A Toronto mother says a confusing school presentation involving teen activist Greta Thunberg and a ticking clock left her young daughter fearing Earth’s imminent demise, and schools should be more careful about what they’re teaching seven-year-olds.
At least one child yelled “I don’t wanna die” during a presentation on climate change delivered to a Grade 2/3 class on Oct. 4. A group of seven- and eight-year-olds had gathered in the library of Elmbank Junior Middle Academy in Etobicoke to watch a video of a speech Greta delivered at the UN Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23.
In her remarks, a visibly upset Greta accuses world leaders of failing future generations, ignoring climate change and stealing her childhood.
“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing,” she says. “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
After Greta’s five-minute speech, a large carbon clock was displayed on the projector screen, counting down from eight years — the estimated amount of time it will take to emit enough carbon to warm the world by 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change. The clock can be modified to display 26 years, the estimated amount of time left to avoid 2 C of warming.