–Read India Initiative—
This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.
This is a book by teenager climate activist Greta Thunberg, published on 30 May 2019. It consists of a collection of eleven speeches which she has written and orated about global warming and climate crisis.
Greta Thunberg, born in 2003, August, one day decided not to go to school. Instead, she started to strike outside the Swedish Parliament. Her actions sparked off a global movement on climate crisis, inspiring millions of pupils to go on strike to save our planet. This helped her earning the prestigious Prix Liberte, as well as the Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Greta has Asperger’s syndrome (a developmental disorder characterised by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests). She considers it a gift that has enabled her to see the climate crisis ‘in black and white.’
‘No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference is Greta’s first book in English, a collection of her speeches from climate rallies across Europe to audiences at the UN, the World Economic Forum, and the British Parliament. Her next book, ‘Scenes from the Heart’ is a memoir, jointly written with her mother, the opera singer, Malena Ernman, her sister Beata Ernman, and her father Svante Thurnberg.
The subject book is by Penguin. In all 68 pages. In her speeches she makes some very relevant points that are as follows:
- When school started in August this year I decided enough is enough. I sat on the ground outside the Swedish Parliament. I school-striked for the climate.
- Climate scientist Johan Rockstrom and some other people wrote that we have at most three years to reverse growth in greenhouse –gas emissions if we were to reach the goals set in the Paris Agreement. Since then over a year and two months have already passed, and in that time many other scientists have said the same thing. Since then a lot of things have got worse and greenhouse emissions continue to increase.
- In Sweden we live our lives as if we had the resources of 4.2 planets. Our carbon foot-print is one of the ten worst in the world. This means Sweden steals 3.2 years of natural resources from future generations every year. Those of us who are part of these future generations would like Sweden to stop doing that. She is not shy of criticizing her own country while trying to save the planet from global warming.
- Many people say that Sweden is a small country, and that it doesn’t matter what we do. But I think it does matter what we do. I think if a few girls can get headlines all over the world by just not going to school for a few weeks, imagine what we could do together if we wanted to.
- Newspapers continue not to write about climate change even when they know climate is a critical question of our time.
- Many politicians have ridiculed me and us. They have called me retarded, a bitch, a terrorist and many other things.
- When I was eight years old, I first heard about something called climate change, or global warming. Apparently a thing human beings had created by their way of living.
- If burning fossil fuels was so very bad that it threatened our very existence, how could we just continue like before? Why were there no restrictions? Why wasn’t it made illegal?
- Countries like Sweden, the US and UK need to start reducing emissions by at least 15 percent every year to stay below a 2 degree Celsius warming target. Now IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change) say that we have to aim for 1.5 degree Celsius.
- No one ever speaks about the aspect of equity, or climate justice, clearly stated all over in the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol, which is absolutely essential to make the Paris Agreement work on a global scale. This means rich countries need to get down to zero emissions, within six to twelve years, so that people in poorer countries can heighten their standard of living by building some of the infrastructure that we have already built, such as roads, hospitals, electricity, schools and clean drinking water. Otherwise, how can we expect countries like India or Nigeria to care about the climate crisis if we, who already have everything, don’t care even a second about it, basis our actual commitments to the Paris Agreement?
- Why should I be studying for a future that’ll soon not be there, and moreover, when no one is doing anything whatsoever to save it?
- Today we use 100 million barrels of oil every day. There are no policies to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground.
- According to the IPCC, we are less than twelve years away from the point of no return to disaster. There are no grey areas when it comes to survival.
- Here in Davos—just like everywhere else—everyone is talking about money. It seems that money and growth are our only main concerns.
- We are now at a time in history where everyone with any insight of the climate crisis that threatens our civilization and the entire biosphere must speak out. The bigger your carbon footprint—the bigger your moral duty. The bigger your platform—the bigger your responsibility.
- In May 2018 I was one of the winners in a writing competition about the environment held by Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish newspaper. I got my article published when some people contacted me, among them was Bo Thoren from Fossil Free Dalsland.
- On the 20th August I sat down outside the Swedish Parliament. I handed out fliers with a long list of facts about the climate crisis and explanations on why I was striking. The first thing I did was to post on Twitter and Instagram what I was doing and it soon went viral. Then journalists and newspapers started arriving. A Swedish entrepreneur and businessman active in the climate movement, Ingmar Rentzhog, was among the first to arrive. He spoke with me and took pictures that he posted on facebook.
- Many people say that we don’t have any solutions to the climate crisis. And they are right. Because how do you ‘solve’ the greatest crisis that humanity has ever faced? How do you ‘solve’ a war? How do you ‘solve’ going to the moon for the first time? How do you ‘solve’ inventing new inventions?
- The climate crisis is both the easiest and the hardest issue mankind has ever faced.
This is a priceless book written by a teenager activist hence I would not like to rate it. Instead, I would like to recommend the book to every citizen of the world.
By Kamlesh Tripathi
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GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE
(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)
ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY
(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)
AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES
(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)
REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD
(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)
TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN
(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
RHYTHM … in poems
(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)