[Opinion Pieces] Freely Share Your Thoughts on Everything About Climate Change

In this thread, you can create a blog post and share your thoughts on everything related to climate change. I’ll begin with the first one. I look forward to your posts, comments, and opinions.

~ Dessi

Greta Thunberg vs. Boyan Slat vs. Climate Change

It all began with a 15-year-old schoolgirl who meant well for our world. She was upset that institutions and governments around the globe don’t do enough for the planet’s tomorrow. She is young and also diagnosed with Asperger syndrome that she considers being her ‘superpower.’ I support her enthusiasm, dedication, and loyalty, but she has become a puppet in the hands of the media, corporations, and politicians.

She’s credited with people being made aware of climate change, but she has generated more unbelievers than supporters in the past months. She is being taken advantage of by international organizations and political parties for their gains. She is young, and her parents are probably naive — thinking that they’re helping. No. You’ve caused division with the polarizing messages that your child is spreading, just like another political party looking to build momentum by dividing society.

People keep asking, why is she more popular than Boyan Slat? Boyan is a successful young scientist, an inventor, and an entrepreneur. His mission is to develop advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. The answer is simple; you made Greta more popular. Because you allowed political parties and the media to get you breaking your fingers, hating each other in social media comments.

Anger, aggression, hate, and polarization will not help us during this time of climate change, humanmade or not. Not even the anger of Greta and her generation. The climate change is happening, our planet and all living organisms need the support of us, supposedly the most advanced species inhabiting the world. Such a powerful movement cannot be built in a day, nor can it happen without unity, collaboration, and joint effort. One civilization, one planet.

How can you, the people, make an impact? Stop letting the media and political parties trigger you. Stop accusing Greta and look at your local communities. What can you do today to make a difference?

Boyan Slat is doing his best to invent ways to clean the world waters from plastic. At this very moment, you can begin limiting your use of single-use plastic, so he has less work to do on this. Let’s help him become more popular, so he focuses on inventing other solutions that will help our planet and all its life thrive.

It is not Greta’s fault nor her parents’. They, too, just like all of us, are victims of greedy organizations, individuals, and governments. You and everyone who reads this post have the power to make a difference. The politicians and governments won’t drive this century’s change. It will be you. Alone, we’re not strong enough — together, we can transform the world.

You don’t need to have a science degree to know that you being a consumer, have immense power over everything in your country and globally. Just 30% of the people limiting their purchases for 7 days will shake up the world like an earthquake never before seen. You and your loved ones have all it takes to make a difference.

We cannot allow governments to overtax us to fix an issue of political and corporate greed. But this is a post for another day.

Remember, comment more on Boyan’s content, if you want to support his causes. A better tomorrow can only be powered by collaboration and unity, not polarization and division. Sorry, politicians and selfish corporations, but your time is limited. Together, we’ll create a better future where all life thrives!

Share this post to start making a difference!

~ Written by a citizen of the world | Dessi Popova

P.S. Greta & Boyan are two courageous young people both on the same team. I hope to see their fans and the two of them act that way!

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Interesting take. I had not heard of Boyan Slat before and will check him out. I think both young people are important. We need activists to inspire and create the political climate for rapid emissions reductions, but also support the implementation of technological fixes. Negative emissions technologies will be vital, and the optimist in me says that removing CO2 from the atmosphere will become highly profitable over the next couple of decades. Emissions in developed nations will start to fall accordingly, the question will be whether developing nations have managed to achieve developed country status without emitting as much greenhouse gas as their predecessors, and whether the amount emitted so far has pushed the climate system into irreversible decline.

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Personally I’m a great fan of both Greta and Boyan. They are both using their strengths and talents to change the world in complementary ways. Greta could not have imagined what she was setting off when she started sitting outside the Parliament building on a Friday. It was genius, because so simple. Something that other young people all around the world could copy, at least where it is safe to do so. I don’t think it’s so much ‘her approach’ that is questionable, but the way in which her fame has generated a media approach in which she has become an icon. Once she has dedicated her life to this, she is more or less stuck with it. It’s going to be hard for her to have any kind of normal life after this. And she is already beginning to look the worse for wear - thinner and exhausted looking. What we need is for people to give her some space to allow her to step back. Meanwhile we all need to step up.

How to Place Climate Change in the Wider Context of Environmental Destruction?

Here we are on New Year’s Eve, feeling possibly more apprehensive about the coming year than at any other time in our lives. The political landscape has shifted in the ‘wrong’ direction. It’s hard to know how we are going to muster the force needed to shift policy and behaviour at the national and international level. And the urgency of climate change is becoming ever more apparent, as we watch flames engulfing whole communities in Australia.

Obviously one of our big challenges is public education. This is a step on from public awareness, which is where we are now (and of course, that awareness is only partial so far). I was uncomfortable about the way in which December’s General Election was dubbed ‘the climate election’, and politicians came out with soundbites about this being ‘our last chance to tackle the climate crisis’. If this really were the last chance, what had they been doing with the first, second, and million other chances to do something? We have known about this for 40 years.

A few weeks ago a friend found a book in a second hand shop - Earth in Danger, Pollution and Conservation, with a foreword by David Attenborough, published in 1976. Every single topic we are dealing with now is mentioned in that book.

So now we are running as hard as we can to catch up with climate change. It is both an effect of environmental degradation and a cause of it.

But climate change caused by carbon release is part of a bigger picture of environmental destruction at the hands of humans. Other aspects include loss of biodiversity through intensive farming methods, soil erosion and degradation through over-tilling of the soil, pollution of water courses, destruction of habitats through humans’ addiction to concrete, the demands on land use from burgeoning populations, and of course, the curse of single-use plastic.

We need to educate, educate, and educate more about these issues. But I see two great risks here.

The first is that people will start to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the problem. I remember when I was a child, we were living under the shadow of atomic war, and when the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred, we seriously thought one day that we might all be dead by lunchtime. That was very scary, but we were basically only scared of one thing.

Now there are lots of things to be scared about - food shortages, flooding, fires, conflicts over water, you name it. A dystopian future. It would be easy for people to wring their hands and say it’s all too much.

A second risk is that having dubbed 2019 the year of climate change, people (especially the media) will tire of it and turn away again, with a collective shrugging of the shoulders. After all, there’s not much objectively that we can do about climate change. This will mean that the good news stories, the technological advances, the great ideas, the community initiatives, that could/will make a difference to the environment, will not get enough of an airing to spread quickly.

Obviously I don’t have an answer to this, except to keep saying, when it comes up in conversation, ‘Extinction Rebellion isn’t just about climate change, and climate change isn’t the only thing we are up against.’

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Hi @JamesG,

Thank you for your insights! I agree, both young people are important. I am starting a series of posts where I would like to bring society together. People, countries, and tech companies will all need to collaborate to ensure a better future for all of us. The recent events in Australia show us how devastating the summer seasons will be getting. Just 3 weeks in their summer, and they’ve lost over 7 million hectares of land, many people have lost homes, and animals have suffered severe consequences.

Yes, we all need to work together and collaborate even with poorer countries for the greater good. What you’re saying is important, so what can be done so that we as a civilization begin to collaborate?

Hi @KateG,

Thank you for joining the discussion and starting your own post!

I will first reply to your comment on my post. I’m beginning a series of pieces of content, and my main goal will be to depolarize our society, so we start to collaborate rather than argue and discredit one another or Greta.

By “her approach,” I meant the way the media, corporations, and politicians have twisted things around using Greta. I’ve edited this to clarify. She was the ideal candidate, being on the spectrum, intelligent, and devoted to the cause; she became an easy prey to greedy, self-centered people and institutions. This is how I see her role at this stage. I find it disgusting that so many people are blind and insulting a young and genuinely kind-hearted person who is the victim in this situation. You’ve rightfully noticed that this whole publicity is unhealthy for her. I’m worried about her mental and physical health, too.

I’m sure that her popularity can fade away, the questions is, will her family be able to help her when she is obsessed with her activist role, and the media encourages it? I’m not saying she needs to step away, just slow down and do it in a healthier way for herself and society.

I support Greta and Boyan, but it is essential that they collaborate and not finger-point at each other. They certainly are on the same team and need our support.

I absolutely loved reading your opinion post. Thank you for writing it, Kate!

I used to live in Andalusia, Spain. I would often see very young kids throw their single-use plastic packaging on the ground where the wind would lift it up and give it wings to a nearby farming field or the woods. I’m a mom to a toddler, and at age 2, he would collect the garbage of these same kids and throw it in the near bin. He used to lift both his hands up in dissatisfaction and make everyone know of his disapproval. I’ve not reacted so emotionally about people littering. I couldn’t help but wonder, what do kids in Spain learn at school? Why are they so careless and disrespectful toward nature and their surroundings? Clearly, it has to do with the way their parents were raised… But I’ve seen first hand; we’re born respectful to nature.

I fully agree that education is critical. The media and manufactures together need to educate billions of people on how to co-exist with nature. All educational institutions need to do a better job of helping children grow into responsible adults.

There is so much junk on TV and on the Internet. Coke, as a company, does so little to educate its consumers on how to dispose of their drinks. They’re a leading polluter for years in a row.

What can we do to raise awareness in our local governments and communities?

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You seem to have bought the right-wing propaganda in comparing these two then… Why? They’re apples and oranges.

Greta’s message has to be polarising because she is challenging the biggest industries in the world. Of course they are going to try and denounce her, she’s a threat, but they need to be threatened. This is a polarising issue and we if try and avoid this fact we are dooming only ourselves. The idea that the solutions lie with the individual is exactly what they want you think, all the while they continue to make profits. If we use our current reserves of oil, we will exceed far beyond the safe zone of 2C putting billions of lives at risk. How do we prevent this from happening? Consumer boycotts are futile and inneffective because they don’t solve the problem at its root cause.

The only meaningful solution to this crisis is revolutionising our entire socio-politico-economic system. The only way this is currently possible is through government implementation. The only way this will happen is with direct action from the biggest mass social movement in humanity’s history. Greta is leading this movement and she accepts everything this entails. Of course this process is polarising, it fundamentally has to be, like every major societal change.

Boyan is an amazing person but he’s no threat to any major industry causing climate change.

Yes, we need to be united in this fight, however, there are clear enemies - those who put profit above protecting our future. Don’t be naive enough to think the continuation of life on this planet is in everyone’s best interest.

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Hi, thanks for joining us on this. I don’t know why @Dessi has brought what you consider right wing propaganda, or whether she considers it right wing.

I’m not sure it’s true that Greta’s message is polarising because she’s challenging big industries. In conversation with many of my friends, across the political spectrum; doctors, accountants, lawyers…, they have been put off by the movement Greta represents because of the angry way she projects herself. I think we need these people to be involved in advocating for solutions and if they don’t feel an affinity for those that are the main mouthpieces for the movement, this is a real problem.

On the point of the solution being the government, I don’t buy that. I think a short term election cycle tied to a consumerist culture will alway result in governments failing to act, as we’ve seen in COP25. That’s a harsh reality to swallow. The reality is that we all need to own this problem and we all need to be the solution. We have a core principle at Better Century; We have faith in the shared nature of humanity - There is a sameness in our desire to tackle the climate and ecological crisis, and the most valuable asset in achieving that is us, the people.

I don’t think you would disagree with this principle but what is in there is a belief in humanity, which I don’t think you share. Ultimately we have to believe that people will change their ways, otherwise, they push back against governments and societies will become divided. There does need to be some top-down pressure, but what is also needed is bottom-up consumer demand and market disruption, ultimately that informs business and government to change.

Really great post for your first one on Better Century. Welcome!

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