Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered her powerful and thought-provoking speech in Congress after traveling half the way across the Atlantic by boat. The resolute teenager urged the US senators to take action, do the impossible because giving up is not an option we have.

Here are the key takeaways from the speech:

On her dream

She said: I also have a dream that governments, political parties and corporations grasp the urgency of the climate and ecological crisis and come together despite their differences – as you would in an emergency – and take the measures required to safeguard the conditions for a dignified life for everybody on earth. Because then – we millions of school striking youth – could go back to school. I have a dream that the people in power, as well as the media, start treating this crisis like the existential emergency it is. So, that I could go home to my sister and my dogs. Because I miss them.

I have a dream that the people in power, as well as the media, start treating this crisis like the existential emergency it is. So, that I could go home to my sister and my dogs. Because I miss them.

On climate change being an emergency

And the science doesn’t mainly speak of “great opportunities to create the society we always wanted.” It tells of unspoken human sufferings, which will get worse and worse the longer we delay action – unless we start to act now. And yes, of course a sustainable transformed world will include lots of new benefits. But you have to understand. This is not primarily an opportunity to create new green jobs, new businesses or green economic growth. This is above all an emergency, and not just any emergency. This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced.

On the repercussions of increasing global temperatures

And why is it so important to stay below the 1.5 degree limit? Because that is what the united science calls for, to avoid destabilising the climate, so that we stay clear of setting off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control. Even at 1 degree of warming, we are seeing an unacceptable loss of life and livelihoods.

“In fact I have many dreams. But this is the year 2019. This is not the time and place for dreams. This is the time to wake up. This is the moment in history when we need to be wide awake.” – Greta

On role of developed countries in tackling climate change

Richer countries need to do their fair share and get down to zero emissions much faster, so that people in poorer countries can heighten their standard of living, by building some of the infrastructures that we have already built. Such as roads, hospitals, schools, clean drinking water and electricity.

The USA is the biggest carbon polluter in history. It is also the world’s number one producer of oil. And yet, you are also the only nation in the world that has signalled your strong intention to leave the Paris Agreement.

On USA

The USA is the biggest carbon polluter in history. It is also the world’s number one producer of oil. And yet, you are also the only nation in the world that has signalled your strong intention to leave the Paris Agreement. Because quote “it was a bad deal for the USA.”

Also read: Biography On Greta Thunberg To Hit The Stands Next Month

On actions we can take

No matter how political the background to this crisis may be, we must not allow this to continue to be a partisan political question. The climate and ecological crisis are beyond party politics. And our main enemy right now is not our political opponents. Our main enemy now is physics. And we cannot make “deals” with physics.

Everybody says that making sacrifices for the survival of the biosphere – and to secure the living conditions for future and present generations – is an impossible thing to do.

Americans have indeed made great sacrifices to overcome terrible odds before.

Everybody says that making sacrifices for the survival of the biosphere – and to secure the living conditions for future and present generations – is an impossible thing to do.

Think of the brave soldiers that rushed ashore in that first wave on Omaha Beach on D Day. Think of Martin Luther King and the 600 other civil rights leaders who risked everything to march from Selma to Montgomery. Think of President John F. Kennedy announcing in 1962 that America would “choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…”

Perhaps it is impossible. But looking at those numbers – looking at the current best available science signed by every nation – then I think that is precisely what we are up against.

But you must not spend all of your time dreaming or see this as some political fight to win.

And you must not gamble your children’s future on the flip of a coin.

Instead, you must unite behind the science.

You must take action.

You must do the impossible.

Because giving up can never ever be an option.

Info credits: independent.co.uk

Also: Teenage Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Honoured With Amnesty Award

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