I DID a double take and stared at Greta Thunberg.

“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be standing here,” she strongly told world leaders. “I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you!”

I shrank in my seat and felt myself tear up. Guilt. My heart beat faster as I listened to Greta. Greta is 16, I’m twice her age. Here she stood in front of world leaders at the 2019 United Nation’s Climate Action Summit. Here I sat, wondering if I was doing enough to help our planet – she was right, she shouldn’t be doing this.

People applauded as she went on with her speech.

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. 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!” she said to world leaders.

True. Are we and the world’s leaders doing enough to save our planet and each other?

As I listened to Greta’s message – I wondered, is it right that us grown adults, some of us twice or thrice or four times her age turn to her for hope? She should be living her life free from harm back home, enjoying nature, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Greta’s speech will go down in history as one of the most poignant calls for action. As I listened to Greta, I find myself scrambling for more solutions. We need to do something, guys.

We’re in the right places to take strategic action against some of the world’s most wicked environmental issues. For world leaders, we’ve seen these issues for years – talked about them for so long at many conventions and summits, and yet, the planet and the people are still suffering.

Our climate crisis reached alarming levels. Fires are ravaging the Amazon and the forests of Indonesia. The glaciers are melting and entire ecosystems are affected – animals are disappearing before our very eyes, agricultural lands are not what they used to be, and people are suffering. This planet is teetering dangerously close to giving up.

We need to do something.

As I listened to Greta, I felt panic bubble in the bottom of my stomach. I can’t have our children and grandchildren reap the effects of this climate crisis.

What can we do?

In a report, Greta advocates for us to take “manageable action.” I’ve been reflecting what I else I can do to live more sustainably and leave less impact on the environment. You should too – we need to be more serious about this.

Let’s hold leaders and ourselves more accountable in taking action to address the climate crisis we are facing. We should help save this planet and give ourselves and the next generation a home that they deserve.

Take action now.