No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, by Greta Thunberg
Published by Penguin
Genres: Nonfiction, politics, environment, essays
I bought and read this book for the Reading Women Challenge 2020, for prompt number 3, a book about the environment. It seemed like the logical choice to me, as Greta is such an inspiring young person who is doing such important work at the moment to bring attention to the global climate change crisis. And yes, in Greta’s words, it is a crisis and we need to treat it as such.
I admit that I didn’t know very much about Greta before sitting down to read her book. But I was so moved and captivated by her writing, her passion and her determination that I read the book straight through in one sitting. I have since done some further research on Greta and the School Strikes for Climate and, wow, I am floored! But anyway, back to the book!
This book is a collection of speeches which Greta has made over the past couple of years, in places such as the European Parliament and the World Economic Forum in Davos, but also in public spaces during school strikes and demonstrations. Honestly, one of the most impressive aspects of all this for me is her eloquence. Here is a young girl of fifteen or sixteen at the time of writing these various speeches, writing in a language which isn’t her mother tongue, preparing to deliver these words in front of world leaders, the press and countless thousands, and she writes so beautifully!
“The EU elections are coming up soon and many of us who will be affected the most by this crisis, people like me, are not allowed to vote. (…) you need to listen to us, we who cannot vote. You need to vote for us, for your children and grandchildren.”
Throughout the speeches, her message is clear: climate change is a crisis and we need to treat it like a crisis, panic a little!! World leaders, politicians and business moguls need to stop worrying about voicing unpopular opinions and start focusing on creating actual change.
It doesn’t seem fair or even logical that these so-called important and influential people, who are running our countries, need to be told what to do and how to act by a teenager. Why is it on the younger generation to shoulder the burden of making these unpopular statements, to face the brunt of the media criticisms, when they are the ones who, ultimately, will suffer the most from what we do, or do not do, in the next few years?
“And I agree with you, I’m too young to do this. We children shouldn’t have to do this. But since almost no one is doing anything, and our very future is at risk, we feel like we have to continue.”
I don’t want to turn this review into a debate about climate change or politics or anything, this is a book blog after all. But I got such a strong sense of frustration and determination from Greta’s words that I cannot help trying to spread them further. So if we all just took a moment to listen to and consider what a sixteen-year-old is trying desperately to make us understand, did some research of our own, beyond what the media and our governments tell us, and made some small changes in our daily lives, together we could make a difference. Because no one is too small to make a difference!
My rating: 5/5