Since she started her school strikes in August of 2018, Greta Thunberg has quickly become a household name and a figurehead of the environmentalist movement. At only 16 years of age, she has delivered speeches to parliaments, protests and conferences across the world attracting criticism from climate change deniers along the way.
This short collection of 11 of her speeches shows off the teen activist’s straightforward, emotive approach to inspiring people to take action. As the title states, “no one is too small to make a difference”, and Thunberg wants us to try. Laying down facts from IPCC studies and reiterating the necessity of the 1.5 degree Celsius limit, she asks her audience “Will you pledge to join me, and the people all around the world, in doing whatever it takes?”
Featuring possibly her most famous speech, “Our House is on Fire”, delivered in early 2019 as a challenge to leaders at the World Economic Forum, Thunberg wants you to panic. It isn’t a disorganised, chaotic panic, however, but instead, a measured one informed by the severity of the situation as it stands. “I want you to act as you would in a crisis,” she implores her audience, “because it is.”
Thunberg identifies where she thinks world leaders have neglected the environment and acknowledges their attacks on her outspoken nature. She doesn’t provide solutions, no, but that isn’t the point. It is not really the job of Thunberg or any of us to fix our emissions problem but, as she explains, we can rally experts and leaders to do better in reducing global CO2 emissions and restoring nature.
What is perhaps most striking about this book and Thunberg’s overall rhetoric is the disappointment that she and many others in her generation feel in having been let down by those that have come before. An insight into the very real fear, apprehension and frustration felt by younger generations as they remain powerless in the decision making that could make or break their futures. “We children are doing this to wake the adults up,” she writes, “we children are doing this for you to put your differences aside and start acting as you would in a crisis.”
This small book is an inspiring read perfectly pocket-sized to provide you with the inspiration to keep fighting climate change anywhere from the train to a climate strike. A must-read for budding environmental activists of all ages.
"No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference" by Greta Thunberg is available via Penguin for £3.99.To find out where you can buy it, take a look at their website here.