What the Press doesn’t tell you about Greta

Greta Thunberg has a big, hidden secret, that is not reported (almost) anywhere. Although she is only 16 years old, her scientific background is extremely solid. So much, that right-wing nuts cannot attack her on content and resort to bullying her. She is constantly in touch with the top climatologists of the world and is updated on the newest science.

Her secret is so shocking, so threatening for our daily life, that the press has decided not to expose it. If people knew about it, many would become very angry. A search on Google News through all the news sources in the world finds it exposed only in a handful of unknown publications.

Greta is actually not trying to hide her secret. It is in most of her speeches and she is shocked that almost nobody is taking notice. Her famous United Nations speech on Sept 23rd is typically reported as:

“In a stinging speech on Monday, the teenage Swedish climate activist told governments that “you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is. You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal.””

The press focuses in on Greta’s emotional appeal, but does not report the searing scientific truth she exposes. And that shocker is right there, in the middle of that speech:

“With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 1/2 years.”

Or, in different words: Either the world turns off all oil, gas and coal production in 8 1/2 years, or we face an enormous risk to the existence of life on this planet.

That is Greta’s shocking secret and the world deserves to know it.

As a side note, “life on this planet” includes IRAs, real estate values, bank accounts, stock valuations and even gold. All of that is at risk of becoming worthless.

The 8 1/2 year term is a scientific fact, but before Greta that number was buried deep inside IPCC documents and climate scientists, after being attacked for 40 years, did not dare to make it clear. And that is not all. Greta also clarifies that this number may be too large, as it does “not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice.” The U.N. says, this could subtract as much as 3 years.

Greta’s shocking secret is not just uncomfortable, it is deeply painful. We live in a world that is completely dependent on fossil fuels, where CO2 emissions are still rising each year. Oil and coal companies have an iron grip on governments. Most households did not install solar panels. Ignorance prevails. We are in a fast moving train and there is no chance to stop using fossil fuels in 8 1/2 years.

But that does not mean it’s time to give up. It means that this is an all-hands-on-deck moment where each one of us re-awakens our love for life to fights for the future of our retirement, our children, our civilization, and, for some, our money. This fight should command most of the time and attention of every economist, agriculturalist, investor, executive, politician and citizen—anyone who fancies themselves a leader in the physical workings of the economy.

And Greta says this to all of us, not just the leaders:
“Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.”

Greta explains the science behind the 8 1/2 years:
“To have a 67% chance of staying below a 1.5 degrees global temperature rise – the best odds given by the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] – the world had 420 gigatons of CO2 left to emit back on Jan. 1st, 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatons. With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 1/2 years.”

The CO2 in the atmosphere acts similar to glass panes in a greenhouse. Light from the sun comes in, converts to heat and the glass traps the heat inside. The more glass panes are installed, the warmer it gets. The carbon budget tells us how much CO2 can added to the atmosphere to reach a certain warming point. And that value is 350 gigatons for a 1.5 degree centigrade warming. There are over 40 gigatons of yearly emissions, so in 8.5 years we will reach 350 gigatons and warm the earth by 1.5 degrees.

1.5 degrees means that Earth will face a high risk of food shortages, mass thirst, and rampant wildfires. We are now on the way to at least 3.0 degree warming which means famine, water scarcity, and mass vegetation die-offs. And there is a 10% chance of a 12 degree warming, which will kill all life on the planet.

No wonder, the press doesn’t want us to know!