Greta Thunberg’s 495-word UN speech points us to a future of hope – or despair | Richard Flanagan

Greta Thunberg’s 495-word UN speech points us to a future of hope – or despair | Richard Flanagan

The speech draws the battle lines between those of us who want action on climate change and those, like Trump, who only mock it

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Greta Thunberg’s address to the UN’s Climate Action Summit on Monday may well prove to be the climate change movement’s Gettysburg Address. Like Abraham Lincoln’s revered speech, which ran to 273 words, Thunberg’s was also very short, only 495 words long.

Lincoln famously spoke at the dedication of the Gettysburg Cemetery, following the leading orator of the day, Edward Everett, who took two hours to deliver the official address, a 13,000 word oration. Lincoln’s speech, simply described in the day’s official program as Dedicatory Remarks, lasted less than three minutes.

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