Todays show is a special edition of the SWR. This past Monday was the 49th anniversary of Earth Day, an annual event to try and bring attention to climate issues. There has been increasing data showing that the human impact on the planet is creating weather and environmental disruptions. Globally, the vast majority of scientists are reporting that the human use of fossil fuels is responsible for a planet that is rapidly warming. And that this is accumulating into a crisis. In the US many people still consider this to be speculation.
Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old from Sweden, has spoken to this issue in various venues including the parliament of the EU, the UN, and the COP24 international climate talks. She has pointed out that governments are not moving swiftly enough to counteract climactic changes that have been known for several decades. Greta has been inspiring school age youth to go on strike every Friday for the past few months. The number of students involved is large and growing in most European countries. In the wake of these actions groups are forming called Extinction Rebellion. This past week saw large protests and confrontations in France and London.
For the most part, mainstream media is not covering these protests. At best they report on actions that involve violence, not the questions and demands being raised. One exception is France 24 which includes English language news and opinion. It is easily available at www.france24.com. The following reports and interviews are from France 24, except for the first presentation by Greta Thunberg which is a sample from a TED talk she gave in August 2018.
Next week I will return to the usual format of this program, using a variety of international broadcasters, covering a different perspective of what is happening in the world.
"For 25 years, countless of people have stood in front of the United Nations Climate Change conference asking our nations leaders to stop the emissions. But clearly this has not worked, since the emissions just continue to rise. So I will not ask them anything. Instead, I will ask the people around the world to realize that our political leaders have failed us, because we are facing an existential threat and there is no time to continue down this road of madness."