It was 20 August this year when a young Swedish woman took a determined stand to change the course of history. At least that is what began to happen as she sat in front of the Swedish Parliament building in protest proclaiming on her hand painted sign “skolstrejk för klimatet” – (School Strike for Climate). Greta Thunberg, now 16 years old, needed no scientific explanations, political and economic rationalizations or other expert claims about climate change, she only knows that if drastic action is not taken now by all the grownups, there is no future for a 16 year old Swedish teen.
Inspired by students going on strike to prevent and stop killings by American guns at Parkland School in Florida, USA. Greta decided she would simply begin her lonely strike at the Swedish Parliament. Day by day until the Swedish government elections, Greta sat in protest, but after the first day, she was no longer alone. People joined her sitting in front of the Parliament building and then the time came that she was asked to speak before the People’s Climate Rally. She was determined to give her voice to the strike she began. Her voice carried around the world and even to Davos as she repeated, “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act!”
Fourth World nations on every continent have been warning states’ government officials and anyone who would listen for more than fifty years that “development is not sustainable. You are causing the collapse of natural life.” Now, after all of these years, countless meetings, assemblies, and declarations, finally the voice of a Swedish young woman has rocked the planet saying exactly what indigenous communities have repeatedly stated.
Biodiversity is the marker that tells us that what the UN Development Program, World Bank and every state in the world promotes as development or “sustainable development” (an oxymoron) and when there is less diversity among plants, animals, waterways, and soils, then life as we know it cannot continue. Biodiversity collapse is but a few years away and with that will come biocultural collapse—the death of human societies. The collapse of biodiversity is evident in the numbers of indigenous peoples seeking new lands from which to harvest foods and medicines since their original homes have dried up from climate change, drought or torrential floods and rains. Islands are disappearing and Fourth World peoples seeking refuge face violence from peoples in territories not yet in collapse.
More than 70 million Climate and War Refugees now seek safety. There will be no safety anywhere in the world if Fourth World Nations and Greta are not successful at forcing the retreat from unlimited development. The political climate is nearly ready to stop the insanity of “sustainable development.” The brakes must be put on—full stop!
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here