2.7 Degrees Warming is Madness - Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg addresses crowd at COP26 protest

It is not a secret that CoP26 is a failure  – Greta Thunberg Glasgow – 5 November 2021 

Thank you everyone for coming! What a great day!   It is not a secret that COP26 is a failure. It should be obvious that we cannot solve a crisis with the same methods that got us into it in the first place and more and more people are starting to realize this.   Many are starting to ask themselves “What will it take for the people in power to wake up?”   But let’s be clear – they are already awake.

They know exactly what they are doing.

They know exactly what priceless values they are sacrificing to maintain business as usual.   The leaders are doing nothing. They are actively creating loopholes and shaping frameworks to benefit themselves and to continue profiting from this destructive system.   This is an active choice by the leaders to continue to let the exploitation of people and nature and the destruction of present and future living conditions to take place.  

The COP has turned into a PR event, where leaders are giving beautiful speeches and announcing fancy commitments and targets while behind the curtains the governments of the global north countries are still refusing to take any drastic climate action.   It seems like their main goal is to continue to fight for the status quo.. And COP26 has been named the most exclusionary COP ever. This is not a conference. This is now a Global North greenwash festival, a two-week-long celebration of business as usual and blah, blah, blah.   The most affected people in the most affected areas still remain unheard, and the voices of future generations are drowning in their greenwash and empty words and promises.   But the facts do not lie, and we know that our emperors are naked.   To stay below the target set in the Paris agreements and thereby minimise the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control we need immediate drastic annual emissions cuts, unlike anything the world has ever seen.   And as we don’t have the technological solutions that will alone do anything to get close to that, that means we will have to fundamentally change our society.   And this is the uncomfortable result of our leaders’ repeated failure to address this crisis.  

At the current emissions rates, our remaining CO2 budgets to give us the best chances of staying below 1.5C will be gone within the end of this decade.   And the climate and ecological crisis of course doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is directly tied to other crises and injustices that date back to colonialism and beyond. Crises are based on the idea that some people are worth more than others and therefore have the right to exploit others and steal their land and resources.   And it is very naïve of us to think that we could solve this crisis without addressing the root cause of it.   But this is not going to be spoken about inside the COP. This is just too uncomfortable. It’s much easier for them to simply ignore the historical debts that the countries of the global north have towards the most affected people and areas.   And the question we must now ask ourselves is: what is it that we are fighting for?

Are we fighting to save ourselves and the living planet or are we fighting to maintain business as usual?   Our leaders say we can have both, but the harsh truth is that that is not possible in practice.   The people in power can continue to live in their bubble with their fantasies, like eternal growth on a finite planet and technological solutions that will suddenly appear, seemingly out of nowhere, and will erase all of these crises just like that.   All of this while the world is literally burning, on fire, and while the people living on the front lines are still bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.   They can continue to ignore the consequences of their inaction but history will judge them poorly. And we will not accept it.   We don’t need any more distant non-binding pledges. We don’t need anymore empty promises. We don’t need any more commitments which are full of loopholes and incomplete statistics and that ignore the historical omissions of climate justice.   Yes, that is all that we are getting. And no, it is not radical to say: just look at their track record.   They have had 26 COPs. They have had decades of “Blah, blah, blah” and where has that led us?   Over 50% of all our CO2 emissions have occurred since 1990 and about a third since 2005. All this, while the media is reporting on what people in power say what they are going to do, rather than what they actually do.   Time and time again the media fails to hold the people in power responsible for their actions and inaction.   As they continue to expand the fossil fuel infrastructure, opening up new coal mines, new coal power plants, granting new oil licenses, and still refusing to do even the bare minimum, like delivering on the long-promised climate finance for loss and damage to the most vulnerable and least responsible countries.   This is shameful!   Some people say we are being too radical. But the truth is, they are the ones who are radical. Fighting to save our life-support systems isn’t radical at all.   Believing that our civilization as we know it can survive a 2.7 degree or 3 degrees hotter world is not only extremely radical. It is pure madness!   Out here, we speak the truth. The people in power are obviously scared of the truth. Yet, no matter how hard they try, they cannot escape from it.  

They cannot ignore the scientific consensus, and above all, they cannot ignore us, the people, including their own children. They cannot ignore our screams as we reclaim our power.   We are tired of their “Blah blah blah”   Our leaders are not leading. This is what leadership looks like.   Thank you for showing up, and see you tomorrow again at the march!



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3 Comments

  1. When Obama abandons his Martha’s Vineyard estate I will be convinced this is an existential problem. And of course it wouldn’t be honest to sell land that will be underwater in a decade so he must actually abandon it without selling it. Does anyone think that will happen, or that it will actually be underwater in 10 years? If so, I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you.

  2. It’s no wonder that the billionaires are racing for space right now. They know their wealth is based on the destruction of this planet and they have NO idea how to stop. We can not wait for these folks to do the right thing, it would be like asking a cocaine addict to stop taking cocaine while leaving them to their own devices.

    WE have to do the right thing, right now.

  3. 1. Corporations are the creations of the state: In the US, they are chartered by individual states, and the other states register them as “foreign business entities”, so a corporation may be chartered in Delaware, which has notoriously lax corporation laws favoring the owners and directors of corporations, and then to do business in Kansas, it must be registered with the State of Kansas as a “foreign business entity”. Right now, the sole defined legal duty of corporations is to increase shareholder equity, usually by increasing earnings per share, quarter over quarter, thus the necessity for exponential growth is built in to the structure. This exponential growth can be accomplished by minimization of the cost of labor – minimization of wages and benefits, maximization of hours worked, and also by creation of monopolies or cartels, usually by state action or collusion, which make the corporation the sole supplier in a market, which gives the corporation the power to set whatever prices it feels like doing. Often this latter part is achieved by controlling the governmental regulatory structure – rules can be written to make entry into the market prohibitively expensive, and they also can be written to wipe out competitors, and to minimize or wipe out liability for the losses caused by defective products – and all of these are widely done by monopolies like Facebook (which is indirectly calling for government regulation of the internet) and has been done by other corporations like those supplying health care and pharmaceutical products, Pfizer being the most notorious. We wind up with something called “state capitalism”, where corporations and government become synonymous, and that’s the present situation, here in the US and also in Europe and China. And the more centralized government becomes, and the more powerful centralized government becomes, the collectivization and centralization of power in corporations occurs in lockstep, in a coordinated fashion. Global governance is the endpoint, where a very small group of people control what governments and corporations do; the result is a situation where minimization of the cost of labor results in conditions tantamount to slavery, if not actual slavery itself, and in which all property is held by the corporation/state. This is what Klaus Schwab is talking about when he says that “you will own nothing and be happy”, it’s the global realization of the company town – and the company store. That’s the Fourth Industrial Revolution in a nutshell. Greed and the lust for power and wealth and control seem to be endless.

    2. The trouble is, is that all of this globalization takes a lot of energy, and that energy is, and will be into the foreseeable future, be supplied by fossil fuels, since a large proportion of the elites behind this are heavily invested in fossil fuels. And even large, centralized “alternative energy sources” are fossil-fuel dependent, including lithium mining and refining for lithium batteries, production of electricity to make solar cells and the steel frameworks for them, refining copper and steel and fabricating them for wind turbines, production of carbon fiber and resin for wind charger blades, and so forth. And fossil fuels and lithium are non-renewable resources with finite supply, in fact lithium is a “rare earth” metal, along with the dopants used for making solar panels. Uranium for nuclear reactors is, again, dependent on fossil fuels for mining, processing, and transport – there aren’t enough nuclear plants to do the latter two steps now. So we have finite resources to power all of this, and those resources are being depleted.

    3. As noted before, for the state capitalist economic situation to work, exponential growth is required, but there’s a hard limit put in place by resource scarcity. One way to overcome this is to reduce current population, and to control population growth, so that you end up with a lot less people, and a population where the birth rate is equal to the death rate – a steady-state population. If, say, seven billion out of eight billion people were to die, leaving a resultant population of one billion, resource depletion might not be a problem for a long time into the future. I wouldn’t put it past the Great Reset people to try such a thing, they’ve got the resources to do it, and also the connections to governmental power and propaganda/education networks to grease the skids. It could be the vaccines which do the trick, or rather the “side effects” from them. Shortened lifespans, induced sterility, and outright mortality could bring about the desired result. Of course, with a radically attenuated workforce, there might be difficulties in maintaining any kind of economic growth for a while, but undoubtedly there would be adaptations. And a radically decreased population would make for a lot less pollution and sharply slow down and perhaps stop climate change. This would be a brutal solution, something out of Jonathan Swift, but it would be very effective. And centralized power and governance could continue, no longer limited by resource depletion for the foreseeable future.

    4. The other answer is to get rid of centralized power and governance, because that’s what allows huge corporations to exist in the first place, that’s what makes billionaires (that, and a good shot of psychopathy.) So everything goes back to local, walking-distance local, where industrial agriculture and medicine and everything else no longer exist, where the only energy is that produced by the sun and the elements – pretty much the South of the US up until 1940 or so, where most people lived in small towns or on farms. Of course, with that setup, most cities would fail pretty quickly, but anything sustained with massive fossil energy expenditure would go by the wayside. And, in any case, that’s the way things will be headed if we use up all of the fossil fuels and non-renewable resources in any case, except the crash will be that much harder. Localization, therefore, is a survival strategy – that which is unsustainable won’t be.

    So it looks like there’s an agenda being pushed, under the cover of “public health” which is in fact counter to public health – it is centralized governments and corporate oligarchies engaging in mass murder to further their own ends and accumulation of wealth, and to ensure that the game can continue. In the end, though, that game must fail, and it will do so in a disastrous manner. The only energetically stable solution is for societies to live within their means, and that means steady-state economies which use no more energy than they get naturally.

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