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Greta Thunberg, inspiring speech

From David Kennedy

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

I think Greta Thunberg speech was inspiring.

She was absolutely correct to shame the political elite of the world and expose their lies, their empty promises and the fact the money is their only prime interest.

Does her speech not shame most of us as well though for our lack of action in what ever way! How many of us in Hebden are very good at the talk but don’t actually do much when we should be doing something!

I know it’s hard to know where to begin because there is so much that is wrong with the world but we have to start somewhere!

May I suggest that we start with the plastic bag and plastic food wrapper use in Hebden that is still going and hasn’t changed at all despite businesses and ourselves being aware of what these do to the environment!

Time is ticking as Greta made quite clear and we have to start to do things now!

I think we need to demonstrate against it’s use in our so called cool town because if we don’t try and make change and continue to use them, well we are just as guilty as the businesses that manufacture and use them.

We are just as guilty as the countries and politicians of this world who are killing this earth for their own greed and profit.

We, especially the older generation need to be inspired by the youth of today and help to repair and change the society that we live in.

We owe it to the earth and we owe it to the children.

Please email me if you want to get together a peaceful demonstration 

It is too important not to do it.

From Graham Barker

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

I’m conflicted about Greta. In herself she’s brave and wholly admirable and I wish her nothing but good luck, but speaking as a parent I have concerns about her wellbeing. She’s being oversold as a kind of Joan of Arc, and that didn’t end too well. 

Her message - wake up oldies and do something - is also getting tiresome. Many of us have been concerned about the environment for decades and have grown to understand that the more radical the need for action, the more difficult it can be to make anything happen. Bolsonaro is burning down the Amazon forest. Who is to stop him, and how? An act of warfare is probably the only thing that will do it, but who would be up for that?

It’s good that the young are exercised about climate change, but what are they themselves doing to help? Will they stop drinking bottled water, for example? That’s a habit many of my post-war generation still find ludicrous. Will they stop flying at the drop of a hat? Will they stop going to music festivals and leaving behind a sea of litter? Will they turn down the heating and put on more clothes? Will they walk to school?

It’s good to have the occasional wake-up call but Greta’s passion may be better directed at people her own age, who are consumers of finite resources too. Give them a right old ear bashing and make them rethink their own behaviour. If she does that and it works, I’ll be even more impressed with her. Then she can start in on me.

From Michael Prior

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

I doubt I have ever read such a patronising piece as that by Graham Barker. I was moved, literally, to tears by her speech and I hope that it does mark a turning point in our attitude to climate change.

Of course she is right to point her message to the older generation and to say that it is our carbon that has to be removed from the atmosphere. And of course it is us, the older bunch, who are still clinging to our cars, our twice-yearly air-borne holidays and our warm houses.

It will, however, need a lot more than demonstrations and action on plastics, David, both individually and collectively.
We need to switch to green electricity even if it costs more. (Note to Calderdale Council and their use of NPower with its 2.8% from renewables). We need to look carefully at transport modes. When will the railway be electrified? When will the buses start using zero-carbon vehicles? When will the Council install some electric charging points so that we can envisage using electric cars. The two points at Lidl remain the only ones in the whole of Calderdale so far as I know. 

We need to look critically at our air-miles. After seeing Thunberg's speech I felt personally guilt at just how many times I have flown this year.

We need to plant trees following the symbolic planting of one small sapling at the XR gathering in Hebden. There is plenty of space in Calderdale for such.

Can I suggest that Cllr. Patient, the Cabinet Member for Climate Change, and Calderdale XR together convene a local conference at which all these initiatives and many other can be talked through and lead to some collective actions.

From Dave R

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

I too feel that this 'child' is being manipulated by others to represent the face of all youth. 

I found little to be inspired about by her latest speech, despite previously admiring her energy for the cause,  and in fact I found it rather patronising.

Her insistence on blaming a specific age group for the woes of the world, are in my opinion both misdirected and becoming tiresome.

Our generation cannot be held wholly responsible for the the pollution of this world.

It is not us who wish to have the latest electronic gadgets and devices, treating them as disposable. Not us who were transported to schools by car. And most of us are willing to try and right the wrongs committed in our name, by actively recycling; reducing our carbon footprint and refusing to use single use plastics.

Whilst Greta's passion can be admirable, I agree that her energy could be better directed at all, instead of this persistent accusatory and rather petulant and precocious tone at the older generation.

Otherwise, she may find that like me, people stop 'listening' to her. 

From Anne H

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

It seems to me that she is not so much pointing the finger at a whole generation but rather at those people who are in a position to act but are not doing so.  

From Dave R

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Anne, you may be right. 

But rather like life, if people shout at others in a certain way, it causes their listeners to turn away. 

Greta's passion is at times misdirected. 

We all know we need to act and  most of us are doing the best we can. 

From Rachel Zachary 

Saturday, 28 September 2019 :

I think that most individuals care pretty deeply about the climate crisis, but are just unsure what to do. What ever age we are we can all play a part by reducing are own carbon footprint, campaigning for local councils, politicians and governments to take action, and supporting or starting green initiatives. I think that it is really important to raise awareness about the issue, and that the recent strikes have been a very positive thing. 

To me it seems silly to try to blame one group of people or generation of people for the problem, and it is better to just support each other and work together to try to find solutions. One group of people who I do feel angry with however, are the powerful politicians who still refuse to believe climate change is happening.

This problem requires collective worldwide action, but we can try to start locally and hope that other people do the same. Also, we can hope that the climate deniers wake up or are forced to act before its to late.

From Michael Prior

Saturday, 28 September 2019 :

The Guardian of 27 September: The Greta Thunberg Problem - so many men freaking out about the tiny Swedish climate demon

From Peter Rowlands

Saturday, 28 September 2019

If you fail to heed the “shouting” (as people tendentiously position this), you will miss the warning. I read ephebephobia here - child, know your place.   

My generation is as guilty as hell. I am as guilty as hell. Greta is right to rattle me.  Beyond time to lift up the crinoline skirts and wade in to sandbag the rising tide rather than being angry about a message or voice we’d prefer not to hear or own.

From Graham Barker

Monday, 30 September 2019

The problem with letting a 16-year old girl do your dirty work is that she ends up playing well for both sides. Jeremy Clarkson has done a ’spoilt brat’ piece on her. That’s low even by his standards but his many followers are lapping it up. There will be plenty of other pile ons for as long as the Greta bandwagon rolls. Trump is clearly a big fan.

I'd argue that the last thing Greta needs is to be a one-child battleground. Maybe she can handle it, maybe she can’t, but there shouldn’t have to be any maybe about it. Her welfare is more important than her media reach. I just hope Team Greta understands that.

From Andy M

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

She is however, despite the misopedia of the old, becoming an icon for many, many  young people.

Good luck to her, she is inspirational.