Greta Thunberg’s speech at the U.S. Congress was really good. In a genius move, she painted the United States as “the country of dreams” and made references to Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech. And then she brought everything back to reality:
But the problem we are facing is not that we lack the ability to dream, or to imagine a better world. The problem now is that we need to wake up. It’s time to face the reality, the facts, the science.
All of it is worth a read but I can’t help quoting some more of it here. About our chances of succeeding in tackling the climate problem, she said:
I guess that hardly any of you have heard that there is a 50 per cent chance of staying below a 1.5 degree Celsius of global temperature rise […]
So a 50 per cent chance – a statistical flip of a coin – will most definitely not be enough. That would be impossible to morally defend. Would anyone of you step onto a plane if you knew it had more than a 50 per cent chance of crashing? More to the point: would you put your children on that flight?
In a speech delivered in the United States, she brilliantly referred to the “united science”:
And why is it so important to stay below the 1.5 degree limit? Because that is what the united science calls for, to avoid destabilising the climate […]
I love how she schooled them on the IPCC report:
So where do we begin? Well I would suggest that we start looking at chapter 2, on page 108 in the IPCC report that came out last year.
On the carbon budget that we have left before catastrophe is irreversible:
Four-hundred and twenty Gt of CO2 left to emit on 1 January 2018 […]. Now that figure is already down to less than 360 Gt.
These numbers are very uncomfortable. But people have the right to know. And the vast majority of us have no idea these numbers even exist.
I’m both amazed and grateful that she has this opportunity to say all of those things in such a clear and impactful way.