It’s time to act

By Kim Schiffmann, in News · 06-12-2019 01:00:00 · 6 Comments

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg on 3 December expressed gratitude for the way she was received in Lisbon after a 21-day sailing trip from Hampton, Virginia (United States) and called on everyone to keep up the pressure on politicians to fight the climate crisis.

“I am so grateful to have made this trip, to have had this experience, and so honoured to have arrived here in Lisbon,” said the Swedish teenager, who landed late in the morning of 3 December in the Portuguese capital, confirming she would stay a few days in Lisbon to rest, before heading to Madrid to participate in activities related to the climate summit, the COP25.

Initial plans said she would go by train to Madrid later on the same day, but the crew of the sailboat “La Vagabonde” decided to stay some more time to rest.

Greta Thunberg had said at the beginning of the speech she made upon her arrival, at Santo Amaro dock, after thanking the reception, that the trip had been incredible but not easy, being isolated for three weeks, living in a limited space and with little to do, although it had also been possible to relax. But getting to land “is overwhelming,” she said.

“Now I’m going to stay in Lisbon for a few days”, said the young woman, explaining that she will take the opportunity to find out what has happened during her time in isolation, that she will read up on the agenda of COP25, and that she will participate in the march in the Spanish capital. “And after Madrid, I’m going home for Christmas,” she added.

At a press conference, she left the assurance that the fight will not stop so that the protests of young people are heard: “We will not stop, we will continue and do everything in our power: to travel, to put pressure on those in power to put priorities in place,” said the 16-year-old activist, appealing to the dozens of activists who welcomed her: “Continue to help us to make all this possible.”

Asked to comment on how some adults see her as an angry child, she replied that “people underestimate the strength of angry children,” adding: “We are angry, frustrated, for good reason. If you want us to stop being angry, stop making us angry.

After attending a summit in New York, the young activist should have travelled to Chile for COP25, but at the last minute the Chilean Government resigned from organising the meeting due to social instability in the country, and Madrid took over.

That is why the young Swede embarked on 13 November, back to Europe, on the catamaran “La Vagabonde” as a way to avoid the planes and their heavy polluting cargo.

Prior to the press conference, Greta Thunberg was welcomed by the mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina, and the chairman of the Parliamentary Environment Commission, José Maria Cardoso, as well as Portuguese student climate strike activists.

The public’s opinions on Greta’s arrival in the capital seem to be split, as some of The Portugal News readers shared their thoughts in form of comments under the article “Greta Thunberg grateful for Lisbon reception”. Steve Andrews, a climate activist himself wrote “Welcome to Portugal, Greta! Keep doing what you do so well and telling it like it is!” while João a resident in the Algarve said “Please step away, Greta Thunberg. Don’t infect my country with your rotten ideas.”

At the climate summit already, but in general agreement with the young activist, was United Nations Secretary-General, Portuguese António Guterres, who on 2 December called on all the countries of the planet in Madrid to “overcome” their divisions and reach an “understanding” to fight against climate change.

“I urge all parties to go beyond their current divisions and find a common understanding on” the issue of combating climate change, António Guterres said at the opening session of the Climate Change Summit.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations appealed to representatives of more than 170 countries present, including 50 heads of state and government present, such as the Portuguese, António Costa, “to increase” their “ambition and urgency” in the struggle against the problem.

The former Portuguese prime minister recalled that the globe is at a “crucial crossroads” and that “millions around the world, including many young people”, are asking world leaders to “do more”.

“It is imperative that governments substantially increase their ambition,” repeated Antonio Guterres during his speech, concluding that if not enough effort is made, “the impact on all life on the planet will be catastrophic.”


Of course you are entitled to disagree, but what evidence do you have for the claims that you make?

By Robin Hilton from Other on 08-12-2019 01:54

Someone should give this hysterical child of 15 (going on 8) a pacifier, a mental health exam and some good parental advice to go back to school and learn something more than histrionics.

By JOHAN TEMMERMAN from Other on 07-12-2019 10:11

Johannes has made some very very good points regarding the climate change hysteria. And he is apparently a person who walks his talk. Good for him. I admire that.
As I have commented previously, I believe that the young lady Greta Thunberg is sounding the climate activists mantra to the wrong people. She should be in China, or India, or Brazil or any other number of nations who are burning carbon emissions at an alarming rate. Not Wester nations and certainly, not the U.S.
The progressive-liberal adult handlers, who are taking advantage of this minor child should be ashamed of themselves for using her in the manner that they do for their own political ends. Shame on you people!
I would like to add, Greta Thunberg is entitled to her own opinion. Adults using her is not good at all.

By Marc J Moniz from USA on 07-12-2019 02:57

Strange comment from 'Johannes' - "I dont agree with Greta, that the climate has collapsed and I dont agree with Greta, that it is CO2, that causes climate change."
Greta isn't a scientist! All she's doing is responding to the fact of anthropogenic climate change, which is agreed by 97% of climate scientists. You'll find that many of the small proportion of 'doubters' are funded by fossil fuel companies in one way or another. Unless you're an expert yourself you have no grounds to question the overwhelming evidence.

By Felix Ansell from UK on 06-12-2019 03:39

Greta is amazing and I feel more hopeful for the future of humankind thanks to her and all the other young people standing up and saying “enough”. Climate change is a fact but not the most pressing of the many issues we face. Groundwater pollution, destruction of fertile soils and over population are just three of the issues that are more depressingly urgent.

By Dee from Algarve on 06-12-2019 03:02

I dont agree with Greta, that the climate has collapsed and I dont agree with Greta, that it is CO2, that causes climate change.

But I think, peopöe are wasting resources and energies. In nearly every household there are washing machines, much kight in the evening, TV runing and so on,
I wash everything with my hands, dont need machines,
I see people washing clothes all the times. Why do they want to have perfect clean clothes? A little dirty is ok,,,
I use wood for heating and I see, how the people, especially in the poorer countries, are manipulated to consume much and more and more.

Now Christmas is coming, are you still using much light and energy, especially in those days?

By johannes from Alentejo on 06-12-2019 12:16
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