To quote George Harrison, it’s been a long and lonely winter. The world is on fire – or in flood – and everything feels hopeless, and that is before you get to politics, where no one seems interested in doing anything about the aforementioned dumpster that the human race has set alight.

Reports suggest that “ecological grief” or “climate depression” are very real states of being. Everything seems so incredibly, irredeemably bleak. How do you find hope among the ruins?

Thankfully, we have photographs of Greta Thunberg meeting other similarly inspirational people, most recently Malala Yousafzai. Thunberg is 17 and Yousafzai is 22 (she was 15 when she was shot by the Taliban in retribution for her activism supporting young girls’ right to an education). I won’t bore you with the details of what I was doing when I was their age, but rest assured it was not world-changing activism.

That is part of what makes Thunberg so inspirational, and why she gives me hope for the future. Unlike older generations, she did not have the luxury of a childhood unmarred by climate anxiety. When terror struck, Thunberg, like Yousafzai, refused to capitulate by staying silent, as is expected of girls.

As a result of her bravery and forthrightness, we get to see her meeting everyone from Barack Obama to Jane Goodall, not to mention Jeremy Corbyn, Leonardo DiCaprio and (via Skype, to save their carbon footprints) David Attenborough.

Of course, this isn’t just about Thurnberg. The school climate strikes have galvanised a generation of young activists dismayed by the inaction of their predecessors. Last week, she tweeted a photograph of Hamburg’s school strike protest, which organisers claimed had an attendance of 60,000.

It is cheering to see children come together for a brighter future, and it makes those devastating articles about starving polar bears, melting glaciers and rampant bushfires just that tiny bit more bearable. It is a flicker of light in the darkness – and I’ll take it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Two killed at Memorial Day weekend party that attracted 1,000 people

Two people are dead and five injured after a South Carolina party with 1,000 estimated attendees ended in gunfire on Memorial Day weekend. Union County Sheriff David Taylor told The Independent that deputies responded to the party in Jonesville on…

NBA All-Star buys 5% stake in MLS’s Philadelphia Union

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant has joined the ownership group of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union. Durant, a 10-time NBA All-Star and former league MVP, has a 5% ownership stake, with an option for 5% more in the near future,…

FBI: COVID-19 provides criminals opportunities at ‘breathtaking’ speed

As teleconferences gain popularity during COVID-19, learn the risks and how to avoid security threats. Learn the FBI’s tips for staying secure online, amid Zoom hacker allegations during the pandemic. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered…

New Zealand wrestles with back-to-school virus blues

As the weeks of New Zealand’s strict coronavirus lockdown ticked by, Catherine* observed her 17-year-old daughter, who is in her final year of high school, become more nocturnal and less motivated: “I thought, ‘This is actually going to go quite…