NI Human Rights Festival- Greta Thunberg Book Reading

An amazing article by Sarah Bell who is a blogger for the eco eejit about the reading of Greta Thunberg’s book ‘No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference.’

I read an extract from the speech Greta made in Davos at the World Economic Forum and then talked a little about what climate activism means to me.

On Monday evening as I walked through Belfast, it fizzed with Christmas spirit and you could not tell we were days away from one of the most pivotal elections ever. The upcoming election is set to shape the future of our planet because, as the scientists reiterate, we have a mere 12 years to solve the climate crisis. We see the effects of Climate Change on all corners of the globe, but politicians are yet to make any systematic change here in Northern Ireland or the wider U.K. Last week another successful climate strike took place in Belfast and we are incredibly lucky to have such passionate young people. Tonight, I had the opportunity to listen to four incredibly driven, young women who read from Greta Thunberg’s book, ‘No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference’ at Waterstones, Belfast.

The event was part of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Festival and held in conjunction with Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland. Lizzie, a representative from the festival, told the crowd, “Environmentalism is the biggest part of Human Rights,” and they wanted to celebrate the words of an environmental icon. Greta’s enthusiasm is shared by Anna, Emma, Melanie and Orla who quoted their favourite speech from her book. Anna chose the speech, ‘Our House is on Fire’ which Greta presented to the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year. Here, people discussed their monetary gain but with a, “rapidly disappearing carbon budget,” Greta highlighted our enormous ecological loss. In her own words, Anna described Climate Change as a, “ticking time bomb,” but emphasised, “I have faith in my generation,” and this event gave everyone a reason to feel the same.

Emma from Youth 4 Climate Derry followed Anna by urging listeners to, “vote for us, your children and grandchildren,” as these young women are without political voice. Melanie and Orla from, Múscail a network of Community, Human Rights and Environmental organisations, were also invited. Orla opted for an extract from the speech, ‘You’re Acting Like Spoiled, Irresponsible Children’ where Greta told the EU Parliament we must, “put every inch of our being into Climate Change.” When I questioned the women on their school’s approach to climate strikes, despite Melanie’s positive experience, sadly the other women told me how teachers dismissed their activism. All in all, these ladies made me feel proud to be a part of the community of activists in Northern Ireland.

If you want to get involved, you can attend the next climate strike this Friday (the 13th) at Cornmarket, Belfast. Melanie also encouraged people to join the strike with Youth 4 Climate Strike Derry on Friday 14th February and show some love for the planet!

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