End the Status Quo of the Wealthy!!! Our World is Ablaze

Greta Thunberg Addresses Global Elite at Davos: Our House Is Still on Fire

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  • Greta Thunbergteenage Swedish climate activist. She was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.


The 17-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered a speech Tuesday to the world leaders and global elite gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, one year after she first condemned the forum for its inaction on climate change. “We don’t need a ‘low-carbon economy.’ We don’t need to ‘lower emissions.’ Our emissions have to stop,” Thunberg said. “And until we have the technologies that at scale can put our emissions to minus, then we must forget about net zero. We need real zero.”


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We end today’s show with the words of a 17-year-old: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. She just turned 17 in the last weeks. She addressed world leaders today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

GRETA THUNBERG: One year ago, I came to Davos and told you that our house is on fire. I said I wanted you to panic. I’ve been warned that telling people to panic about the climate crisis is a very dangerous thing to do. But don’t worry. It’s fine. Trust me. I’ve done this before. And I can assure you: It doesn’t lead to anything.

And for the record, when we children tell you to panic, we’re not telling you to go on like before. We’re not telling you to rely on technologies that don’t even exist today at scale and that science says perhaps never will. We are not telling you to keep talking about reaching net zero emissions or carbon neutrality by cheating and fiddling around with numbers. We’re not telling you to offset your emissions by just paying someone else to plant trees in places like Africa, while at the same time forests like the Amazon are being slaughtered at an infinitely higher rate. Planting trees is good, of course, but it’s nowhere near enough of what is needed, and it cannot replace real mitigation and rewilding nature.

And let’s be clear: We don’t need a low-carbon economy. We don’t need to lower emissions. Our emissions have to stop, if we are to have a chance to stay below the 1.5-degree target. And until we have the technologies that at scale can put our emissions to minus, then we must forget about net zero. We need real zero, because distant net-zero emission targets will mean absolutely nothing if we just continue to ignore the carbon dioxide budget that applies for today, not distant future dates. If high emissions continue like now even for a few years, that remaining budget will soon be completely used up.

The fact that the U.S.A. is leaving the Paris accord seemed to outrage and worry everyone. And it should. But the fact that we are all about to fail the commitments you signed up for in the Paris Agreement doesn’t seem to bother the people in power even the least. Any plan or policy of yours that doesn’t include radical emission cuts at the source starting today is completely insufficient for meeting the 1.5- or well below 2-degree commitments of the Paris Agreement.

And again, this is not about right or left. We couldn’t care less about your party politics. From a sustainability perspective, the right, the left, as well as the center, have all failed. No political ideology or economic structure has been able to tackle the climate and environmental emergency and create a cohesive and sustainable world, because that world, in case you haven’t noticed, is currently on fire.

AMY GOODMAN: Seventeen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg addressing world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She spoke just after President Trump spoke at the gathering, touting the economy but not talking about the climate crisis, which is the focus of the World Economic Forum, the World Economic Forum in Davos. That does it for our show. We’ll post her whole speech online.The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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5 Responses to End the Status Quo of the Wealthy!!! Our World is Ablaze

  1. Yes, we appreciate your concerns young lady; but this shouldn’t worry you so much! Seemingly the big and more influential group has failed because they have mixed ambitions to settle this matter once for good. The good news is that some formidable technology is being developed to curb extreme weather conditions; climate engineering is the answer to all this mess; someday you should come over to Uganda and see first hand how we are coping with climate change.

    • eslkevin says:

      Sounds like ill-informed non-sense to me–I am referring to the new technologies to suck up carbon. God’s technologies, like trees will do a better and more sustainable job.

      • Aim not aware of your convictions or academic background- as such I cannot maintain an argument with you over what works and what doesn’t- Aim pragmatic person speaking about what I know and do- it is absurd people have always thought fighting climate change is about planting trees; what about other elements in the carbon cycle [back to your school days]? And how do you lower atmospheric entropy build up that could eventually subdue performance of plant harbouring ecosystems? Right now we have mounted a cloud screen that reflects heat back into space; and thats why its hotter there than it used to be! Aim talking about great climate engineering feats that really catches up with the 21st century challenges- So my friend its not nonsense as you put it, someday you’l be overwhelmed to learn what conventional knowledge does hold. stay put and open up to more learning!!

      • Some few countries have had their own ways of dealing with extreme weather- at detection, surveillance and intervention levels: for example china and Isreal have technologies that cause rainfall; USA and Kenya had tried cloud seeding with varying success rates! Now some research initiative in Uganda has succeeded at improving aesthetic conditions about Kampala and its sprawling suburbs, preventing onset of droughts in neighboring countryside and moderation of sunshine reaching the ground- right across traditional seasons. And most recently, we added on this project new capabilities like arresting lightening and controlling flooding as may result from merging of rainfall systems over neighboring territories. So an emerging front most likely concerns who pollutes most and refers pollutants to who; effluent economies have had to pollute most only to refer their pollutants into sinks in Africa and south America. Pollutants include heat (entropy) and particulate matter e.g. carbon dioxide aerosols etc. Now new climate change research projects in Africa are referring these pollutants back to their fouling sources; meanwhile, curbing and coping capabilities to absorb some of the pollutants in these sinks are being improved to render ecosystem function more workable into regenerative existence. Uganda is a breeding ground of new climate engineering technologies and it showcases likes of a new world order- in as far as climate matter go!!

      • And IDEAS climate action project bears a global presence into destinations where ecosystems are highly degraded or damaged; our interventions in the lower atmosphere can be transmitted across the globe in just 24 hours or thereabout- recent phenomena like flash floods and torrential rains (outside seasons) are connected to such interventions- whereas we would like to limit our operations inside Uganda borders, there are occasions when nature dictates otherwise. Global weather systems are too closely intertwined that one weather related event can result into yet another dissimilar event elsewhere. We successfully installed an independent rainfall system in central Uganda in 2017- it controls most weather events in this region; through this system, interventions into entropy control and/or precipitation can be executed.

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