Renowned activist, author and professor Naomi Klein discusses the importance of youth voices, including 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, in communicating the urgency of the climate justice movement. Klein’s new book, “On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal,” addresses the necessity of structural change to combat rising global temperatures and climate injustices. Klein praises Greta for her “moral clarity” as one of many youth voices that “burst through the bureaucratic language with which we shield ourselves from the reality of the stakes, the extraordinary stakes, of our moment in history.”
Greta Thunberg is one of the great truth-tellers of this or any time. But Greta is not all talk. All of this began with action. It began when Greta realized that if she wanted powerful politicians to put themselves on emergency footing to fight climate change, then she needed to reflect that state of emergency in her own life. And so she stopped doing the one thing all kids are supposed to do when everything is normal: Go to school to prepare for their future as adults. Instead, she stationed herself outside of Sweden’s parliament with a handmade sign that said simply: “School Strike for the Climate.” She started doing it every Friday, and pretty soon she attracted a small crowd. Then other students started doing it in other cities as well. Students like Alexandria Villaseñor, who stations herself outside the United Nations in this city every Friday, week after week, rain, snow or shine. Sometimes the student climate strikes were just one lonely kid. Sometimes tens of thousands showed up. And then, on March 15, came the first Global School Strike for Climate. Over 2,000 strikes in 125 countries, with 1.6 million young people participating on a single day. 1.6 million people. That’s quite an achievement for a movement that began just eight months earlier with a single 15-year-old girl in Stockholm, Sweden. And now this movement is gearing up for its biggest challenge yet: They have called on people of all ages to join the and go on strike, all around the world, on September 20. Because protecting the future is not a spectator sport. Thunberg and the many other amazing young organizers have been very clear that they do not want adults to pat them on the head and thank them for the hope infusion. They want us to join them and fight for the future alongside them. Because it is their right. And all of our duty.
I wrote the following in my diary from the 2nd September 2015:
“When I think of my parents, the most remarkable memory about them is, how very different they were. Here is a bit of how my father may have influenced me, and then how my mother’s influence was so very different.
My father was the most open minded and tolerant person. He liked to talk to me about a lot of things. He always treated me as though I was trustworthy and mature for my age, able to understand different points of view. Very rarely did I see him being angry with me. He only tended to be somewhat angry when, all of a sudden, I behaved in a very unpredictable way. Despite his open mindedness he was basically a very conservative man. If I showed signs of departing from his view of the world, this would upset him personally. Still, he was loving and forgiving, and eventually he was always able to accept my departure from some of his conservative views.
Now, my mother was in every way the opposite of my father. On the whole she was maybe rather tolerant as far as I was concerned because she loved me. But she made it very clear, that she did not love my father anymore. She showed not the least bit of tolerance towards him, on the contrary, she showed a lot of hatred, for in her opinion he was a “Versager” who did not do anything for his children. She thought it was not up to her to look after him when he had serious health issues. Maybe she thought he was just pretending. Also, she hardly ever talked to me about things that were important to me. She tended to keep very important things from me, for she wanted ‘to protect’ me! At least, this is how I remember it. I knew she loved me very much. Still, I always felt I was not the daughter she imagined I should be. I remember she telling me, I was an “Oppositionsgeist”. So I must have been speaking up about some things that disturbed me a great deal. I felt very bad for opposing her, but I could not help it. Of course, on the outside I tried very hard to go along with what she expected of me, just to keep the peace. Alas, I think I came into inner conflict about it. In short, I often did not feel happy about myself.
I ask myself now, how come, when I felt very much loved by both parents, I still did not feel very happy in myself a lot of the time? I think I felt torn between my parents . . . . ”
Further on I republish a few items and pictures from an earlier post:
“Mum kept a big photo album with pictures of me. Growing up, I always liked to look at all these pictures. However, I remember distinctly that the following pictures annoyed me quite a bit. I felt awful that the pictures showed me being so very plump! When I was told I looked ‘cute’ I tended not to believe it. I was self conscious at an early age and mostly didn’t feel ‘cute’ at all. I still often don’t like my picture taken because I think I might look awful! The adults in the pictures are my Mum, Tante Ilse and Onkel Addi. I wonder who took the pictures with all three adults in it. Was it perhaps my father? Pussi was Tante Ilse’s dog. Apparently I loved carrying this dog.
My father, Alexander Spickermann, was born in Lodz on the 13th of May 1904. The following picture of him was taken in about 1916. This is the earliest picture I have of him. Alexander’s brother Edmund Spickermann, was born in 1902. Both brothers studied in Leipzig, Germany. The following pictures are from 1925 in the city of Leipzig. There is first Alexander and then Edmund. Both brothers are in their student outfits. And then there is a picture of both of them in front of the Völkerschlacht-Denkmal in Leipzig.
Alexander and Charlotte are my parents. They were married on the 25th of September 1930. Earlier that year, that is in 1930, Alexander promoted to Dr. phil and Edmund to Dr. rer.pol. The above picture is from 1925 when Alexander and Edmund first met Charlotte and Ilse. Charlotte was only fourteen years old at the time. Her sister Ilse was eighteen. Below is my parents’ wedding photo from the 25th of September 1930. (Charlotte was born on the 23rd of March 1911 and Ilse on the 27th of February 1907).”
My parents’ weddig photo: 25th September 1930
My parents lived apart a lot of the time during and after World War II and then divorced after having lived apart for many years.
Mum and her sister Ilse in June 1940
Mum with me and my brothers Bodo and Peter Uwe in 1947
Teaching Children Empathy over Competition?
What do you think, is showing empathy more important than being very competitive?
And what is the parent’s role in helping children that become over anxious?
Can a competitive environment cause great anxiety in children?
If you go to the link below, maybe you’ll be able to find some interesting articles about the raising of children.
This post I published more than six years ago. I anticipated to live probably for another five to ten years. Ah well, I just celebrated my 85th birthday. Now I anticipate that maybe I am going to live for another four or five years! 🙂
Here’s our Buddha. He seems to be happy enough in this wilderness area near our house. Being the 5th Sunday of Lent today, I should have attended Mass. However so far I didn’t go out at all yet. This afternoon we’re off to neighbouring Warrawong to watch Steven Spielberg’s Movie about LINCOLN.
So far so good. I am very happy that I am very much pain-free today. Tomorrow I’ll have to see the doctor about the test results. I anticipate the blood-test is going to show that I am okay.
What else do I anticipate? Well, I anticipate that I’ll probably live for another five or ten years. I also anticipate that I might perhaps even be able to venture on another overseas trip when I am in my eighties!
For next month I anticipate that we’re going to see the family over Easter and that Peter and I are…
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