Friday September 27 Is Canada’s Climate Moment

We’re in a Climate Emergency! And it’s time we start acting like it.

September is a month of climate action. The week of September 20-27 is packed with events and moments that will be pivotal in our efforts to take on the accelerating climate crisis. This  global #WeekForFuture will involve climate mobilizations in almost every single country with thousands of events planned globally.

Canada’s Climate Moment

In Canada, Friday September 27 will be our climate moment. Thousands are expected to demonstrate in cities across the country asking governments to react now with an urgency that matches the magnitude and severity of the climate crisis.

We’re calling for massive participation on the part of adults —  alongside young people — to show that adults too are concerned and want to join forces in this global effort to raise awareness and to motivate more stubborn leaders to face reality and to act. — FridaysForFuture.Org

Montreal is expecting a huge turnout as is Ottawa, the nation’s capital. Earlier this year, over 150,000 took to the streets in Montreal on the March 15th first global climate strike. With Greta Thunberg’s visit to Montreal on September 27, these numbers are sure to double. “I will be in New York on September 20th and in Montreal on September 27th,” she tweeted. “Spread the word!”

Greta Thunberg

Sept 20 and 27 the World strikes again! Everyone is welcome, everyone is needed. I’ll be in New York 20/9 and in Montreal 27/9. Find or register your local strike at http://fridaysforfuture.org  or local websites. Spread the word!

View image on Twitter

Climat GO – Climate Gatineau-Ottawa

In Ottawa, Climat GO is the regional umbrella group that is coordinating activities on Parliament Hill. A myriad of groups and organizations are pooling their resources to support what is hoped to be the loudest call for more ambitious climate action by the next government soon to be elected on October 21.

If you haven’t done so, please register for this historic event at the following Facebook Event page:

Act for the Climate, March for the planet – Ottawa/Gatineau
Climate Strike Canada

Climate Strike Canada is the overarching network of students, young people, activists, and allies, which connects all of the climate action surrounding the Canadian school strike movement. Its initial school strikes were inspired by Greta Thunberg’s “Fridays for Future” movement, in which children of all ages strike from school on Fridays to call for urgent climate action.

Because of Canada’s size and incredible diversity, not everyone who plans and attends a strike does it in the same way. Some strikes are not held on Fridays, some happen every month as opposed to every week, and some are planned and attended by parents, university students, and elementary school students, rather than just high schoolers.

However, we are united by a goal of climate justice, and we all empower, train, and equip one another with the goals and means to create change in our communities. Climate Strike Canada has 7 demands:

1 Bold Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Targets
2 Separation of Oil and State
3 A Just Transition to Clean Energy
4 Environmental Rights
5 Rights of Indigenous Peoples
6 Conservation of Biodiversity
7 Protection of Vulnerable Communities
For more details, click on Our Demands.

Greenpeace says “there’s something every one of us can do.” It calls for

Putting climate polluters on notice
Peaceful civil disobedience
Hold the car industry to account
Stand up for climate justice and human rights
Join young people striking around the world
Stand with us for forests
Help protect our oceans

SOURCE:

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Helping Kids Prepare For A Climate Constrained Future
So How’s That Climate Emergency Thing Going?

Maxime Bernier attacked Greta Thunberg’s autism. Naomi Klein says autism made the teen a global voice of conscience

Climate activist Greta Thunberg marches with climate protesters outside the United Nations last week.

Maxime Bernier wants us to think he is sorry. The leader of the extremist People’s Party of Canada had tweeted that Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is “clearly mentally unstable. Not only autistic, but obsessive-compulsive, eating disorder, depression and lethargy, and she lives in a constant state of fear. She wants us to feel the same.”

Facing a ferocious backlash, he has since backpedalled, calling the 16-year-old “a brave young woman” who unfortunately is a “pawn” of the climate movement.

Author Naomi KleinThunberg is nobody’s pawn. I have rarely met anyone — child or adult — who better knows their own mind. And this is not despite her autism; it may well be because of it. In fact, a big part of what has made Thunberg suach an inspiring figure, is the fact that she is living proof that diversity — in her case neurodiversity — is absolutely key to the survival of our species.

Every person with autism is different, but there are some traits that many with the diagnosis share in common. As Thunberg has said, people with her type of autism tend to be extremely literal and often have trouble coping with cognitive dissonance, those gaps between what we know and what we do.

Many people on the autism spectrum are also less prone to imitating the social behaviours of people around them and instead forge their own unique paths. This can make them intensely vulnerable to bullying.

“For those of us who are on the spectrum,” Thunberg says, “almost everything is black or white. We aren’t very good at lying, and we usually don’t enjoy participating in this social game that the rest of you seem so fond of.”

Many people on the spectrum also have a powerful capacity to focus on a particular area and to not be distracted. This is often a gift, but it can also be painful, as it was in Thunberg’s case. She turned her laser-like focus on the climate crisis, including the failure of politicians to do what is required to protect a habitable planet. The fact that other people around her seemed relatively unconcerned about the urgent need for transformative action did not send her reassuring social signals, as such signals do for children who are more socially connected. The lack of concern terrified her even more.

According to Thunberg, the only way she was able to cope was to find ways to reduce the cognitive dissonance between what she had learned about the climate crisis and how she lived her life. If she desperately wanted powerful politicians to put our societies on emergency footing to fight climate change, then she needed to reflect that state of emergency in her own life.

So, at age 15, she decided to stop doing the one thing all kids are supposed to do when everything is normal: go to school. Every Friday, she skipped class and stationed herself outside of Sweden’s parliament with a handmade sign that said simply: “School Strike For the Climate.”

“Why,” Thunberg wondered, “should we be studying for a future that soon may be no more, when no one is doing anything whatsoever to save that future?”

The rest is history — the speeches at United Nations conferences, at the European Union, at TEDx Stockholm, at the Vatican, at the British Parliament.

To the rich and mighty at the annual World Economic Summit in Davos she said: “I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”

Videos of her went viral. It was as if by yelling “Fire!” on our warming planet, she had given others the confidence to believe their own senses and smell the smoke coming in under all those tightly closed doors. And so, children around the world began taking their cues from her — the girl who takes social cues from no one — and started organizing student strikes of their own every Friday. (They have now called on people of all ages to join them, starting on Sept. 20.)

Thunberg’s voyage from “invisible girl,” as she described herself, to global voice of conscience is an extraordinary one, and it has a lot to teach us. In a way, she is asking those of us whose mental wiring is more typical — less prone to extraordinary focus and more capable of living with moral contradictions — to be more like her. And she has a point.

During normal, non-emergency times, the capacity of the human mind to rationalize, compartmentalize, and be distracted are important coping mechanisms. It’s also extremely helpful to unconsciously look to our peers and role models to figure out how to feel and act — those social cues are how we form friendships and build cohesive communities.

When it comes to rising to the existential threat of climate breakdown, however, these traits are proving our collective undoing. They are reassuring us when we should not be reassured. They are distracting us when we should not be distracted. And they are easing our consciences when they should not be eased.

In part this is because pretty much every aspect of our economy would have to change if we were to decide to take climate change seriously, and there are many powerful interests that like things as they are. Not least the fossil fuel corporations, which have funded a decades-long machine of disinformation, obfuscation and straight-up lies about the reality of climate change. SOURCE

Thunberg Brings Student Climate Strike to White House

US students march with Greta Thunberg in Washington DC to demand action on climate change. Photo: Bryan Bowman/ The Globe PostUS students march with Greta Thunberg in Washington DC to demand action on climate change. Photo: Bryan Bowman, The Globe Post

Swedish teenager and icon of climate activism Greta Thunberg rallied with hundreds of people outside the White House Friday, addressing President Donald Trump, who is one of the only world leaders to openly deny the existence of climate change, calling it a Chinese hoax.

The diverse crowd of mostly young people walked out of school to participate in Thunberg’s climate strike movement, which has seen young people across the globe leave classrooms on Fridays to demand that world leaders take meaningful action to mitigate climate change.

Participants held signs warning of the dangers of inaction on the climate crisis, which scientists say poses an existential threat to human civilization as we know it. After more than an hour of singing and chanting, followed by speeches and musical performances from young activists, Thunberg addressed the crowd, megaphone in hand.

“I just want to say that I’m so incredibly grateful for every single one of you,” she said. “It’s a lot of people and a lot more than anyone I think had expected. This is very overwhelming but never give up. We will continue and I’ll see you next week on September 20.”

 

September 20 is the date when the weeklong Global Climate Strike is set to begin. Thunberg organized the strike to draw attention to the climate crisis which is increasingly a top issue for American voters and especially for young people like Thunberg who have the most to lose from climate catastrophe.

“Oil money is blood money,” Angelo Lepore, a high school senior from Arlington, Virginia told The Globe Post.

Lepore said he had already been planning to attend the Global Climate Strike when he saw an Instagram post from Thunberg announcing she would be speaking in front of the White House this week. Lepore said his mother is a marine biologist, and he grew up learning to care about animals and the environment.

World renowned climate activist @GretaThunberg joins students striking in the shadow of the White House, the home of the only government that’s not a party to the Paris Accords

View image on Twitter

Lepore was just one of several young activists The Globe Post spoke to, with some as young as 15-years-old, skipping classes to attend the strike.

“I love Greta,” Billie Singer, a freshman at George Washington University told The Globe Post.  “She’s so young and she’s so brave to go up to these world leaders who are so much older than she is and she just tells them exactly what’s going on. She inspires us to be here.”

Rather than travel by carbon-intensive air travel, Thunberg opted to travel to the United States by racing boat on a journey lasting two weeks. Since arriving in the U.S. late last month, Thunberg has participated in school strikes and held interviews with prominent media figures like Naomi Klein of The Intercept and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. Earlier this week, Trevor Noah hosted Thunberg as a guest on his Comedy Central program, The Daily Show.

“[In the U.S.] it is being discussed as something you believe in or don’t believe in,” Thunberg told Noah. “Where I come from it’s more like it’s a fact.” MORE

The Right To A Future

Greta Thunberg, the famous Swedish climate crisis activist, recently landed upon the American shore in a racing yacht sail boat with some solar-power on board. She did not want to fly due to the pollution caused by airplanes.

In an event produced by The Intercept in New York entitled “The Right to a Future,” Naomi Klein, Sr. Correspondent for The Intercept, spoke to and introduced “Greta,” as she has come to be known around the world. The Swedish teenager took Fridays off from school to protest the climate crisis at the Swedish Parliament with a sign that read: “School Strike for Climate.” Then she went global, becoming one of the most well known climate activists in the world.

Greta has been speaking truth to power from the beginning of her appearance on the world stage.

Some of Greta’s Remarks to World Leaders

“We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again. You have run out of excuses and we are running out of time. We have come here to let you know that change is coming whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people.” — Speaking at UN COP24 conference regarding the climate crisis

“You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden, you leave to us children.” — Speaking to the UN climate negotiators in Poland in December 2018

“Is my English okay? Is the microphone on because I’m beginning to wonder?” — Speaking to British Members of Parliament who invited her to speak

“I don’t want your hope. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear that I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”
— Speaking to the rich at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Greta has game.

The Right to a Future Event

At the recent climate event, Naomi Klein stated: “On March 15th of this year, came the first global school strike for climate. Over 2,000 strikes [were held] in 125 countries on every continent. 1.6 million people participated on a single day.” CleanTechnica readers know the climate crisis is urgent, and more people are learning about this topic and are starting to take action.

The next school strike date is set for September 20th. The student organizers would like the adults to join the action.

When asked by Naomi Klein about how many say that dealing with the climate crisis is too expensive, Greta responded, “The money is there. If we can save the banks, then we can save the world.” She continued, “We need to have the polluters to actually pay for the damage they have caused. … What we lack now is political will and social will to do it.”

To see if there’s a StrikeWithUs event near you or to create one on September 20th, please visit that link.

Naomi Klein Knows a Green New Deal Is Our Only Hope Against Climate Catastrophe

In her new book, Klein argues that our current crisis cannot be separated from a long history and brutal present of human exploitation.

KLEIN-COVER SPLIT
Naomi Klein. (Photo by Kourosh Keshiri)

When I spoke with Naomi Klein in August, it was day 13 of Greta Thunberg’s transatlantic crossing on the Malizia II, a zero-emissions racing sailboat. Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who doesn’t fly because of the carbon impact, was making her way to Manhattan for the UN Climate Action summit. Klein’s new book, On Fire: The Burning Case for the Green New Deal, opens with a portrait of Thunberg and a discussion of the youth climate movement. For decades, Klein writes, children have been used as mere rhetorical devices in the discourse of climate change. We have been implored to act on climate change for the sake of “our children.” But, as Klein told me, it is “obvious that this has not worked to inspire decision-makers to do what was necessary.” Now, young people are no longer content to be treated as tropes. “They are speaking and striking and marching for themselves, and they are issuing the verdicts about the entire political class that has failed them.”

The essays collected in On Fire also come together around a central verdict: that the climate crisis cannot be separated from centuries of human exploitation. Colonialism, indigenous genocide, slavery, and climate disruption all share a history. Not only did these historical processes establish the extractive industries that have led to climate change, but they established an extractive mindset, “a way of viewing both the natural world and the majority of its inhabitants as resources to use up and then discard,” Klein writes. Climate activism must fight both. We need a “shift in worldview at every level.”

For Klein, the Green New Deal represents precisely this. Formulated by climate activists and proposed by representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey, the Green New Deal offers a way to transform our infrastructure at the scale and speed required by climate change while simultaneously transforming the economic model and underlying worldview that has caused it. Detractors may call it a random laundry list of progressive initiatives, but for Klein the brilliance of the Green New Deal lies in its supposition that its initiatives—from renewable energy to universal health care—are anything but unrelated. Ecological breakdown and economic injustice are inextricably linked. The solution must be holistic. The Green New Deal offers a way both to “get clean” and to “redress the founding crimes of our nations.”

We spoke about the politics of the climate crisis and the “almost unbearably high” stakes of the 2020 election. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

—Lynne Feeley

Lynne Feeley: Many of the essays in the book focus on what you call the “deep stories” that are interfering with people’s willingness to confront the climate crisis. Can you discuss what these stories are and how they are blocking climate action?

Naomi Klein: Some are the economic stories of neoliberalism—about how things go terribly wrong when people try to work together and how, if we just get out of the way of the market and let it do its magic, the benefits will trickle down to everyone else. I’ve written a lot over the years about how the orthodoxy of neoliberalism—privatization, deregulation, low taxes, cuts to social spending—conflicts very, very frontally with what we need to do in the face of the climate crisis. MORE

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On Fire Book Review: Naomi Klein Beckons Us to Look Behind the Burning Climate Curtain

‘Everyone Should Mobilize’: Climate Leaders Urge Massive Turnout for Global Climate Strikes

“Our house is on fire—let’s act like it,” says a call-to-action for September 20th and 27th strikes.

Students take part in a climate rally in Parliament Square on May 24, 2019 in London. (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Students take part in a climate rally in Parliament Square on May 24, 2019 in London. (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Organizers of upcoming global climate strikes hope their demands for a rapid end to business as usual and a swift start to climate justice will be too loud to ignore.

The strikes, which are set for September 20th and 27th—with additional actions slated for the days in between—are planned in over 150 countries thus far, and over 6,000 people have already pledged to take part.

It has the potential to be the biggest climate mobilization yet, said organizers.

“Our house is on fire—let’s act like it,” says the strikes’ call-to-action, referencing the words of Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. “We demand climate justice for everyone.”

Thunberg echoed that call in a just-released video promoting the upcoming actions.

“Everyone should mobilize for the 20th and 27th of September,” said Thunberg, “because this is a global issue which actually affects everyone.”

It’s been the world’s youth, though, that have played a driving force in recently calling attention to the climate crisis with protests and school strikes.

“Young people have been leading here,” 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben said in the Thunberg video, “but now it’s the job of the rest of us to back them up.”

The two Fridays of action, according to organizers, will bookend a “Week for Future” to sustain the climate call. Nestled between is the United Nations Summit on Climate Change on September 23rd in New York.

“Because we don’t have a single year to lose,” said Luisa Neubauer of Fridays for Future Germany in a press statement Wednesday, “we’re going to make this week a turning point in history.” MORE

Greta Thunberg is winning hearts and minds — and some old men hate it


Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist from Sweden, meets with María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, president of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly on Aug. 30. UN Photo by Manuel Elias

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier marked Greta Thunberg’s arrival in North America by viciously attacking the teenage climate activist, calling her mentally unstable in apparent reference to her having Asperger syndrome.

Bernier doubled down in a subsequent volley of tweets, in the manner of the self-described “very stable genius,” U.S. President Donald Trump.

It was an odious bookend to the criticism levelled at Thunberg during her sailing voyage, which kicked off in earnest when New York Times contributor Christopher Caldwell denounced her climate activism as “radical” and undemocratic in “The Problem With Greta Thunberg’s Climate Activism.”

Caldwell gamely rationalized his criticism, stating, “Kids (Thunberg’s) age have not seen much of life. Her world view might be unrealistic, her priorities out of balance. But in our time, and in her cause, that seems to be a plus. People have had enough of balance and perspective. They want single-minded devotion to the task at hand.”

Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish teenager who began protesting government inaction on climate change outside the Swedish parliament last August, has catalyzed the global school strike for climate movement (sometimes called Fridays for Future). After stealing the show at the COP24 climate change conference, she inspired an estimated 1.4 million students, including thousands of Canadian youth, to join her in a global student strike this past March 15.

Bernier, Caldwell and all the critics in between have been widely pilloried, but a more sympathetic view is warranted.

Older men are known to experience anxiety on realizing they lack what society’s vigorous youth possess. Psychoanalytic theory tells us their coveting of younger generations’ environmental conscientiousness leads to feelings of inferiority, and defensive or compensatory behaviour.

Seeing past the green-eyed monster

Not wanting to give oxygen to the outbursts of a sixth-rate Canadian party leader (according to 338Canada.com, Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada is polling sixth behind the Conservatives, Liberals, NDP, Green party and Bloc Québécois), I’ll focus on the New York Times piece, which paints its argument with a substantial intellectual veneer.

I’m not sure whether Caldwell is more of a Hatha or Ashtanga man, but his rhetorical yoga is supple, and he shows sublime command of advanced contortions. The root of his argument seems to be that the future should not be the purview of the young and the restless, but the old and the bloviating.

Alas, the days of sinecure-holding think-tank personalities imposing a tight monopoly on American public discourse are over. Social media has thrown the Overton window wide open, and in this newly free marketplace of ideas, Thunberg and company are running the table.

There can be nothing more democratic than an idea winning hearts and minds on the strength of its own merits in a deregulated marketplace, nor anything more dangerous to self-appointed gatekeepers of serious debate.

Sadly, Caldwell conflates his punditocracy with democracy — a Freudian slip? — and cobbles some logic for fearmongering’s sake. In truth, activism is the beating heart of a healthy democracy; the only threat it presents is to Caldwell’s favoured ancien regime. MORE

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Why this Canadian politician threw shade on Greta Thunberg
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Open Letter From College Professors Urges Educators Worldwide to Cancel Class, Join Global Climate Strike

“We risk losing credibility with an entire generation of students if we cannot take action in support of the defining cause of their generation.”

Students take part in a climate rally in London's Parliament Square
Students take part in a climate rally in London’s Parliament Square on May 24, 2019. (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Highlighting an open letter now co-signed by 175 teachers that urges educators around the world to cancel classes and join the global climate strike scheduled for Sept. 20, two of the original signatories published an op-ed in The Guardian Friday explaining why striking “in the name of climate justice is a resounding endorsement of learning.”

“We educators need to help strengthen the climate movement, and the start of this school year is an important moment.”
—Jonathan Isham and Lee Smithey, U.S. professors

In the op-ed, Jonathan Isham of Middlebury College and Lee Smithey of Swarthmore College acknowledge the lessons they have learned about the human-caused climate emergency from their own students, youth leaders like Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, and the millions of people who have participated in Fridays for Future demonstrations across the globe.

“No educator is able to join Greta Thunberg as she continues her bold Atlantic crossing, but all of us can follow her lead,” they write, referencing the 16-year-old’s recent trip to the United States via an emissions-free vessel. “We risk losing credibility with an entire generation of students if we cannot take action in support of the defining cause of their generation.”

The professors note that “some educators—and their bosses—might object to striking,” and outline a few reasons why that may be the case. However, they argue, “to strike in the name of climate justice is a resounding endorsement of learning: it turns out the world’s youth have been listening to their teachers all along. They understand the science of climate disruption; they take in the lessons of history; they grapple with the complexity of market forces and the true costs of polluting. In their humanities and social science courses, they hear the voices of those at the margins and then honor their dignity and humanity through the arts.” MORE

 

170 Media Outlets Join Covering Climate Now project.

“Covering Climate Now is a fulfillment of journalism’s most sacred responsibilities”

Image result for cbs: greta thunberg arrival
 In this Aug. 14, 2019 file photo, Climate change activist Greta Thunberg addresses the media during a news conference in Plymouth, England. Thunberg has crossed the Atlantic on a zero-emissions sailboat to attend a conference on global warming. On Wednesday, Aug. 28, before dawn, Thunberg tweeted, “Land!! The lights of Long Island and New York City ahead.” (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Objectivity and truth-telling are no longer the most “sacred” responsibilities of the news media, at least according to the far-left The Nation magazineIt’s now … climate change.

“We see Covering Climate Now as a fulfillment of journalism’s most sacred responsibilities, which are to inform people and foster constructive debate about common challenges and opportunities,” The Nation wrote on Aug. 28.

The NationColumbia Journalism Review (CJR) and The Guardian spearheaded The Covering Climate Now project. On Aug. 28, they announced that 170 news outlets around the world signed on to the agenda-driven effort. They bragged that biased journalism will be delivered to a combined audience of hundreds of millions of people.

The list included a Who’s Who of liberal U.S. media outlets including Bloomberg, CBS News, PBS NewsHour, Newsweek, “eminent specialist publications” NatureScientific American, InsideClimate News, and “distinguished digital publications” HuffPost, Vox, The Intercept and Slate.

Audiences can expect to be bombarded by climate alarmism the week of Sept. 16-23, since all the participating outlets agreed to focus on climate that week — just ahead of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change summit in New York.

Although some aren’t waiting. CBS has already been celebrating the arrival of 16-year-old“climate warrior” Greta Thunberg and promoting her journey by low-emissions yacht, while ignoring the fact that people have to fly to NY to retrieve the boat.

“All that’s required is for each outlet to make a good-faith effort to increase the amount and the visibility of its climate coverage—to make it clear to their audiences that climate change is not just one more story but the overriding story of our time,” The Nation said.

The Covering Climate now project launched in April 2019, when The Nation, CJR and The Guardiancohosted an event to discuss how journalists ought to cover climate change. It included far-left voices including anti-fossil fuels and anti-capitalist author Naomi Klein. MORE

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Greta Thunberg ‘wants a concrete plan, not just nice words’ to fight climate crisis

Young activists will pressure world leaders to address crisis, says 16-year-old Swedish activist in Guardian interview


 Greta Thunburg: ‘It’s insane that a 16-year-old has to cross the Atlantic in order to take a stand, but that’s how it is.’ Photograph: Vanessa Carvalho/REX/Shutterstock

Unprecedented pressure exerted by young activists will push world leaders to address the unfolding climate crisis, even with a recalcitrant US under Donald Trump, Greta Thunberg has told the Guardian.

Thunberg, the teenager whose school climate strikes have ignited a global youth-led movement, said that her journey to New York on a solar-powered yacht was symbolic of the lengths young people will take to confront the climate crisis.

She said: “It’s insane that a 16-year-old has to cross the Atlantic in order to take a stand, but that’s how it is. It feels like we are at a breaking point. Leaders know that more eyes on them, much more pressure is on them, that they have to do something, they have to come up with some sort of solution. I want a concrete plan, not just nice words.”

Thunberg’s vessel emerged from the mist of an unseasonably drizzly day to be met by a throng of supporters and media at a marina near the southern tip of Manhattan on Wednesday. Her arrival was heralded by a flotilla of 17 sailboats, charted by the UN, that intercepted her vessel near the Statue of Liberty.

Supporters chanted “welcome Greta” as the Swedish teenager stepped off the yacht, shook some outstretched hands and said that it felt like the ground was shaking beneath her feet.

Thunberg told the Guardian: “It’s so overwhelming. I’ve gone from nothing but me and the ocean to this.”

Despite the adulation from the crowds, Thunberg said she didn’t relish being cast as the global figurehead of the climate movement.

She said: “My role is to be one of many, many activists who are pushing for climate action. I don’t see myself as a leader, or icon or the face of a movement.” SOURCE


Welcome to the US, Greta. With your help we can save the planet and ourselves

Even in such a divided and troubled country, there is hope. Between us we can beat the climate destroyers


 Greta Thunberg arrives in New York after a 15-day journey crossing the Atlantic. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Dear Greta, Thank you for travelling across the Atlantic to north America to help us do the most important work in the world. There are those of us who welcome you and those who do not because you have landed in two places, a place being born and a place dying, noisily, violently, with as much damage as possible.

It has always been two places, since the earliest Europeans arrived in places where Native people already lived, and pretended they were new and gave them the wrong names. You can tell the history of the United States – which are not very united now – as the history of Sojourner Truth, the heroine who helped liberate the enslaved, as that of the slaveowners and defenders of slavery, as a place of visionary environmental voices such as Rachel Carson and the corporate powers and profiteers she fought and exposed.

Right now the US is the country of Donald Trump and of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of climate destroyers and climate protectors. Sometimes the Truths and the Carsons have won. I believe it is more than possible for Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal to win, for the spirit of generosity and inclusion and the protection of nature to win – but that depends on what we do now. Which is why I’m so grateful that you have arrived to galvanize us with your clarity of vision and passionate commitment. 

Not long ago I talked to a powerful climate organizer who began her work when she was only a little older than you, and she told me that her hope right now is that people recognize that this is a moment of great possibility, of openings and momentum, and a growing alarm and commitment to what the changing climate requires of us. Something has changed, thanks to you and to the young people who have brought new urgency and vision to the climate movement. Many people have become concerned and awake for the first time, and the conversation we need to have is opening up. People are ready for change, or some of us are. This is what’s being born in the US and around the world: not only new energy systems, but new social systems with more room for the voices of those who are not white or male or straight or neurotypical.

The old energy system was about centralized control and the malevolent power of Gazprom and BP, Shell and Chevron, and the governments warped into serving them rather than humanity. The new system must not only be about localized energy, but democratized decision-making, about the rights of nature and the rights of the vulnerable and the future, over profit. MORE

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