Greta Thunberg Should Not Be Applauded
Watching Greta Thunberg giving her UN summit speech, left me breathless. As always, she was extremely clear, well-spoken, and determined. When this extraordinary climate activist, who fascinated the world in the last year, opens her mouth, she stuns with her matter-of-factness. Her message could not be more precise: There is an abundance of scientific proof that due to climate change, the world is headed towards destruction, and something should be done about it.
She got noticed when single-handedly started protesting on the street, instead of going to school. Not like she didn’t like the school, she didn’t seem to see the point since there is no future. She gave up the education to standing for something that mattered more. She went to New York to talk about it and she went by boat not by plane, because she refused to do something that would hurt the environment. She is a person who stands by her word, and she is trying to tell and show it to the whole world.
At the UN summit, she gave the speech that was not revealing anything new. She just repeated everything that is known for decades, and she reminded people that she is not discovering hot water here. Every word I use trying to describe her speech doesn’t do it justice. The level of straightforwardness is so high that all explanation is redundant. See for yourself:
What she said should resonate with every sane person on the planet, but what stunned me is the reaction to her speech. She got applauded. Which is, in my opinion, ultimately perverse thing to do.
If a speaker gets applauded that means, the audience agrees with them. In the case of that speech, the audience were the world leaders. The very people Greta hold accountable for the problem she was addressing. The very same people she accused of stealing the future from the children with their lack of action. These people applauded when she cried:
“How dare you!”
These applauds meant nothing would change. Speeches of the world leaders at the same summit, confirmed the complete ignorance of implementing climate change politics or presented the limitations of the posibilites.
It would be naive to think something else would happen. For instance: world leaders staying speechless in horror. A silence covering the auditorium would be followed with intense brainstorming, which would result in radical changes in global environmental politics.
The outcome of this climate change speech seems to be the same as any other similar occurrence. There were environmental summits for years, and there were always activists like Greta representing the peoples’ voice. Applauding to them is just a cynical message: Yeah, yeah we agree, but what can you do, eh?
Putting her on the stance and nodding to her is a perverse move, integrated into politics since forever.
However, Greta Thunberg’s approach is something new. Because it is not an approach. She does not play the game. She does not care for the cynicism or the applaud. It enrages her, and she shows it. The more recognition she gets, the more hands she shakes, the more she stays grounded to facts. She cannot be moved, and she refuses to understand the other side.
She persists in repeating a simple message that is not even her own. She made herself the messenger of everyone by universalizing the most common truth. The world is dying, and we are just starring at it.
Yes, this might sound dark. But it is. Greta is blunt about that. I am not worried that most of the people will be constantly anxious about the environment. I am worried about great coping mechanisms humans have evolved. It is not sustaniable to obsess about the environment for long. It would drive you crazy. That’s why we applaud to Greta.