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Greta Thunberg "Our House is on Fire" World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos Feb 21, 2019

Speech copied from The Guardian at THIS LINK
Links to more of her speeches HERE.

Our house is on fire, I am here to say our house is on fire. According to the IPCC we are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes.

In that time unprecedented changes in all aspects of society needs to have taken place including a reduction of our CO2 emissions by at least 50% and please note that those numbers do not include the aspect of equity which is absolutely necessary to make the Paris agreement work on a global scale. Nor does it include tipping points or feedback loops like the extreme powerful methane gas being released from the thawing Arctic permafrost.

At places like Davos people like to tell success stories but their financial success has come with an unthinkable price tag. And on climate change we have to acknowledge that we have failed. All political movements in their present form have done so. And the media has failed to create broad public awareness. But Homo sapiens have not yet failed. Yes we are failing but there is still time to turn everything around we can still fix this, we still have everything in our own hands. But unless we recognize the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably don’t stand a chance. 

We are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people and now is not the time for speaking politely, we're focusing on what we can or cannot say. Now it's the time to speak clearly. Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that Homo sapiens has have ever faced.

The main solution however is so simple that even a small child can understand it. We have to stop the emissions of greenhouse gases. And either we do that or we don't. You say nothing in life is black or white but that is a lie, a very dangerous lie. Either we prevent a 1.5 degree of warming or we don't. Either we avoid setting off that irreversible chain reaction beyond the human control, or we don't. Either we choose to go on as a civilization or we don't. That is as black or white as it gets.

There are no gray areas when it comes to survival. Now we all have a choice. We can create transformational action that will safeguard the future living conditions for humankind, or we can continue with our business as usual and fail. That is up to you and me.

Some say that we should not engage in activism, instead we should leave everything to our politicians and just vote for change instead. But what do we do when there is no political will? What do we do when the politics needed are nowhere in sight?

Here in Davos, just like everywhere else, everyone is talking about money. It seems that money and growth are our only main concerns. And since the climate crisis is a crisis that has never once been treated as a crisis, people are simply not aware of the full consequences of our everyday life.

People are not aware that there is such a thing as a carbon budget, and just how incredible small that remaining carbon budget is. And that needs to change today. No other current challenge can match the importance of establishing a wide public awareness and understanding of our rapidly disappearing carbon budgets that should and must become a new global currency in the very heart of future and present economics.

We are now at a time in history where everyone with any insight of the climate crisis that threatens our civilization and the entire biosphere must speak out in clear language, no matter how uncomfortable and unprofitable that may be. We must change almost everything in our current societies. The bigger your carbon footprint is, the bigger your moral duty. The bigger your platform the bigger your responsibility.

Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don't want your hope, I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic, I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act, I want you to act as if you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house was on fire, because it is. 

Note: The orthographic resources in the pages that follow are in the order of the words as they appear in Greta’s speech - not in order of orthographic complexity. If you find the information for a given word is too advanced for you, skip to the next one.

Comments (1)

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I recently received this lovely message from an environmental group called Sofar Ocean.

I was delighted to find they discovered this Real Spellers post that so clearly targets their interests and that the were asking about linking to each others' work. Absolutely! This kind of connection just reinforces the value of using structured word inquiry instruction as a means of deepening understanding of content areas.

Also, I've posted this comment in this special 'interactive format' of my original post that Real Spellers webmaster Matt Berman put together. The text of my original piece is the same, but Matt has created this format so that the reader can click on the identified words (at right) for resources, and those links can also be found in the text of the post. I hope to collaborate with Matt for more of these interactive kinds of posts. If you like to print off and study such documents on paper, you can go to the original post for the WordWorks Newsletter #99 at THIS LINK.

Below is the message from Sofar Ocean and the link to their work. Let's keep the col + labor + ate/ + ing going!

Hi there,

I’m Alexander from the Sofar Ocean editorial team. We connect the world’s oceans to provide insights to science, society, and industry for a more sustainable planet.

I’m reaching out because your post caught our attention as we were searching for ocean temperature, marine ecosystem, environmental disaster, climate crisis, coral reef ecosystem-related topics.

I was wondering if you can link it to our piece How Does Climate Change Affect the Ocean since we are of the same wavelength and have the same type of readers.

You may tag it/backlink it to any relevant text in any of your articles that you deem relevant. As a token of good faith, the Sofar Ocean team would be happy to campaign your website and content across our social media channels.

Let me know what you think.

Cheers,

Alexander Brown

Peter Bowers
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