For the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Greta Thunberg’s climate organisation, Fridays for Future, has released a hard-hitting public service announcement.
The video follows a young family as they wake up in a burning house one morning, completely oblivious to the growing flames around them. The family goes about their busy weekday morning routine, brushing their teeth, chatting at the breakfast table, making school lunches. They are oblivious to the danger around them and no one twigs that their house is, literally, on fire.
It’s a striking 60-second video, that ends with the words, “Our house is on fire. React.”
The video is inspired by Thunberg’s now iconic speech at the Davos World Economic Forum last year, where she delivered the line, “I want you to behave like our house is on fire. Because it is.”
“I don’t want your hope. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I do. Every day.”
Fridays for Future US organiser Joe Hobbs said of the new video, “we believe it’s time for people to realise that climate change isn’t going to happen, but that it’s already happening.”
“You may have become accustomed to it, but it’s a serious problem we face on a daily basis. Unfortunately, we’ve moved past the time where it’s enough just to be worried. We need immediate, collective action. We hope that by watching this video, people will realize they need to take action now instead of putting it off until later.”
On Earth Day, Thunberg was busy live-streaming a virtual meeting with Johan Rockström, the earth systems scientist and director of the Potsdam Institute. She was filmed at the Nobel Prize Museum in Stockholm.
“Whether we like it or not, the world has changed. It looks completely different now from how it did a few months ago. It may never look the same again. We have to choose a new way forward,” she told the online audience.
Thunberg drew links between the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, saying we are clearly seeing that our society is not sustainable. She impressed the pandemic has proven that we need to listen to science.
“If the coronavirus crisis has shown us one thing, it is that our society is not sustainable. If one single virus can destroy economies in a couple of weeks, it shows we are not thinking long-term and taking risks into account.”