In just one year, Greta Thurnberg’s school strike to challenge the Swedish Parliament to take effective action on climate change has become a global inspiration for children and citizens groups to take direct action and demand effective climate policies from all nation-state governments around the world.
Creating a world-wide climate movement for civic engagement within a year is a truly remarkable achievement in its own terms for a sixteen-year old, but her critique does not stop there. It goes much further than street placards and catchy slogans in all the world’s major languages.
By highlighting the unrelenting corporate growthism that is driving carbon emissions, Greta Thunberg has voiced a global challenge to youth and citizens around the world, inspiring them to demand an end to the logic and practice of corporate resource pillage and the continued expansion of carbon combustion designed to profit from unlimited consumerism. Simply put, the thrust of Greta’s message is that the logic of endless private accumulation on a finite planet is immoral and must stop if we are to survive.
Under current law, the Chief Operating Officers (CEOs) of corporations and financial institutions are required to maximize short-term profit for their share-holders. As Noam Chomsky pointed out years ago, if they fail to do so in market-societies, their shareholders can replace them immediately with other officers who can maximize short-term gain. CEOs are, thus, caught in what he called a “structural contraction.” They may realize that the behavior of their corporations is devastating the world and precluding the welfare or even the survival of their grandchildren, but “structurally” they have no choice but to behave as they do because they cannot consider the “systemic cost” of their behavior in their drive to maximize sort term profit for shareholders.
According to Greta Thunberg — and the millions that have responded to her message within one year — it is this central logic that has to change. Her message is an enduring challenge to current CEOs and world political leaders precisely because it strikes core logic of their behavior. Moreover, as she emphasizes in her New York city comments in front of hundreds of thousands on the ground and millions watching world wide, there will be more to come:
“…and if you belong to that small group of people who feel threatened by us, then we have some very bad news for you. Because this is only the beginning…”
See particularly, 20 September 2019, New York City
and 23 September 2019
“My message is that we’ll be watching you.”
and after New York:
27 September 2019: “So, today, we are millions around the world, striking and marching again, and we will keep on doing it until they listen.”
- Students Across the World Walk Out of Classes in Global Climate Strike
- Youth Go to Court to Demand a Survivable Future
- Youths Sue Obama Seeking to Outlaw Climate Pollution
- Teens Sue Government for Failing to Address Climate Change for Future Generations
- The Importance of the Youth Perspective in Paris (February 2015).
- Before All the World the Youth Challenge the Fatal Myopia, Greed & Childishness of the Trump Generation
- Sleepwalking Beyond the Point of No Return: Non-thought and Nonsense in High Places
- Transcending the Institutions We Inherit and Create: Climate Change and System Change in the Anthropocene
- Overcoming the Multiple Legacies of European Colonialism: Some Enduring Myths…
- VOX – Voices from Oxford – Tim Weiskel: Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet Is Not Possible
- VOX – Voices from Oxford: Tim Weiskel – Advice to Young People: Environmental Sustainability