Exactly one year ago Greta Thunberg stood on the street for the first time and skipped school. On August 20, 2018, it positioned itself for the first time before the Swedish parliament in Stockholm. In her hand a sign saying “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (“School strike for the climate”). Your mission: save the world.
What began as a much-laughed silent protest from a teenage girl has now become the global movement “Fridays for Future.” The hype surrounding the 16-year-old has triggered one thing above all else: people around the world are discussing the climate impact of air travel or a CO2 tax. Many now think twice about whether they want to get on a plane or not. But does the “Greta Effect” actually affect our environment? A Twitter thread shows that the fight against climate change began long before Greta Thunberg.
Twitter users post old articles that warned many years ago
Twitter user @el_Escuincle posted a photo of the “Badische Zeitung” from 1988, which his parents had found when cleaning up. The headline of the pictured article could also be from our time. It reads: “Experts warn against climate collapse”. The subheading: “The World Climate Change Conference calls for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions”.
It was not long before the tweet went viral. More than 10,000 users liked the post, just under 5,000 joined in the discussion and then shared their own finds. For example, User @ AachenMike published the cover of a book from 1990. The title: “Wir Klimamacher – Auswege aus dem Global Treibhaus”:
Can I almost keep up with: 1990 pic.twitter.com/IrrMMB5A3
– Michael Schreiber (@AachenMike) 18 August 2019
@ MatthiasSurvive posted something that traveled his grandmother knew: In the “Salzburger Volksblatt” of 1917 (!) Is the talk of the fact that the burning of coal, the carbon dioxide content of the air increases and this in turn leads to global warming.
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My grandma also from 26.7.1917
– Matthias 🌍 (@ MatthiasSurvive) 18. August 2019
An article from The Rodney and Otamatea Times in 1912 deals with the same topic. If coal were burned and mixed with oxygen, it would release about 7,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere.
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The Rodney and Otamatea Times of August 14, 1912. #ClimateChange#ItsNotRocketScience #[email protected] is right! @Sciforfuture pic.twitter.com/8TESeF8S9K
– udeDude Thortelloni Udinese p’Astra 🍝🍺🌋🎳🥃 (@ LEN_1977) 18 August 2019
One user shared an old editorial of the “Bunte” with the words: “Everyone knew. Always. Merely repressed. “It states,” Failure to gradually reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases in the air surrounding the earth gradually changes temperatures dramatically and ominously. (…) Such a climate catastrophe threatens us not only in a few thousand years, but already in fifty or seventy years. “
It was already over two years earlier in a 13-page article along with editorial by the former Federal press spokesman in magazines such as the Bunten. In the most urgent words.
Everyone knew it. Always. Only cheerfully displaced. # Climate protection pic.twitter.com/iy6D8aZ9iZ
– useronline1 (@ useronline1) August 19, 2019
Before a new ice age was also warned in 1975, as this post shows:
… and this warning about a new ice age dates from 1975. pic.twitter.com/hwtwE2L49K
– Rainer Meier (@rainmeie) 18 August 2019
The “The Limits of Growth” report, which describes that CO2 increases exponentially in the atmosphere, dates from 1972.
In 1972, the report “The Limits of Growth” was published, and it was already described that CO2 increases exponentially in the atmosphere … pic.twitter.com/PfJFE5GkYI
– Climate Protection Network (@klima_netz) 19 August 2019
According to a user, the consequences of global warming are also predicted by a newspaper article from 1912:
Oh, that goes farther back: https: //t.co/Gb64Ab3w7e
– Christian Ewald (@Chaostaenzer) 18 August 2019
Another user proves with his contribution that people already asked themselves in the late seventies, whether it would make sense to put a child in this world, which could soon become uninhabitable.
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Already in the late seventies, this gentleman wondered the following. pic.twitter.com/1gxTuQzOMD
– Diether Ast (@DietherAst) 17 August 2019
So Greta Thunberg may point out things that experts have been warning about for over a hundred years. But unlike many scientists, she does not just leave it up to words. Instead of flying to the climate conference in New York, she prefers to sail across the Atlantic and get a lot of attention just for that.
Greta Thunberg not only talks, she acts too. With her the climate movement has finally got a face. And that alone, hopefully, will lead people not only to realize the danger of climate change, but maybe one day, too.