In a speech at Congress after travelling across the Atlantic by boat, teen activist Greta Thunberg urged US senators to learn from the sacrifices of Martin Luther King and other civil rights activists in the fight against climate change.
"I am grateful for being with you here in the USA. A nation that, to many people, is the country of dreams," said the 16-year-old.
"I also have a dream: that governments, political parties and corporations grasp the urgency of the climate and ecological crisis and come together despite their differences - as you would in an emergency - and take the measures required to safeguard the conditions for a dignified life for everybody on earth."
By evoking one of the most powerful orators to effect change in US history, Thunberg showed courage typical of youth in urging everyone to wake up. It is the young people who are the loudest on the biggest threat mankind has ever faced.
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We've got more than enough science to tell us what the future might look like. We can see the data showing warming land and sea temperatures, acidifying oceans and vanishing glaciers and sea ice.
We can see New Zealand won't be immune. Here we have just experienced more than 30 consecutive months of above-average temperatures. So what should we do?
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We should be wrenching climate change from partisan politics and pushing back against any cynical use of the issue by agenda-led strategists for dogwhistling to conservative voters - as happened in Australia.
Cross-party support for the Zero Carbon Act is crucial and it needs to be built so it cannot be diluted, as was the Emissions Trading Scheme in 2008.
Stopping global temperature rise from crossing 1.5C – as it's tracking to at some point between 2030 and 2052 – could spare up to 10 million people, not to mention tens of thousands of species, some of the worst impacts that a 2C rise would.
We need to view the situation as a fast approaching, monolithic asteroid and act accordingly. We still have the chance to turn this scenario into less of a nightmare, if not a dream.