CTBC International Academy Newsletter_Week 17

Our students had their annual Christmas party. This year they had a “Secret Santa” experience. The idea is that each student chooses a classmate with whom to exchange gifts. There was much hollering and excitement as the students approached the Christmas tree, picked up the gift and handed it to their allotted exchange partner. Sure enough the hollers grew ever louder when a boy gave a gift to a girl: teenagers are the same all over the world!
The event was a great success and everyone went back to the dorms with a smile on their face.

On Thursday last week, a delegation from Bangkok, Thailand, came to visit our International Academy. The plan is to start up an exchange program between the two corresponding high schools.

In fact, CIA is extremely proactive in initiating and developing ties with foreign high schools and colleges all over the world.

One of our teachers showed his class a speech made by Greta Thunberg, a 15 year old. This level of fluency and competency is the bar which we, at CIA, are aiming for.

Here is part of her speech:

“Rich countries like Sweden need to start reducing emissions by at least 15% every year to reach the 2 degree warming target. You would think the media and everyone of our leaders would be talking about nothing else — but no one ever even mentions it.

Nor does hardly anyone ever talk about that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, with up to 200 species going extinct every single day.

Furthermore, does no one ever speak about the aspect of equity clearly stated everywhere in the Paris agreement, which is absolutely necessary to make it work on a global scale. That means that rich countries like mine need to get down to zero emissions, within 6–12 years with today’s emission speed, so that people in poorer countries can heighten their standard of living by building some of the infrastructures that we have already built. Such as hospitals, electricity and clean drinking water.

Because how can we expect countries like India, Colombia or Nigeria to care about the climate crisis if we, who already have everything, don’t care even a second about our actual commitments to the Paris agreement?

So when school started in August this year I sat myself down on the ground outside the Swedish parliament. I school striked for the climate.

Some people say that I should be in school instead. Some people say that I should study to become a climate scientist so that I can ”solve the climate crisis”. But the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions.

And why should I be studying for a future that soon may be no more, when no one is doing anything to save that future? And what is the point of learning facts when the most important facts clearly mean nothing to our society?

Today we use 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground.

So we can’t save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed.

So we have not come here to beg the world leaders to care for our future. They have ignored us in the past and they will ignore us again.

We have come here to let them know that change is coming whether they like it or not. The people will rise to the challenge. And since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago.”

Greta Thunberg

Students gather up for the Christmas event
Students take turn to collect their gifts