No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
Published by Penguin, 2019
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Five stars for the existence of Greta Thunberg, the importance of her message, and the passionate resilience she shows in her fight to change attitudes towards planetary conservation.
Given that these speeches were delivered across a span of months to various different audiences, there is some repetition in the phrasing and statistics used to hit home her point. This is understandable, and so isn’t a criticism, per se, but it does jar a little when reading the transcripts back-to-back in book form.
Thunberg’s use of simple language, direct address, and concise facts is the essence of her power: She proves that climate activism is a mantle that can and should be taken up by everyone. We don’t all have to sail across the world in an eco-friendly boat and speak in front of the US Congress, but we can all do our little bit. And, more importantly, we can all put pressure on businesses and governments to start implementing effective change that will lower emissions and safeguard the planet’s future. (As I’m posting this review, in fact, mass strikes and protests are taking place all over the world in support of climate action, spearheaded by Thunberg’s ‘school strike for climate’ initiative.)
Though only touched on briefly, I also love that she makes efforts to normalise Asperger’s. She explains that her social isolation and lack of a perceived grey area when it comes to right and wrong are actually what pushed her to start speaking out, thus seeing her ‘differences’ as a gift, rather than something that holds her back. This kind of visibility for such a misunderstood and victimised community is fantastic.
That one of the most important, reasonable, and listened to voices of 2019 belongs to a 16-year-old schoolgirl on the autism spectrum is pretty fabulous as far as I’m concerned. Long may she speak, and long may the world listen.
If you’d like to pick up a copy for yourself, you can find it on Book Depository by clicking here.