Greta is alone in a room. The room looks like some kind of library with wide desks lined up in rows. Greta stands in the wide isle in the center and dances around with a spirit that can only be described as youthful. It is in this moment that I truly realize that the weight of the worlds environmental issues have been unfairly placed on a 15 year old girl, and I have been a part of that.
I am Greta (2020) is a documentary by Nathan Grossman that was quietly released in the late months of 2020. It depicts the climate activism of Greta Thunberg, describing and documenting everything from her very first climate strike outside the Swedish parliament in the lead up to their federal election, to a world where Greta can no longer walk through a crowd alone without being recognized for her activism, and cannot go through life without death threats that make her family fear for her life.
It’s like a movie, suddenly lots of paparazzi.
And it will be over soon. It’s a fleeting thing.
Right, soon it will be Monday and no one [will] recognize you anymore.
Yeah, which is the good part.
No one will know who you are.
That’s niceGreta and her father discussing the chaos at the UN Climate Change COP24.
If you are unfamiliar with Greta and her story, this is a must watch to get caught up on the impact this one woman (now recently 18 years old) has had on the global climate movement. It is an inspiring story that shows that with motivation, any of us can make our voice heard.
But if you are already familiar with Greta and her story, then this is sure to ensure the climate crisis hits you on a new emotional level. Many of you, like myself, will no doubt identify with the frustration Greta feels that society is seemingly going on with business as usual while the house burns down around them. How can so many people, particularly those with power, simply ignore the fact that we are a species that is destroying our own habitat?
Or worse, how can they do all of this, whilst telling climate activists that they ‘love what you are doing’ or ‘they support the cause’, basically patting us on the head like children and hoping that we will go on our merry little way.
This has simply reminded me that I cant take that as ‘enough’, and that I must push harder and scream louder until the changes are made to stop the devastating future that we are headed towards. If actual children are not going to fall for this, and are taking action around the world to ensure that their voices are heard, then it is my responsibility to join the chorus and sing as loud as possible.
As an environmentalist myself, I have gone through the last 12 months believing that I was doing enough. I live a low waste, vegan, minimalist lifestyle and I try to make the best decisions I can in all situations, and I definitely supported Greta. But I come away from this realizing that I was for the most part leaving the hard work to Greta and the youth of today. They do not deserve this burden. I need to do more, and more importantly, I need to use my voice.
This documentary will remind you to find your own voice.