Bla Bla Bla

Greta Thunberg

I cannot recall another speech that became famous because it continuously repeated the words “bla bla bla“.

Greta Thunberg’s address to the Youth4Climate event in Milan at the end of September didn’t go down very well. Many people criticised her for an “embarrassing” speech, for doing exactly what she accused world leaders of, for giving out without proposing meaningful alternatives.

I think she wanted to say that world leaders for at least the past 30 decades promised to do something about climate change but they really didn’t. They talked and talked and talked, they published reports and papers non-stop, they organised a lot of conferences – but they didn’t implement the radical changes that are needed to save our planet.

Would she have at least a point here?

Have you ever come across politicians who plan and promise but don’t deliver?

Pádraig had an appointment with Billy, his dentist, last week. Turned out Billy had left the practice. Caroline, a new dentist in the same practice, was so kind to do a check up on Pádraig’s teeth. She was very happy to see how well he had been looking after his teeth. Everything was in order. He left with two samples of tooth paste after just few minutes.

Before we found this practice last year where Billy fixed Pádraig’s teeth when he had a toothache, we tried all we could to get him an appointment in the dental hospital which is where you would usually go with a wheelchair. More than a year later, he hasn’t even got an acknowledgment of his request, never mind an appointment.

He did, however, recently get the appointment to see an orthopaedic consultant, an appointment we had asked for in spring of last year. This was to address his terrible hip pain that had prevented him from having a proper night of sleep. A problem that was solved in the summer of last year with a relatively simple procedure lasting less than 30 minutes in a specialised neuro orthopaedic clinic we found ourselves.

I understand an 18-year-old who feels that politicians are talking a lot but are not always delivering, who says that our hopes and dreams drown in their empty words and promises. And I don’t think that she needs to come up with solutions before she can make statements like these.

Even at my age, I feel deeply frustrated by systems that seem to have developed a dynamic of their own. As if nobody was responsible for them. As if they were so complex that they could not be changed even if we wanted to.

Do we really have to give up our hopes and dreams?

Are we really that helpless?