Not your ordinary 16-year old, Greta Thunberg is one of the most talked-about people in the last year. For good reason – Anyone that can stir up these many and different emotions has the perfect opportunity to be on everyone’s lips. “No One is too small to make a difference” is Greta’s first book in English, is it worth the read? Let me shed some light on that one.
“This is not a political text. Our school strike has nothing to do with Party politics. Because the climate and the biosphere don’t care about our politics and our empty words for a single second.” – Greta Thunberg
Are we driving off the cliff with our Consumeristic living and fossil fuel burning? If you ask Greta we are and like many before her, she got an approximate time for the Doomsday. And like many before her, she has her fair share of skeptics that like to criticize her fanatically – To the point of absurdity.
But, she doesn’t stand alone out there in the cyberspace. Her followers and believers are biting back against the opposition and almost every social media posting Thunberg does is turning into a verbal flamewar between the two sides that are passionate about, well, mostly her.
But I think most people sit somewhere in the middle. There is, in my opinion, a simple reason behind that: The Paradoxes are a touch too many for us in the middle to make heads or tails of the message. Consider this quote for example:
“That is why I keep telling you to unite behind the science. Make the best available science the heart of politics and democracy” – Greta Thunberg
What science? Who? How?
If there are no specifics, there is very little guidance to where Greta wants us to go. Except we need to do less. Less what? It’s not clear. So, it is hard to take a stance in the middle of the storm when you don’t even know what you are supposed to take a stance for.
The climate, I guess? But that is a slogan and not a solution. If we need anything, its the latter and not the former.
“No One is too Small to Make a Difference” is a collection of speeches (and a Facebook post) that Greta Thunberg has given around the world and since the message in the speeches has very little variance, the book quickly becomes very repetitive.
Slight variations on the same theme make the books non-specific call to action even more obvious: When I read the 70-or-so pages, closed the book and didn’t have a single scientist name or a solution in my back pocket I felt like I just read words for the sake of reading them.
The sense of urgency, which is the message Thunberg wants to underline with her words, disappears in that situation – Which is quite the opposite of what the author wants.
I know that Greta sailed on a boat, but I don’t know if she wants more permaculture, more Tesla-cars, more nuclear power instead of coal and gas, or a number of other things you can pick up from the “Climate Crisis solution box”. I was hoping this book was going to give me a footnote or something about this. Sadly there is none.
“If burning fossil fuels was so bad that is threatened our very existence, how could we just continue like before? Why were there no restriction? Why wasn’t it made illegal?” – Greta Thunberg
The second great Greta-Paradox is the appeal to authority: On the one hand, she says it’s not a political matter, but on the other, she is talking about what “needs to be done” through the power of politics.
As I and Greta share homeland, I can see where that kind of mentality is coming from because, in Sweden, the state and the politicians are the authority that you ask for permission to do things from. It’s not a problem, as it were, unique to Sweden, but in Sweden its part of the cultural fiber to stay in line and Verboten, socially, to cross it.
I am of the opinion that we don’t need the middle-men in suits to actually do things, and in many cases, we don’t even need their permission: It’s quicker and easier to just do than wait. Political regulations are mostly in the way if you want to test solutions.
I can’t recommend this book to anyone really unless you are a collector of some sort – It’s going into my Envoirnmentalist-book section in my personal library – or especially interested in miss Thunbergs work and even then I’m not sure if you should invest coins into this lost opportunity of a book.
UTOPIUM DOES NOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.
But if you are still interested in buying it and want to support the Utopium-project, please consider purchasing it through Amazon.