Climate deniers and misogynists will always hate on Greta. We can’t let them slow down the mission
A teenager turned the misogynists on their heads, giving them something to ramble about – their ultimate dream. It’s quite remarkable how simply stating facts, stating science, could cause such chaos.
Is the problem what was being said or who was saying it? I believe it is the latter...
A young, tuned in, intelligent and courageous woman - Greta Thunberg - telling governments and corporations the truth. Extreme heat connected to climate change killed more than 60,000 people in Europe last summer including more than 3200 in the United Kingdom.
Greta get arrested in Sweden
It seems crazy that instead of directing their energies towards the climate crisis that might take their lives, there are people who would rather throw hate on an “easy” target such as young Greta.
Imagine how much we could accomplish if we dedicated half as much energy to tackling global issues as these people dedicate to making memes around the phrase -
_“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words”. _
“She’s disruptive, crazy, too young”, “she doesn’t know what she’s talking about” – this is the kind of stuff throw at her. The kind of talk that grinds my gears and for which I, along with many other half-decent people, have stood up for her on numerous occasions – to both strangers and friends. And by no surprises, these people are often brimming with misogyny or misinformation.
Greta has many admirable traits – more than me, more than many of us. Her bravery, courage and fearlessness have unfortunately awakened many opposite traits in other people: cowardice, disrespect and plain rudeness.
It has even come to the point where no matter what she does, people will question it. If she wants to do normal 20-year-old things, she will be criticised. Whilst her case is much harder and more watched, I can relate with this situation. We are simply trying to do our best, but we also deserve to enjoy our youth without people trying to make us the smaller person by questioning our individual choices rather than focusing on the real culprits.
Honestly, I often think there is nothing more daunting than a young person today thinking about their future. Even thinking about their present. However, Greta has inspired us not to give up. We have reason to believe there is a way out of this, because there is.
What we need are more Greta’s in government and in positions of power. She already has influence, but the power balance between one 20-year-old and hundreds of fossil fuel loving older men is an unfair battle. That is why we all need to stick together, speak up and not hold back, she cannot be the one to carry this load alone.
One of my favourite quotes from Greta is;
“The one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere.”
The youth is our hope many would say, but the youth can’t have hope themselves, if there is no progress happening. If the same battle is being fought over and over again. If the false promises keep occurring.
Environmentalists and activists all around the world might relate to this next bit: Greta of Ireland, Greta of India, Greta of the USA, Greta of Australia, Greta of anywhere. After listening to Dylan Hamilton, a young climate activist from Scotland, talk about how any young person trying to do something to promote climate action is automatically characterised as their country’s Greta, I started wondering whether these statements were meant to be positive or derogatory. While I would personally see it as a compliment because she is so admirable, I also feel that making this comparison makes it seem that it is Greta against the world when, in reality, it is not just Greta. We are many, and we are growing stronger by the day.
“Greta, pull me a Guinness” is often drunkenly rambled while I’m working behind the bar at the local pub. I usually laugh and pass it off, but it does not go unnoticed. We all have our own approach to activism, we may be at different stages in our journey, but what matters is that we still find different ways of raising awareness. That is the beauty of it – we need all those different approaches if we are to make any real change collectively.
So, it is not that we are Greta’s army, or Dylan’s, or Emer’s… because really, we are one – all with the same vision and on the same side of history. Fingers crossed, the winning side of history. Greta never fails to remind us the reality of the situation;
“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales about eternal economic growth.”
So Greta, if you’re reading this, we here stand by your side and give thanks to you for the seed you have planted. It is growing.
And if you have ever shown these negative behaviours towards Greta, try to focus on the reason for all this hustle - please look at the science and try to understand the extent of the situation. Let’s join forces to work on the world you envision for your children and grandchildren. It’s the world Greta wants for them too. We will welcome you with open arms to the Ecohustler world. You’ll never look back!