This week Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa announced he is retiring from public life. Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work campaigning against the apartheid regime in South Africa. We play a speech Tutu made at a candlelight vigil to a group of children just outside the Copenhagen climate summit in December. [includes rush transcript]
AMY GOODMAN: We began the show with this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner. Now we’re going to turn to a past winner. Juan?
JUAN GONZALEZ: We end the show with the words of past Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. This week Tutu announced he is retiring from public life. Tutu, who celebrated his seventy-ninth birthday on Thursday, said he wants to be able to “sip tea in the afternoon” with his wife, enjoy more time with his family, and spend time watching cricket. Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work campaigning against the apartheid regime in South Africa.
AMY GOODMAN: Since winning the Peace Prize, Desmond Tutu has taken up countless other campaigns around the world. Last December, Bishop Desmond Tutu attended the climate change talks in Copenhagen. We were there when he spoke at a candlelight vigil to a group of children just outside the summit.
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: We want to remind you that they marched in Berlin, and the wall fell. They marched in Cape Town, and apartheid fell. They marched in Copenhagen, and we’re going to get a new deal.
I want to say a big thank you to all of you, especially you beautiful young ones. We oldies have made something of a mess of the world. And we want to say to the leaders who are meeting, look in the eyes of your grandchildren.
Climate change is already a serious crisis today. But we can do something about it. If we don’t — if we don’t, hoohoo!, there’s no world which we will leave to you, this generation. You won’t have a world. You will be drowning. You will be burning in drought. There will be no food. There will be floods. We have only one world. We have only one world. If we mess it up, there’s no other world. And for those who think that the rich are going to escape, ha! ha! ha!, we either swim or sink together. We have one world. And we want to leave a beautiful world for all of these beautiful, wonderful young generation. We, the oldies, want to leave you a beautiful world.
And it is a matter of morality. It is a question of justice. Haha, ha! Haha, hahahaha! Isn’t it? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! If — if — if — if you are responsible for most of the mess, then you are responsible for getting rid of that mess. That’s justice. That’s justice. If you are responsible for most of the emissions, which are — look — look — look at the ozone layer. People are now suffering from all kinds of skin diseases, because we are thinning the ozone layer. Whoa! Whoa-ho!
So, you, wonderful rich people, you are wonderful! You are wonderful! You really are wonderful! But — but remember, if — if you are responsible for most of the emissions — it’s not “if”; we know it is the case — then you’re going to have to be responsible for any adjustments. We, too, who are poor, want to become rich. And if you were able to bail out the banks — they gave [inaudible] billions and billions and billions and billions and billions! They just throw billions! Now, please, just give us a few billions to enable the poor to use alternative fuels. They can’t do it if you ask them to pay for it. Please — actually, for your own sakes, OK? For your own sakes, rich people, please, for your own sakes, for your children’s sakes, for the sake of our world, be nice. Be nice, and pay up. Pay up, please. Please, for your own sake.
The world, the world, we, the world, expect a real deal. Eh? Now, let us say that all of us — with crowd we, the world, expect a real deal. One. Two.
CROWD: We, the world, expect a real deal.
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: Again!
CROWD: We, the world, expect a real deal.
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: Woohoooo!
AMY GOODMAN: There he was, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, speaking to children at the Copenhagen climate summit last December. Well, at the age of seventy-nine, he is now retiring.