A compilation of recent speeches by Time's 2019 Person of the Year, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, urging people to wake up to the reality of global warming before it's too late to reverse course.
No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference...reads as a powerhouse compendium of her greatest hits. In a collection of public remarks delivered from September 2018 to September 2019, readers see Greta’s best attempts to boil down a complex range of scientific estimates and calculations into a sort of doomsday clock urging people to take action ... The politics of Greta’s speeches are best understood via the juxtaposition of her hopeful words for activists at climate rallies and her biting admonishments of politicians and business leaders ... At the center of Greta’s rhetoric is a well-founded generational alarmism. She is unwilling to let politicians change targets ... There is a poetry to the way she plays with her critics’ attempts to invalidate her on account of her youth ... she has given voice to the fundamental threat that the climate crisis poses to our collective existence on earth.
Thunberg is painfully aware that 'people tell me that I’m retarded, a bitch and a terrorist, and many other things.' But her speeches—now collected and published under the title of her refrain, 'no one is too small to make a difference'—give the lie to these caricatures. Yes, she reiterates, 'I want you to panic … I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.' But this is offset by dispassionate emphasis on bullet-pointed facts and figures, and the defence that emotion—even panic—is completely rational ... Thunberg speaks to a people acutely aware of living in a time of transition, on a knife-edge between multiple possible futures. Her argument is not driven by a belief that we are all doomed, but is cut through with tentative hope.
In every instance, Thunberg speaks with the same fierce eloquence as she delivers the same, clear message ... Thunberg gives a general sketch of what those actions should look like, and they speak to a world in dire straits. No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference is an inspiring call to arms and a powerful testament to the ability of any—and every—one person to change the world.