Greta Thunberg is changing her perspective

Greta Thunberg is changing her perspective

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The great media exposure she has received in recent years has prompted Greta Thunberg to significantly reduce her presence in the media, aiming to bring to the fore the many voices of other youth activists and activists who are all over the world to talk about the crisis. for meetings and initiates. Climate and much more. These two years of the pandemic brought about a change at the top, as a tall man tells Thing from well behavedAnd not only as a result of a growing awareness of Thunberg, now 19, but also of the pandemic’s limitations on meeting and holding large events in cities.

In recent years, Greta Thunberg has become the most talked about and heard activist on climate change issues, not only by environmental movements, but also by heads of government and politicians, often enough to reduce pollution emissions in their countries. Criticized for not doing. Its success has been largely fueled by the heavy media attention, which has proportionately given millions of students little space compared to “Fridays for the Future”, an initiative conceived by Thunberg himself, to encourage political decision-makers to act on climate. saying for. emergency.

“Friday for the Future” derives from a protest started by Thunberg in Sweden on 20 August 2018, when he decided not to attend school again until the next 9 September, the day of political elections, calling on the government to be more serious. . Approach to climate change, adopting strong policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The protests followed a particularly hot summer in Sweden, which had led to many more widespread fires.

Instead of going to school, Thunberg appeared every day in Stockholm in front of the Swedish parliament building carrying a sign with the words “Skolstrjk for Klimtet” (“School strike for the climate”). After the political elections, Thunberg returned to school, but was absent on Friday to continue her protest. News of their special strike began to be picked up by the media, and over time many other students, initially mostly European, began to follow suit by organizing similar events, which gradually became ‘within the scope of international coordination’. With will become more structured. Fridays for the Future”.

Thunberg was part of and collaborated in the organization of the initiative, whose main theme was: Science has now demonstrated that global warming is primarily caused by human activities, solutions to reduce emissions are increasingly available, our generation The generations before it should take the charge of resolving the problem immediately before its impact on the new generations in the coming years.

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It was a simple and direct message, but it clearly showed that it matured in the west, a part of the world where the effects of global warming are still contained and incomparable with other regions of the planet where extreme events already exist. are happening. to change. climate.

as he tells well behavedBetween 2018 and 2019, Thunberg was very aware and attentive to the scientific evidence surrounding the climate emergency, but less aware of its effects in places where populations already face great hardships. Things began to change during Thunberg’s visit to the United States in 2019, after media also followed the decision to reach the country by sailboat and not by airliner (civil aviation involves high levels of greenhouse gas emissions).

Greta Thunberg at a press conference in Capitol Hill, Washington, Sept. 17 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) during a speech by Senator Ed Markey, chairman of the Senate Task Force on Climate Change

Meeting with minorities and people from different walks of life in New York and other parts of the United States, Thunberg began to understand that the message might be not only about scientific evidence, but also that people What does climate change mean for future, but in the present. This new vision continued to expand during the two years of the pandemic, when multiple lockdowns to reduce coronavirus infections around the world made it difficult to organize large street events with hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of participants. ,

Much of the activism took place online, with the organization of streaming events and above all video calls between volunteers to discuss how to engage participants, even when at a distance. For Thunberg, it was an opportunity to get in touch with leaders of groups operating in other regions of the world where climate change has already caused frequent extreme events, such as prolonged droughts or floods. Faced with serious problems, activists in Uganda, India or the Philippines had different ideas from Thunberg and others on what it meant to deal with the climate emergency.

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He writes well behaved,

An activist from India, Disha Ravi said she was surprised by the lack of understanding of her new friends along with others from poorer parts of the world about what it means to live with climate change on a daily basis. In his view, the environmental movement was “a white thing” and “Fridays for the Future” was no exception.

When two storms threatened the area where Tan lived [Mitzi Jonelle Tan, un’altra attivista] In the Philippines in late 2020, Western volunteers sent her an emergency to-do list. One of them asked to fill the bathtub with water, so that something would happen if his house was left isolated and without water to drink. Tan explains: «I thought: I don’t have a bathtub. It really is the stuff of rich people. And the water in our sink is not potable. They were very surprised.”

Thunberg and other volunteers – who should be remembered that they are mostly teenagers and with limited experiences to justify some naivety – draw important lessons from these exchanges of knowledge, understanding how the problems surrounding climate change Communication can include not only scientific aspects, but also many political implications and their great diversity according to different parts of the world. Previously, political confrontation was often excluded from the internal debate of “Fridays for the Future”, above all to avoid exploitation and maintain a clear and linear message on environmental issues.

Meanwhile, the media continued to focus on Thunberg, especially for her very harsh speeches towards government leaders and political leaders, paying less attention to activists and activists from other regions of the world who have taken the opportunity to share their experiences and their problems. Tried. This was clearly stated by Thunberg himself during an event held in Milan last year during the important international conference on climate organized in collaboration with Italy in the wake of COP26 in Glasgow (Scotland). Referring to politics and the media, he said: “They carefully select a few young people to bring to such meetings, then they pretend to listen to us.”

Thunberg also said on that occasion: “Rebuild better: blah, blah, blah. Green economy: blah, blah, blah. Zero emissions by 2050: blah, blah, blah’, which means those words from climate policy There were mere words without concrete action. His “blah, blah, blah” was later reintroduced in Glasgow by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, when he called on participating countries to act to prevent commitments by mere words. Again, the quote spoke little about Thunberg and other activist and activist groups.

In recent months, Greta Thunberg has been trying to downplay her presence in the media, while promoting and making known others who follow “Fridays for Future” and other movements tackling climate change. are part. Already at COP26 and at other public events she had presented herself with other groups of activists, giving them space in front of cameras and removing the tendency of newspapers and television to talk only about her. was trying

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Two years after the pandemic, the visibility of “Fridays for the Future” is lower in many parts of the world than before, and the same is true for most environmental movements. The health emergency has given rise to other priorities, leaving environmental issues in the background, of which we have only returned to talk in recent months after the energy crisis. The low availability of gas is pushing Europe to revisit its energy strategy, with significant opportunities for producing energy from less polluting sources but with the risk of shortcuts that may temporarily result in energy with more polluting systems. leads to production.

Environmental movements have begun to discuss the implications of the energy crisis and its impact on the most vulnerable sections of the population, with a heated debate over the opportunity to link these issues with the climate emergency. There are those who believe that other issues should also be taken into account in the same comparison, for example the epidemics in different regions of the world and the inequality of access to vaccines, and the discrimination against minorities in many countries. , According to some observers, issues related to social justice can be a distraction for the environmental movement, while for others they cannot be excluded from debate, given that they are often the individuals most affected by the effects of climate change. worry about.

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