How Dare You

“How Dare You”

Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has been making major headlines this past week. She led a massive strike on September 20th to protest how the government is neglecting to address the climate crisis. She spoke at the Climate Action Summit, hosted by the United Nations on September 23rd, in front of numerous politicians.

Thunberg has not only made such an expansive impact with her own generation but with the entire world. She is a young woman speaking up about the monumental issues with our climate and with the way politicians are not actively helping.

Thunberg, at the Climate Action Summit, said, “This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school, on the other side of the ocean, yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. 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.”

Her words are so emotional and impactful. She is just a kid, a kid who should be in school right now worrying about homework and not leading worldwide climate strikes and waking politicians up to the issues at hand. She should be able to trust the governments of this world to make the right decisions for her future to be bright and for her to have a future at all.

 It is dumbfounding to me that a 16-year-old is making this much of an impact across the world. At sixteen I was worried about school, girl drama, and when the next episode of Vampire Diaries premiered, not about how our world is dying. I barely even knew how drastic climate change was, all I knew was that I needed to recycle.

This is a huge part of why nothing drastic has been done about the climate crisis; no one is teaching our youth about how we need to change our habits and our means of production.

This is why Thunberg is such an inspiring young woman. She is so young yet she is so knowledgeable about the impending doom of the Earth. She is speaking up and teaching her generation that they must step up because the generations before them are not.

It is also shocking that the world has not given this much attention to the climate crisis until this young girl spoke up. Why has no one else made an impact like her? Why are the older generations not taking action like her? Why does it seem as if no one wants to save our planet?

You would think that the place we live would be a priority to everyone because without Earth we are nothing. We cannot survive without this planet we live on, so why are we not treating it better? Why is wealth and convenience more important to us and to our government?

I try my best to be more environmentally conscious in my everyday life but it is not enough. Our government needs to take action before it is too late. But the government will never step up until we force them too so we, as citizens, must make politicians listen. We have to make our voices heard just like Greta Thunberg’s.