ASK Musings

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November 2020



No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Three Stars

Best for:
Those who like to collect books of speeches.

In a nutshell:
Collection of Thunberg’s speeches, delivered throughout 2018 and 2019

Worth quoting:
“You can’t simply make up your own facts, just because you don’t like what you hear.”
“Every time we make a decision we should ask ourselves: how will this decision affect that [emission] curve?”

Why I chose it:
I recently subscribed to the Books That Matter box, and this was included in November’s delivery.

How does one review a collection of speeches by a child? It seems … odd to do so. Instead, I want to talk about what I read in these speeches, and the overall issue of climate change and activism. However, I will say that these speeches are nearly identical in content, and are basically understandably angry and frustrated calls to action.

Action that isn’t happening.

Thunberg talks a lot about how she does not like hearing from adults and politicians that people like her give them hope. And she’s right – it’s absurd to look to children to fix things we as adults have broken, to look for them for hope, when there are people in power nodding along to her speeches who could actually, y’know, do something. At the same time, it’s really impressive how so many younger people aren’t waiting until they’re older to speak up about the things that matter to them.

And also … I’m old enough to be Thunberg’s mother, and I don’t have any more of a clue how to fix things, nor do I find myself in a position of power. Shit, I just voted in an election where 70 million people thought it’d be cool to keep a racist bigot sexual assaulting asshole in office, and where one elderly turtle can hold up economic assistance for 350 million people. How DOES someone make a difference in these systems?

Climate change is one of those issues where on an individual level there are obviously loads of things we can do (not eat meat, not consume dairy, not take flights, etc.), but corporations continue to produce the carbon on such a massive scale. There’s obviously a need for collective action – and Thunberg’s school strike has turned into something like that – but I also think it’s hard when what some people see as the biggest emergency of our life time is competing with other emergencies that might seem more immediate to a lot of people.

Like I said. Frustrating.

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