- Respond to these quotes by Greta Thunberg; choose at least 3 of them to discuss and provide context for their appearance in the film.
“Why would I need an education if there is no future?”
When watching the documentary this quote stood out to me. I remind myself of this question quite often. Greta skips school to strike and when she asks why, she responds with this statement. I believe she’s completely right, what’s the point of going to school, getting a job, when it won’t matter? We won’t find any of the information useful if we will never have a chance to apply it.
“We are living right now as if we had several earths.”
We are currently living as if our actions have no repercussions. We think we can use all the electricity, gas, plastic we want and it doesn’t mean anything. People do not realize that climate change has the ability to become irreversible. This is our ONE earth. There’s no “Planet B.” We all have this one earth in common, so we should take care of it.
“I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet.”
Greta never intended to be a person with 10.5 million followers on Instagram. She didn’t plan on being made fun of by the former US President. She also doesn’t care. She doesn’t care about the good or bad. She cares about fixing our planet and spreading awareness. I think this is what makes her admirable. She isn’t selling herself as a “personal brand.”
2. Does the “I Am Greta” documentary provide a portrait of the teenage activist that evokes humanizing empathy? Provide some specific, detailed examples.
I think “I Am Greta” provided a portrait that evokes humanizing empathy. We learned a lot about Great throughout the documentary, a more personal side. It put into perspective how much weight was put on her shoulders in a way. I’m sure at times Greta felt sort of alone because no one was truly listening. When she was getting frustrated finding the correct translation of her words, I felt her frustration and her passion. While she is a force not to be reckoned with, she still is a young girl. She’s a person.
3. What did the film reveal to you that was new information about Greta, her family, her upbringing, and the role her parents play in supporting her?
I learned a lot about Greta from the documentary. I was told through the grapevine that her parents “pushed her” to go on strike, for their own agenda. At the time of hearing this, I didn’t research it and took the person’s word with a grain of salt, but kept it in mind. I learned that her parents were supportive, however weary because she is a young child. I loved the scene where her father forced her to eat a banana, although I’m sure Greta didn’t love it. We see child “influencers/starts/activists” lose their childhood and run by their own rules. Seeing her parents still taking care of her and prioritizing her well being was really touching.
4. What new facts did you learn about climate change?
I don’t think I learned anything specifically new from the documentary. However, I got many important reminders. The reminder that we have to change our ways drastically by 2030, so we have to be making the big changes now. There is no time to wait. We have to quit acting as if this is something we’ll “get to later.”
5. Greta began Strike for Climate in 2018. By September 2019, she arrived in New York for the global Youth Climate Strike. 7 million participated around the world, making it the largest climate strike in history. Were you aware of how quickly the Fridays for Future and Climate Strike movement grew? How and why do you think this movement took off like wildfire among international youth?
I don’t think I was actively aware because I honestly wasn’t educated. To me it was something “other people were doing.” I remember constantly seeing Greta’s face. When she blew up, she blew up. I was aware of how quickly it grew because it was very consistent. I think the movement took off like wildfire because Greta’s strength and true passion was evident. It was solely about helping the planet and changing our ways and I think that allowed people to look inside themselves which inspired them.
6. Who were some of the first celebrities to champion Greta’s cause? How did you first become aware of the Fridays for Future movement?
Some of the first celebrities to support Greta were Anne Hathaway, Joe Jonas, Cara Delvigne, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Bebe Rexha dedicated her song that was made for Disney’s Maleficent, “You Can’t Stop The Girl’’, to Greta. I first became aware of Fridays for Future through Twitter and after that I did research on my own.
7. What is the Paris Agreement? Why are we so far from meeting its goals?
The Paris Agreement is an international accord with almost every nation to help climate change. 189 countries agreed to take significant measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which accounts for 50% or global warming. (2017) The goal is to keep the temperature below 2 degrees Celsius. The difference between 1.5 Celsius and 2 Celsius could mean more poverty, habitat loss, extreme heat, and drought. 2020, was globally the second warmest year to record. 1.5 Celsius requires global emissions to decrease 7.6% every year from 2020–2030. Currently, we are on track to reach 3.2 Celsius by the end of the century.
8. How is Greta handling her newfound celebrityhood? What does the film reveal about her personal challenges?
I think Greta is handling her newfound celebrityhood better than I would ever. When people make fun of her or politicians mock her, she laughs. She finds humor in it. However, there comes a point where everyone, including Greta stops laughing. I’m not sure what happened off camera or how this mentally affected her, I hope she is still able to laugh. I think she is handling it well, considering she doesn’t want to be a celebrity. The point of her strike or speaking out wasn’t to be the poster child for climate change or be sponsored by any companies.
9. Why do you think so many teenage girls are taking the helm on climate change?
I think so many teenage girls followed after Greta’s example, seeing someone your age, or around your age, making a positive impact is inspiring. I think it showed them that this huge issue around climate change is not too big or little for anyone. I also believe the statement “Why would I need an education if there is no future?” stuck with teens.
10. What was your takeaway from the footage on the solar powered Catamaran of Greta’s trip across the Atlantic? Did you follow her voyage in real time on the trip tracker?
No, I didn’t follow her voyage in real time as I was not aware of the event as a whole. However I found her voyage empowering, inspiring, and insanely impressive. It is very easy for someone to share an Instagram post that says “recycle!” and then in real life they don’t practice what they preach. No one is perfect! However, She would rather take a solar powered Catamaran to travel than unnecessarily fly. Greta practices what she preaches, which makes me respect her all the more.
11. Did you participate in the Global Youth Climate Strike on Sept 11th 2019? What was your experience?
No, I did not participate in the Global Youth Climate Strike. At the time, I was one of those people who believed that tiny changes would make big leaps in terms of the environment. However, after watching the documentary and learning more about climate change, I will undoubtedly be attending the next strike and/or protest.