Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg berated top US politicians to their faces today, upset at their lack of action to address climate change. During today’s congressional hearing, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg criticized US politicians, warning them they wouldn’t be able to “get away with” inaction on climate change forever.
Ms. Thunberg, 18, appeared before the House Oversight Subcommittee as it held a hearing on fossil fuel subsidies. Coincidentally, it came on the same day as President Joe Biden’s climate change summit with world leaders, where several countries committed to more ambitious emissions reduction targets.
“I don’t represent any financial or political interests. I’m not a lobbyist, so I can’t negotiate, make deals, or compromise. I have nothing to offer you, nor am I a scientist,” she told the members of Congress.
“All I can do is urge you to listen to and act on the science and to use your common sense.
“It is the year 2021. The fact that we are still having this discussion, and even more that we are subsidizing fossil fuels directly or indirectly using taxpayer money, is a disgrace. It is clear proof that we have not understood the climate emergency at all.”
Ms. Thunberg said there was a “huge gap” between the best available science on climate change and the current “so-called climate policies”. “It may seem like we are asking for a lot, and you will, of course, say that we are naive. And that’s fine,” she continued. “But at least we are not so naive that we believe things will be solved through countries and companies making vague, distant, insufficient targets without any tangible pressure from the media and the general public.
“What I’m here to say is that, unlike you, my generation will not give up without a fight. And to be honest, I don’t believe for a second that you will actually do this. The climate crisis doesn’t exist in the public debate today. “And since it doesn’t really exist and the general level of awareness is so absurdly low, you will still get away with continuing to contribute to the destruction of present and future living conditions.”
She carried that accusatory tone through to the conclusion of her statement.
“I know I’m not the one who is supposed to ask the questions here, but there is something I really do wonder. How long do you honestly believe that people in power, like you, will get away with it? How long do you think you can continue to ignore the crisis without being held accountable?” Ms. Thunberg said.
“You get away with it now, but sooner or later, people are going to realize what you have been doing all this time. That’s inevitable. “You still have time to do the right thing and to save your legacies, but that window of time is not going to last for long. What happens then? We, the young people, are the ones who are going to write about you in the history books. We are the ones who get to decide how you will be remembered.