Greta Thunberg’s first book in English — ‘No one is too small to make a difference’.

Book title: No one is too small to make a difference
ISBN: 9780141991740
Author: Greta Thunberg
Publication year: 2019
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (GB)
Price: RM39.90

No one is certainly too small to make a difference when it revolves around major issues that pose a threat to our future or even the planet’s future.

The author, Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg, 17, is a Swedish environmental activist who has gained international recognition for promoting the view that humanity is facing an existential crisis arising from climate change.

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

This book — published in 2019 — is Greta’s first book in English where her speeches from climate rallies across Europe to audiences at the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the United State Congress, and the British Parliament, are compiled into a book.

A brief background about Greta — she is known for her youth and her straightforward speaking manner, both in public and to political leaders and assemblies, in which she criticises world leaders for their failure to take sufficient action to address the climate crisis.

In August 2018, she decided not to go to school one day, starting a strike for the climate outside the Swedish Parliament. Her actions ended up sparking a global movement for action against the climate crisis, inspiring millions of pupils to go on strike for our planet, and earning her the prestigious Prix Liberté, as well as a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

Greta has Asperger’s, and considers it a gift which has enabled her to see the climate crisis in ‘black and white’.

Back to the book, the main purpose is as mentioned before, it is on the existential crisis — the climate crisis or the ecological crisis — that is currently happening. She is trying to get everyone and anyone who has the power, to do something about this crisis – which has never been treated as one before.

The contents in this book is the hard hitting truth to everyone that this crisis can be saved but, actions must be taken fast before it is too late.

Reading this book is as though she is speaking directly to you in your mind about the climate change and, it excites me to keep reading or rather, listen.

Her straightforward speaking manner is the real kick in everyone’s butts, calling out the ordinary public, influencers, political parties, governments, organisations and the media to take a stand and do something to help saving the future of the generations to come.

“We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction and the extinction rate is up to 10,000 times faster than what is considered normal, with up to 200 species becoming extinct every single day.

“Erosion of fertile top soil. Deforestation of our great forests. Toxic air pollution. Loss of insects and wildlife. The acidification of our oceans. These are all disastrous trends being accelerated by a way of life that we, here in our financially fortunate part of the world, see as our right to simply carry on.”

The above is part of Greta’s speech in April 16, 2019 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. A huge majority of the world population do not know about these or they were not told by the right people, in a right way.

Yes, I agree with Greta that our house (Earth) is falling apart and yes, the world leaders must do their part accordingly to save it. The responsibility is not just on the shoulders of world leaders but, it is also on everyone’s too.

Everyone need to wake up and make the changes required possible. Quoting the author, “To do your best is no longer good enough. We must all do the seemingly impossible.”

To me, we (everyone) can start by reducing our carbon (CO2) emissions by at least 50 percent. Making small changes such as recycling waste, saving electricity, buy local produce and others, will eventually have a bigger impact to the world.

Perhaps from the government’s view, they can start making climate-conscious political decisions. It is obvious that the strong and urgent action needed to combat climate change will require political will and the courage to make tough choices.

This willpower comes from voters, who consistently demand real action and can see through ‘greenwashing’ (pretend ‘solutions’ and half-measures that actually does not do anything).

Climate change should be a totally non-partisan issue since it affects all people and all countries. If climate change is not perceived by both sides of politics as a ‘core issue’, it will inevitably be marginalised by apparently more immediate concerns.

Hence, they need to assess policies clearly and make the voter’s vote count towards real climate solutions — in each and every election. This is the only way a global solution can be put in place, in time.

The takeaway from reading this book is that the climate crisis is not one to be taken lightly because if all efforts to save our future start to slow down, it will certainly be the end of times for the human civilisation.

It is without a doubt that the entire world and future is in our hands.