The best thing about Greta Thunberg is that she has shown us that one person – and a 16-year-old at that – can have an impact. Teenagers around the world now see that they are not powerless. If a young girl like Greta can be heard, so can they.
Although she ‘walks the talk’ – her message is that political action for climate change far outweighs what individuals can do by simply changing our consumer habits. And it’s true. Those of us who try hard to minimize our ecological footprint often feel helpless in the big picture. Is my effort at curtailing any single-use plastic going to make an impact on the plastic waste that is choking the ocean? No, not really. It has to come from political action on a much greater scale. (Though the two go hand in hand – as consumers we must continue to do what we can.) But Greta’s voice has been heard, governments see that young people are rallying around her and they are the voters of the future. She knows her climate science, she’s not yet jaded or corrupt. Her strong voice is pure and wise.
“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” (Edward Everett Hale, American author and Unitarian clergyman.)
Photo credit: Michael Campanella/The Guardian