AOC and Greta Thunberg talk tactics and hope

Originally published at:


“What should I do?” And I say: “Act. Do something.”

It only takes a small portion of the entire World population to start the change. I’m in.


The pro-hopefulness position is a departure from what Ms. Thunberg said in Davos:

Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope. But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.

That is a terrifying quote. And it’s spot-on.

Still, despite the shift towards optimism, she isn’t letting anyone escape through the hope-hatch. Hope is good, but it’s not sufficient - you can’t be hopeful and idle at the same time in a climate emergency. And she speaks to this in this meeting with AOC: “hope is not something that you have. Hope is something that you create, with your actions.”


Smart young people, whether they’re Ocasio-Cortez’s age or Thunberg’s, are correctly operating on the assumption that most older people in positions of responsibility aren’t coming to help them in regard to climate change (and inequality, a related issue). In that context, getting an early start on organising is the only productive response.


But that quote is coming from an inherently optimistic position: that she can affect change in behavior.

It’s like going fishing when you know the conditions are crappy and you don’t even know if there are fish in the lake. You fish anyway. Sometimes you don’t catch anything. Sometimes you do. But the act of fishing there is inherently hopeful.


1 Like

I’m a huge fan of AOC and like many, see her as the future of the Democratic party, but I’m a little concerned when I see stories like this one below. Her clashes with Pelosi, which she frames as “professional women disagreeing but still respecting each other”, seem like they’re becoming a very public and very ugly battle for power. And right now is a really poor time for infighting. (To be clear: Pelosi is doing all of the insulting here; AOC is simply Not Taking Her Shit.)


Don’t give me just hope, give me action, which will then inspire hope.

1 Like

Just a tiny bit of nit-picking: Greta Thunberg should be associated with FridaysForFuture. She has spoken at an Extinction Rebellion event, because the two movements are both focused on the climate crisis, but they are not the same. FridaysForFuture is school strikes on fridays, Extinction Rebellion is acts of civil disobedience.

A further bit of clarification.

There are three groups, FridaysForFuture, Extinction Rebellion, and Earth Strike. They have all been working together, but using different tactics.

Earth Strike is scheduled for September 27th, the anniversary of Silent Spring, except in the UK where it will be on the 20th to coincide with the UN Climate Action Summit.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.