HOW DARE YOU
We are at a critical point in our world. Hurtling towards a 'point of no return' in our world's ecosystems, we are charged with standing up and speaking out for our planet. Its been obvious that many of our nation's representatives do not feel as strongly about taking on and addressing climate change as the rest of the world, so we as a people are needing to do something.
Greta Thunberg, Swedish activist, has been a prominent figure in addressing climate change. Since she was fifteen years old (b. 2003), Greta began publicly using a platform "Fridays for Future" to strenghten the support of asking for action on climate change. Soon, a movement began around the world where students began protesting the lack of progress made about the impending future of the world that her generation will inherit.
In a moving speech at the United Nations, which Greta sailed to rather than fly, she poignantly addressed our world leaders in their lack of policy and preservation of our precious planet. The following lines have been used in this work,
Greta Thunberg, September 23, 2019, United Nations
"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here."
"Yet you all come to us [young people] for hope. How dare you!"
"You have stolen my dreams and my child hood with your empty words"
"How dare you!"
To contrast the raw emotion of Greta's speech I looked to John Muir's writings as a way to compliment and appreciate the world we still have. John Muir (1838-1914) was an environmental philosopher and early advocate for the preservation of our wildnerness in the US. His writings on Yosemite helped move forward legislation to help preserve the park. While his writing style was of intense labor, his frequent use of the word 'home' to describe our landscapes reflects his belief that our natural world provides even the smallest plant and bug a place to live. It is our job to maintain that preservation and ensure others can experience its grandeur as we have experienced it.
The juxtaposition of retreating to the woods in Muir's writings and Greta's pleas asks us to both commune with the world around us and provide our do-diligency in preserving our little planet for younger and to-be-born generations.
John Muir text,
“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul”
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Voicing: SATB div., piano
Premiered by San Antonio Chamber Choir, Rick Bjella, conductor