Climate change is a tense topic. Politicians love and hate it simultaneously. They love it during elections as a catalyzer for gullible voters; they hate it when having to answer their electoral promises or deal with the economic consequences of their statements; they forget about it the second elections are done—whether the party has won or lost.
While some politicians, celebrities, and everyday heroes try to concretely change the world, there are others just sitting back and “looking at the show.”
Because—sadly—it has become all part of a media circus act that seems to change actors and clowns, but never the plot of the story.
The dichotomy between what “needs” to be done and what “can” be done clashing to what “will never” be done; the future vs economy; the shortsighted vs generations to come, and this all seems like a dog chasing its tail, or like the boring version of The Neverending Story.
Between the noise, the shouting, the accusations, quite a few characters of this story have made of climate change a business, like Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg. Whether you love her or you hate her, she has been screaming her indignation, resentment, and anger to the highest levels. This loud behaviour has brought her face to be on a stamp, become an actress and have her movie I Am Greta, to speak at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, inclusion in Time‘s 100 most influential people, and three consecutive nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize (2019–2021)—we are sure she will not stop here.
Greta inspired and is inspiring her generation, and younger generations, to look at climate change as a true threat to their lives, knowing that the threshold that delimitates the point of non-return is close, maybe too close, maybe—as she puts it—we are already too late.
While many will focus on her famous words “how dare you” shouted at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, I personally believe that the opener of her speech was stronger “I’m Greta Thunberg, and I want you to panic”, furthermore “what you are doing now, future generations can’t change.” These powerful messages open a new world, where young generations have a voice against politicians and true decision-makers.
Greta though falls short when bringing numbers to the table; when bringing concrete solutions; when the echoing of her words has gone silent.
While Greta claims that she does not aim for fame nor care about it, the media circus around her has grown stronger and brought her to become a voice tied to climate change.
Her words have the power to move many—we recognize this—but do they have the power to create such an impact that can make markets and economy step back and take a pause to understand if there are better ways?
Leonardo DiCaprio’s movies Ice on Fire and Before the Flood are another example of the work of who is committed to actively change the course of our economy, our habits, and our way of living to support climate change.
All past generations of the industrialized world have failed miserably to look a bit further than their wallet, now it’s time that the younger generations roll up their sleeves and fix what has been most likely irreparably broken by all of us. The skeptic feeling that lingers heavily on all millennials and new generations is they are too focused on selfies, becoming “instafamous”, and not having the willpower to take action beyond the feeble moment when the cameras are on. This stereotype of brainwashed zombies, with their eyes glued at a mobile screen, when the only moment of released endorphins is when the count of “likes” goes up, and consequent crash of self-worth when the number of followers goes down.
Greta is still young, and, despite the haters, we hope that her words become part of a stronger conscience, capable of driving change in the economy, in the manufacturing processes, focusing on sustainable energy, sustainable use of all resources, and allow future generations to understand that myopic visions of our future relegated to the chains of a scanty economy will sooner or later fall short.
“We will not stop until we are done”