You know, of course, that we are living in a time unlike any other. It appears that our lust for comfort has come back to bite us in the ass. Entire societies are built on unsustainable foundations, and they are beginning to crumble. The need for vast, sweeping change is a scary prospect and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that this change might be as big of a shift to humanity as the Industrial Revolution. For hundreds of years, we’ve pillaged the earth with reckless abandon—and even in the face of overwhelming scientific proof that we’re well and truly fucking things up, we continue to do so. The issue, as per usual, is the enormous sums of money involved.
More and more, though, people are standing up to giant industries. It’s a David vs. Goliath scenario, but there are many Davids. One of the strongest is a 15-year-old Swedish climate activist named Greta Thunberg. With quiet, unshakeable confidence rarely seen in a teenager, Thunberg spoke to the U.N. plenary in December in Katowice, Poland. Her speech is one everyone needs to see—a clearer, simpler picture of the incredibly complicated climate story hasn’t been painted, and it is a harsh condemnation of global inaction.
“It is the sufferings of the many which pays for the luxuries of the few,” she says in one of the more powerful moments. “You say you love your children in front of all else, and yet you’re stealing their future in front of their very eyes.”
She holds no false hopes, though, and says as much. “We have not come here to beg world leaders to care,” she says. “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.”