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Great doing more than self-serving global leaders

Column by King's School student Callum Sutton

‘You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation, and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.’

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist changing the world. Or at least, trying to.

Callum Sutton (10893551)
Callum Sutton (10893551)

Greta over the past year has shot to the forefront of a global climate initiative, taking with her a frenzy of backlash and criticism.

Piers Morgan recently shared a statement on Good Morning Britain in which he expressed how he felt ‘uncomfortable’ by Greta’s recent UN speech. Morgan went on to share how he saw her as ‘damaged’ due to her diagnosed condition of Asperger’s.

Continuing on, Morgan said how Greta is ‘provoking fear into young children’ as many think the world is ending imminently.

Sir David Attenborough recently said ‘the world ecosystems are on the verge of collapse’. Surely Attenborough’s statement is more fear provoking than the expression of accountability Greta proposed?

These words are a clear representation of a toxic masculinity that the powerful elitists of the world, who have the ability to prevent climate change, are upholding whilst presenting pure ignorance, stupidity and belittlement in the process.

Morgan’s point about the Asperger’s diagnosis that Greta has, is one people see with varying relevance when looking at her strive towards global climate action.

Some say she is tackling climate change due to her profound belief that climate change is the main pressing issue in global politics, stating that any child faced with the prospect of no future for their planet and ecosystems would do the same (an argument which is supported by the worldwide school children’s climate strikes).

Yet some people take the view that Greta is simply enthralled with climate change due to her Asperger’s condition, and this is just another obsession in which she is fantasising due to her diagnosis.

The key thing to note is whether Greta is a climate activist because of her Asperger’s or despite her Asperger’s, she is still doing something. Which is more than can be said for the likes of Morgan and the elitist, self-serving global leaders of the world.

Some say children in their youth have the trait of feeling invincible, a statement many children feel patronised and belittled by. Surely adults and leaders of the world not taking action on the climate crisis we face, is more an expression of invincibility than that of children protesting for change. So please, adults and world leaders, forgive us if we make you feel patronised and belittled.

But in the words of Greta Thunberg: ‘How dare you.’

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