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  • Translator: Lilian Chiu Reviewer: Yuhan Wu

  • When I was about eight years old,

  • I first heard about something called climate change or global warming.

  • Apparently, that was something humans have created by our way of living.

  • I was told to turn off the lights to save energy

  • and to recycle paper to save resources.

  • I remember thinking that it was very strange

  • that humans, who are an animal species among others,

  • could be capable of changing the Earth's climate.

  • Because if we were, and if it was really happening,

  • we wouldn't be talking about anything else.

  • As soon as you'd turn on the TV, everything would be about that.

  • Headlines, radio, newspapers,

  • you would never read or hear about anything else,

  • as if there was a world war going on.

  • But no one ever talked about it.

  • If burning fossil fuels was so bad that it threatened our very existence,

  • how could we just continue like before?

  • Why were there no restrictions?

  • Why wasn't it made illegal?

  • To me, that did not add up.

  • It was too unreal.

  • So when I was 11, I became ill.

  • I fell into depression,

  • I stopped talking,

  • and I stopped eating.

  • In two months, I lost about 10 kilos of weight.

  • Later on, I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome,

  • OCD and selective mutism.

  • That basically means I only speak when I think it's necessary -

  • now is one of those moments.

  • For those of us who are on the spectrum,

  • almost everything is black or white.

  • We aren't very good at lying,

  • and we usually don't enjoy participating in this social game

  • that the rest of you seem so fond of.

  • I think in many ways that we autistic are the normal ones,

  • and the rest of the people are pretty strange,

  • especially when it comes to the sustainability crisis,

  • where everyone keeps saying climate change is an existential threat

  • and the most important issue of all,

  • and yet they just carry on like before.

  • I don't understand that,

  • because if the emissions have to stop,

  • then we must stop the emissions.

  • To me that is black or white.

  • There are no gray areas when it comes to survival.

  • Either we go on as a civilization or we don't.

  • We have to change.

  • Rich countries like Sweden need to start reducing emissions

  • by at least 15 percent every year.

  • And that is so that we can stay below a two-degree warming target.

  • Yet, as the IPCC have recently demonstrated,

  • aiming instead for 1.5 degrees Celsius

  • would significantly reduce the climate impacts.

  • But we can only imagine what that means for reducing emissions.

  • You would think the media and every one of our leaders

  • would be talking about nothing else,

  • but they never even mention it.

  • Nor does anyone ever mention

  • the greenhouse gases already locked in the system.

  • Nor that air pollution is hiding a warming

  • so that when we stop burning fossil fuels,

  • we already have an extra level of warming

  • perhaps as high as 0.5 to 1.1 degrees Celsius.

  • Furthermore does hardly anyone speak about the fact

  • that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction,

  • with up to 200 species going extinct every single day,

  • that the extinction rate today

  • is between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than what is seen as normal.

  • Nor does hardly anyone ever speak about the aspect of equity or climate justice,

  • clearly stated everywhere in the Paris Agreement,

  • which is absolutely necessary to make it work on a global scale.

  • That means that rich countries

  • need to get down to zero emissions within 6 to 12 years,

  • with today's emission speed.

  • And that is so that people in poorer countries

  • can have a chance to heighten their standard of living

  • by building some of the infrastructure that we have already built,

  • such as roads, schools, hospitals,

  • clean drinking water, electricity, and so on.

  • Because how can we expect countries like India or Nigeria

  • to care about the climate crisis

  • if we who already have everything don't care even a second about it

  • or our actual commitments to the Paris Agreement?

  • So, why are we not reducing our emissions?

  • Why are they in fact still increasing?

  • Are we knowingly causing a mass extinction?

  • Are we evil?

  • No, of course not.

  • People keep doing what they do

  • because the vast majority doesn't have a clue

  • about the actual consequences of our everyday life,

  • and they don't know that rapid change is required.

  • We all think we know, and we all think everybody knows,

  • but we don't.

  • Because how could we?

  • If there really was a crisis,

  • and if this crisis was caused by our emissions,

  • you would at least see some signs.

  • Not just flooded cities, tens of thousands of dead people,

  • and whole nations leveled to piles of torn down buildings.

  • You would see some restrictions.

  • But no.

  • And no one talks about it.

  • There are no emergency meetings, no headlines, no breaking news.

  • No one is acting as if we were in a crisis.

  • Even most climate scientists or green politicians

  • keep on flying around the world, eating meat and dairy.

  • If I live to be 100, I will be alive in the year 2103.

  • When you think about the future today, you don't think beyond the year 2050.

  • By then, I will, in the best case, not even have lived half of my life.

  • What happens next?

  • The year 2078, I will celebrate my 75th birthday.

  • If I have children or grandchildren, maybe they will spend that day with me.

  • Maybe they will ask me about you,

  • the people who were around, back in 2018.

  • Maybe they will ask why you didn't do anything

  • while there still was time to act.

  • What we do or don't do right now will affect my entire life

  • and the lives of my children and grandchildren.

  • What we do or don't do right now,

  • me and my generation can't undo in the future.

  • So when school started in August of this year,

  • I decided that this was enough.

  • I set myself down on the ground outside the Swedish parliament.

  • I school striked for the climate.

  • Some people say that I should be in school instead.

  • Some people say that I should study to become a climate scientist

  • so that I can "solve the climate crisis."

  • But the climate crisis has already been solved.

  • We already have all the facts and solutions.

  • All we have to do is to wake up and change.

  • And why should I be studying for a future that soon will be no more

  • when no one is doing anything whatsoever to save that future?

  • And what is the point of learning facts in the school system

  • when the most important facts

  • given by the finest science of that same school system

  • clearly means nothing to our politicians and our society.

  • Some people say that Sweden is just a small country,

  • and that it doesn't matter what we do,

  • but I think that if a few children can get headlines all over the world

  • just by not coming to school for a few weeks,

  • imagine what we could all do together if you wanted to.

  • Now we're almost at the end of my talk,

  • and this is where people usually start talking about hope,

  • solar panels, wind power, circular economy, and so on,

  • but I'm not going to do that.

  • We've had 30 years of pep-talking and selling positive ideas.

  • And I'm sorry, but it doesn't work.

  • Because if it would have,

  • the emissions would have gone down by now.

  • They haven't.

  • And yes, we do need hope,

  • of course we do.

  • But the one thing we need more than hope is action.

  • Once we start to act, hope is everywhere.

  • So instead of looking for hope,

  • look for action.

  • Then, and only then, hope will come.

  • Today, we use 100 million barrels of oil every single day.

  • There are no politics to change that.

  • There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground.

  • So we can't save the world by playing by the rules,

  • because the rules have to be changed.

  • Everything needs to change --

  • and it has to start today.

  • Thank you.

Translator: Lilian Chiu Reviewer: Yuhan Wu

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A2 US TED climate crisis climate crisis warming extinction

【TED】Greta Thunberg: The disarming case to act right now on climate change (The disarming case to act right now on climate change | Greta Thunberg)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2019/02/13
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