018, November 11-24. On this date Greta Thunberg performs at the TEDx Stockholm. TED is the acronym for Technology, Entertainment and Design, a US organization dedicated to “Ideas Worthy of Dissemination.” In addition to these three, a wide variety of topics are touched, including science and politics. Ted has presented Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google, among many others. Greta address to the public an emotional speech, which immediately catapults her to another level, and she is worth to be invited to the COP24.
2018, COP24, Katowice, December 3-14. The controversy that happened at COP24 this time it was not around the Paris Agreement directly, but on the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC, and its main objective of limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 ºC from its pre-industrial level. An oil quartet formed up of the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait does not welcome the report. The United States argues that welcoming it means accepting it. President Trump is blunt in expressing that he does not agree with the IPCC report, nor does he believe in its content. The representative of Saudi Arabia went further and behind the scenes dares to say, “the Paris Agreement has died”.
WWF Spain summarizes what happened in Poland: “the world leaders came to Katowice with the task of responding to the latest climate science data, which has made it very clear that we only have 12 years to reduce emissions by half and avoid catastrophic global warming. Progress has been made, but what we have seen in Poland reveals a lack of fundamental understanding of the current climate urgency of some countries. Everyone’s future is at stake. We need all countries to commit to increasing climate ambition by 2020.”
One of the most emotional moments at the COP24 is the intervention of Greta Thunberg: “you only talk about infinite green economic growth because you are afraid of appearing too unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that have gotten us into this disaster. Even when the only sensible thing is to pull the emergency brake.” The appearance of Greta is multiplied through the screens of the world, making it known all over the planet. The attention on the girl would grow and soon it would be a climatic influencer on a global scale.
2018, December. During this month, inspired by Greta Thunberg, young school children from all over the world participate in student strikes. They hold demonstrations in more than 270 cities in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. In Australia, thousands of students decide to protest on Fridays, ignoring Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Who exhorts them to: “more learning in schools and less activism”.
2018, December. Mongabay headlines a report “Deforestation in Brazil reached its highest level in the last ten years”. Indicates as main causes for the growing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, “the expansion of agriculture and large-scale livestock, which has its main representatives in soybeans and cattle; the increase of investments in infrastructure such as road construction and the political decisions of the government.
2018, December 28. Germany sends a positive message to the world. Closes its last coal mine, after 200 years of this activity. Through an emotional act, the Prosper-Haniel mine in the town of Bottrop has been closed. Chancellor Angela Merkel has received a symbolic gift from the miners.
2019, January 2. Hours after taking office, the new president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, launches an attack against the environmental protections of the Amazon. It issues an executive order that transfers the regulation and creation of indigenous reserves to the ministry of agriculture, which is controlled by the powerful landlord lobby. Number of indigenous communities are expelled from their natural spaces.
2019, January 24. After Katowice, Greta Thunberg, in the World Economic Forum of Davos is presented, “which brings together the main leaders of international organizations, leaders of several countries, business leaders and people of repute worldwide.” On February 12, she makes a public report about rumors, lies and hateful messages circulating about her, her family and her activism, with the aim of discrediting her. They claim that the speeches were not written by her, but that there are involved adults who would be manipulating her, talking about payments to her family for leading the strikes, and even mocking her Asperger syndrome. “Some people make fun of me because of my diagnosis (made when I was 11 years old). But Asperger, he says, is not a disease, it’s a gift. ” On April 16 he would make an emotional speech before the Environmental Committee of the European Parliament.
2019, March 15. This Friday there was a world student strike, supported by Greta, who is now 16 years old (date of birth: 03-01-2003). According to Wikipedia the strike was conceived and led by the Fridays For Future movement. The World March went in several cities of a total of 123 countries worldwide, in 2000 demonstrations, most of which were carried out in an organized and peaceful way. In total, the march of 15-M brought together between 1.5 and 2 million people around the world, in which the participation of 12,000 German, Swiss and Austrian scientists was highlighted.
2019, April. Extinction Rebellion occupies for ten days several iconic sites in central London: Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge and the area around Parliament Square. A year earlier about a hundred academics had signed a call to action.
2019, April 19. The news agency AFP points out: Landowners of Brazil cut down centenary trees to plant soybeans, practice clandestine mining that contaminates rivers with mercury, vital for residents of remote areas, traffic wood that decimates rare and valuable species and adds “the threat to biodiversity can adopt different faces in this country of continental dimensions “. If we look in the mirror of Borneo, and consider the alarming news from Brazil, we can anticipate the ecological catastrophe that would represent the destruction of the lung of the world if we do not stop it in time.
2019, April. Human absurd things: climate change seems to make some people happy. This is clear from the news that comes in these days. They refer to the new navigation routes in the Arctic, due to the melting, consequence of global warming. Some shipping companies celebrate the saving of time and money because these routes are shorter than the traditional ones.
2019, April 24. Teenage Greta Thunberg appears before the British Parliament. Not everyone is received by the House of Commons of the kingdom. Greta addresses the deputies as a teacher who explains, reprimand and sends homework to her students. Her convincing speech, her language of irreverent girl causes different types of reactions in parliamentarians. But the important thing is that the adolescent achieves her goal. We transcribe some fragments of his speech.
“My name is Greta Thunberg, I am 16 years old, I am Swedish, and I have come to speak to you on behalf of future generations … I know that many of you do not want to listen to us. You say that we are only children. But we only repeat the science message about the climate … Many of you seem to be worried about seeing how we lose valuable class time, but I assure you that we will return to the institute as soon as you start listening to science and you give us a future. Do you think it is too much to ask? … You have lied to us. You have given us false hope. You told us that the future was something to be longed for. And the saddest thing is that most children do not even know the fate that awaits us. We will not understand until it’s too late …
Is the microphone on? Can you hear me? He repeated the phrase several times, banging on the device as if to make himself felt.
2019, May 1. One week after Greta’s speech the British Parliament declares the state of Climate Emergency. The motion was submitted to Parliament by Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, in favor of an “urgent action to safeguard the health of the planet for the next generations”. The Labor Party came to this decision, also considering the pressure being made by the youth of the movement Extinction Rebellion, whose most recent actions were the demonstrations that paralyzed the center of London for ten days. With their fight to stop the accelerated climate change, they helped to make the decision staged in London, raising the climate issue to the first places of British politics. As we said: The Climate Emergency has brought out of the lethargy people who until now had stayed out of the problem.
The Youth and Adolescent Revolution has begun. New actors were needed who could look at the world from a different perspective. You are the most interested in that climate change does not make life on the planet unbearable. Since we are Earth activists, 15 years ago, it is the first time we see light at the end of the tunnel. A dim light, because the accumulated damages are enormous and not easy to reverse, as is recorded in the present work.
Let’s thank Greta for being the initiator of this important movement. But it must be said, there are many leaders who are emerging and will emerge in all parts of the world, as we are seeing in the videos. Many activists are needed. It seems that your movement is going to be unstoppable. But beware, there are dozens of factors that can cause it to deflate. But you, boys and girls of the most recent generation, have much more courage than the previous ones.
We wish you:
Let them use their movement to make sense of their lives. That they stay updated on the problems of the planet. That they become the generation of knowledge, because we have been depreciating for several decades. This has been part of the problem. Only with the possession of knowledge can a movement of this nature be sustained for a long time. It is important that they know how to transmit what they have learned to others who know less. Have a toolbox full of arguments to disarm the deniers and others who try to close the door to their future. We also wish you to stay united. Do not get tired Do not get fanatic. Do not adopt a single thought. Do not turn your movement into a political party or religion. That are tolerant with their companions. Let them practice democracy. Do not deviate from the origin that gave birth to your movement. Keep pushing.
We wish you good luck. The Earth can be saved.
I wish these words could reach most people.
Sandor A. Gerendas-Kiss