982 The Greta factor

Greta Thunberg is now a house-hold name, on everyone’s lips. Newspaper column after newspaper column are written about her and her climate activism ... to make life easier for you, here I list a few. But before you read, watch her speech at the UN ... and all the way below is the transcript of her speech.

For good measure I include an article by Amanda Vanstone, "The Greta Thunberg circus has become a complete farce." Says she, "the days of civilised debate, of accepting different opinions seem to be disappearing." 

A different opinion on the science of climate change? Yep, climate change denialists have an 'opinion' on climate change science. Her article is the best example yet of 'shoot the messenger'.

Morrison a 'bad dad' for denigrating young climate protesters

Steve Biddulph


"Scott Morrison failed an entire generation last week. He dismissed the 300,000 young people and their parents who filled our city streets in the School Strike 4 Climate, as lacking “context and perspective”.


"It was an outrageously insensitive response, and if young Australians were anxious before, they will be doubly so now. They are the most science literate generation in history, and the science says this is the most dangerous time our world has ever faced. But the leaders of the nation think everything is fine.


"I’m talking to you, Scott Morrison, with your lump of coal. It's time to stop clowning around."

However much you care or don't, you should watch Greta's UN speech

Jono La Nauze


"Whatever you already know about climate change, however much or little you already care, you should watch Greta Thunberg’s five-minute speech to the UN on Monday. With searing anger, she has delivered the most rational of responses to the existential crisis unfolding before us.


"That response was written across her young face – a mixture of outrage, grief and fury. With ruthless eloquence, she stripped naked the monstrous inadequacy of official plans to address global warming."

Genius gamechanger has thrown down the gauntlet

Claire Kimball


"In handling the fallout after her landmark speech, the Swedish teen was flawless."

The culture warriors have lost the plot on Greta

Julia Baird


"In a speech that will be long remembered, in which her determined, serious face twisted with pain, Thunberg accused world leaders of stealing her "dreams and childhood" with their empty words.


“People are suffering,” she said. “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 fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?”

The Greta Thunberg circus has become a complete farce

Amanda Vanstone


"It's a measure of where we’ve come to in public debate that I have thought more than twice about writing this piece. The days of civilised debate, of accepting different opinions seem to be disappearing."


The transcript of Greta’s speech:

(What is her message?)


"My message is that we'll be watching you.

"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 eco-systems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money & fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!


"For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you're doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.


"You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.


"The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50 per cent chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [of warming] and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.


"Fifty per cent may be acceptable to you. But those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice. They also rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tonnes of your carbon dioxide out of the air with technologies that barely exist.


"So a 50 per cent risk is simply not acceptable to us – we who have to live with the consequences. To have a 67 per cent chance of staying below a 1.5 degrees global temperature rise – the best odds given by the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] – the world had 420 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide left to emit back on January 1, 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatonnes.


"How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just 'business as usual' and some technical solutions? With today's emissions levels, that remaining carbon dioxide budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 and a half years.


"There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.


"You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this.


"Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.


"Thank you."