Here she is - looking at us, looking right into us, right into our soul, just as she was on the title page of the UK version of The Big Issue
Writing in it, Adrian Lobb begins:
In August 2018, Greta Thunberg took a stand. One small act of defiance for a 15-year-old Swedish girl became one giant global leap forward for change. One simple act of refusal - skipping school and sitting in silence outside the Swedish Parliament with a homemade placard saying: School Strike for the Climate - Thunberg sparked schoolchildren around the world into action.
She was joined by hundreds of thousands of young people taking their first steps into activism, no longer able to tolerate the failure of a generation of politicians to act fast enough in response to the climate crisis.
”It’s just spiralled out of control”, Thunberg says, speaking from her home in Stockholm...”in one way it feels like it was yesterday. But on the other hand, it feels like it was 10 years ago...”
Here we have a schoolgirl doing what our politicians haven’t the guts to do - demand that we take immediate action to counter the climate change effects that we hear about from climate experts every day - on radio, on TV, on current affairs programmes, on commentaries that play all night on our radios. We would need to be deaf or have tin ears to avoid their dire messages.
Yet we have a PM who habitually seeks to avoid the issue, who refuses to commit to zero emissions by 2050, who bends to the demands of the array of climate change deniers that sit at his side, fearful of losing their conditional support - an obscene example of politically motivated cowardice.
Ahead of official G7 talks, PM Morrison travelled to Cornwall for dialogue with the leaders of South Africa, South Korea and India about ‘climate change, nature and open societies’. G7 environment ministers had already agreed to deliver climate change targets in line with the Paris Agreement
, which limits the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees. But burdened by Australia’s indolent record on climate change, its unambitious targets, and its unenviable status of being a major fossil fuel producer and exporter, what could he, what did he, contribute?
On arrival there, in his typically grandiose style, Morrison announced: “This is a very important place for Australia to be today as we touch down here in the United Kingdom to join the G7-plus dialogue.”
That was it!
In The price of arrogance
: we asked if you were embarrassed by Morrison’s response to Biden’s strident message to the climate change forum he sponsored: "The signs are unmistakable. The science is undeniable. But the cost of inaction keeps mounting.”
Our PM shamed us by telling the world that he will run his own race irrespective of other countries and their opinions. With characteristic arrogance, he refused to bow to pressure from the US to use the summit to announce an increased target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He told an astonished summit: “We are well on the way to meet our Paris commitments"
thereby exposing the enlarging gulf between Australia and its allies about how best to tackle the climate crisis. For good measure, Morrison added: “We'll update our long-term emissions reduction strategy in time for the Glasgow COP26 climate action conference"
, scheduled for November. Another ‘nothing to see here’ move.
So where is our
steely-eyed Greta to refute Morrison? One of the Greens? A Labor politician? An independent, perhaps Zali Steggal, the one who ignominiously ejected Tony Abbott in Warringah to a state of irrelevance?
Please offer your own nomination. Who is your Greta? Readers will be interested. For me, the one most like Greta is Penny Wong. Strong, articulate, well-informed, outspoken, believable.
She’s my Greta!