Greta’s speech April 22, 2021. That window of time is not going to last for long.

Greta's Speech 2021

The view from my small room on the second floor is the same as usual.

I place my desktop computer facing the outside, open the thin curtain halfway, and look up at the outside from time to time.

A large telegraph pole stands nearby, and the roofs of houses seem to fold in on themselves. There is a small terrace attached to the window, but I never go out there. Normally, it would be used for drying bedding and laundry, but since it was rarely cleaned, it was quite dirty. Also, there is a step of less than a meter to get up to the terrace, so I don’t have the courage to balance myself on it. There is no roof on the terrace, so it is impossible to put anything on it. It is only used by sparrows and pigeons to rest their wings from time to time.

In the distance, I could see the greenery of a small mountain. The sky is clear with many power lines crisscrossing it, and even if the sky were blue, I wouldn’t think of taking a picture of it.

Today’s weather was lightly cloudy. I opened the window about ten centimeters to let the wind blow through.

When I have work to do, I use this computer, a cheap used one I bought for about 10,000 yen a couple of years ago, but I don’t mind the way it works. i5 CPU, 8G memory. I wanted to use two monitors, but I gave up when I found out that I had to buy a USB adapter because there was only one VGA. It costs about 2000 yen on Amazon, but I don’t have the courage to buy it. I have a monitor that I bought a long time ago that’s been sitting in the closet, and I want to use it, but it’s a waste of money. And I can’t put two monitors side by side. The desk where I keep my computer is actually handmade, and is circular, so there is no space to put them side by side. I’ve thought about putting a shelf beside it, but it hasn’t come to fruition yet.

There is a road next to the house that is too narrow for cars to pass each other, but since it is a loop road, I can hear the sound of cars driving by. It’s not a loud noise, so it doesn’t bother me, but I do wish people would stop driving on such a small road.

At a certain time in the afternoon, a tofu vendor drove around selling his product, making a loud noise. I tried to buy some once, but I thought that 200 yen tofu was enough for my palate.

Yesterday, a plumber came to my house. He said he was checking the water meter and that he had to replace it because of the lead used in the meter. He said that the city would pay the fee. The thought of drinking water with lead in it didn’t make me feel very good. I was relieved to know that the water in Japan was drinkable from the faucet, but I was surprised to know that I was drinking water with lead dissolved in it. If I hadn’t known, I would have continued to drink the water coming out of the faucet.

The government tends to hide the inconvenient parts. I think they were afraid that if they left the situation as it was, it would turn into a liability problem for the government. If we didn’t know anything about it, we would have become lead poisoned and would have had to cut down their lives little by little. When and who realized such a thing? Why did they decide to act now? I’d like to call the city, but I don’t think they’d even take me up on that. That’s what power is all about.

It’s up to us to decide how you will be remembered. Speaking at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing on April 22, Greta said that tax cuts for the fossil fuel industry are a “disgrace” and that those who support them will be judged by history.

Meanwhile, a summit on climate change, hosted by U.S. President Biden, is being held from April 22 to 23. Leaders of major greenhouse gas emitting countries and regions, including Japan’s Prime Minister Kan, China’s President Xi Jinping, and European Commission President von der Leyen, are meeting to explore international cooperation on reducing emissions. Prior to the opening of the summit, the U.S. administration announced a new goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030. This is almost double the previous target of a 26-28% reduction from 2005 levels by 2025. The U.S. government says that the shift to a decarbonized society, which it aims to achieve by 2050, will lead to massive job creation.

Pope Francis released a message for Earth Day. He said that the earth is “on the brink” and that humanity must avoid “the path of self-destruction. 

The following text is the full text from Greta’s post on The New York Times twitter. It is thought to have been edited in the middle.

It is the year 2021.the fact that we are still having this discussion and even more that we are still subsidizing fossil fuels directly or indirectly using taxpayer money is a disgrace. The gap between what we are doing and what actually needs to be done in order to stay below the 1.5 degrees Celsius target is widening by the second. And the simple fact and uncomfortable fact is that we are to live up to our promises and commitments in the Paris Agreement, we have to end fossil fuel subsidies, stop new exploration and extraction, completely divest from fossil fuels and keep the carbon in the ground. And it may seem like we are asking for a lot, and you will, of course, say that we are naïve, and that’s fine, but at least we are not so naïve that we believe things will be solved through countries and companies making vague and distant, insufficient targets without any real pressure from the media and the general public.

How long do you honestly believe that people in power like you will get away with it? How long do you think you can continue to ignore the climate crisis, the global aspect of equity and historic emissions without being held accountable? You get away with it now, but sooner or later, people are going to realize what you have been doing all this time, that’s inevitable. You still have time to do the right thing and to save your legacies, but that window of time is not going to last for long. We, the young people, are the ones who are going to write about you in the history books. We are the ones who get to decide how you will be remembered. So my advice for you is to choose wisely.

(2) The New York TimesさんはTwitterを使っています 「Greta Thunberg called on Congress to enact more concrete measures on climate change when she appeared virtually before a House subcommittee on Thursday. “We are the ones who get to decide how you will be remembered,” the teenage climate activist warned lawmakers. “Choose wisely.”」 / Twitter

This mundane life that I am looking out at may be on the verge of collapse.

Curiously, there has been no coverage of what Japan’s Prime Minister Suga has said. This is the reality of Japan. It’s not just the politicians. To all the journalists who do not report it, are you not going to fight against the power of politicians?

Greta's Speech 2021

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竹 慎一郎