Teen activist Greta Thunberg has admonished a group of US politicians for a lack of meaningful action on climate change, saying “I know you’re trying, but just not hard enough. Sorry.”
Speaking today before a group of Senate Democrats in Washington D.C., the Swedish firebrand was praised by lawmakers who have backed the Green New Deal – a suite of proposed changes which would see America drive its carbon emissions down to zero in ten tears.
But The Guardian reports the 16-year-old and her fellow activists were not there just to bask in the appreciation of Responsible Adults™.
“Please save your praise. We don’t want it,” she said, before urging the politicians to please, please do more to avoid the cataclysmic worst-case scenarios presented by climate change.
“Don’t invite us here to just tell us how inspiring we are without actually doing anything about it because it doesn’t lead to anything.”
Vox reports Democratic Senator Tom Carper expressed his appreciation for the young movement’s enthusiasm, adding they’d soon be old enough to run for office themselves.
That’s still too far away from Thunberg, who, once again, told the adults in the room to get on with it.
“We don’t want to become politicians, we don’t want to run for office,” she said.
“We want you to unite behind the science. I’m sorry, I know you’re probably trying very hard, and this is not personally to any one of you but generally to everyone.”
Despite a rising support for drastic action on climate change (to be honest, it is harrowing that more people do not support measures which will ensure the continuation of civilisation as we know it), the pollies she dressed down can’t really do much right now.
The US Senate is in Republican control, and the president reportedly suggested nuking hurricanes, so there’s still much to be done before Capitol Hill’s support for the ambitious Green New Deal reaches a point of critical mass.
Speaking of presidents, Thunberg also met with Barack Obama on Monday to have a chat. He shared a picture of them sharing a fist-bump on his personal Instagram account, saying she is one of “the planet’s greatest advocates.”
We wonder if she took him to task for his action on the climate during his eight years in office.
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At just 16 years old, @GretaThunberg is already one of our planet’s greatest advocates. Her age might have something to do with it. With full knowledge that her generation will bear the heaviest burden of climate change, she’s unafraid to believe that progress is possible—and fight for real change. She’s an example of why Michelle and I started the @ObamaFoundation — because we believe in a future that’s shaped by the courage and hope of young people like Greta.
If you feel empowered by Thunberg’s righteous fury, feel free to participate in this Friday’s global strike to call on our pollies to, you know, do more. Peep the list of demonstrations here.Image: @barackobama / Instagram