Our house is on fire
Reflections on Greta Thunberg’s 2019 Davos Address
BY ROB ST. GERMAIN
“Now is not the time for speaking politely; now is the time to speak clearly”, says the dark-eyed, poised and articulate 16-year-old Greta Thunberg to the 2500 attendees at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a gathering of business leaders, international political leaders, economists and academics, to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.
Greta is delivering a powerful message to these leaders on behalf of her generation – the next generation of workers, consumers, mothers and fathers, my grandchildren and yours – who will inherit the good, and the bad, that our generation is passing on to them.
“At places like Davos,” she says, “people like to tell success stories. But their financial success has come with an unthinkable price tag.”
She is talking of course about climate change and its dire effect on essentially everything; and she is taking those leaders to task, “The bigger your platform, the bigger your responsibility”.
“Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that Homo sapiens have ever faced,” says Greta, and her belief is supported by a majority of scientists around the world.
She gets ‘it’. Her generation gets ‘it’. Many millions around the world get ‘it’. We all need to get ‘it’? It’s our duty as grandparents.
Her admonition to all of us, “I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – ROB ST. GERMAIN
Rob is a grandfather and retired management consultant living in Ashland, Massachusetts. His world view is a gift from the many people of various cultures around the world with whom he has worked.