Yesterday, at a gathering of the Senate climate crisis task force, lawmakers commended a body of young activists for their sense of responsibility, their initiative, and their concern for the future of the planet. The environmental visionaries were then asked for their suggestions on how Congress could fight what is undoubtedly the most dire challenge world leaders are being forced to confront – climate change.
Thunberg says Congress needs to listen to the science
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg (16) – who is well-known for inspiring youth all over the world to demand more effort towards fighting global warming – emphasized the fact she was a student and not a scientist or a politician.
“Please save your praise. We don’t want it,” said Thunberg. “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. If you want advice for what you should do, invite scientists, ask scientists for their expertise. We don’t want to be heard. We want the science to be heard.”
In her comments aimed at Congress in general, she said, “I know you are trying but just not hard enough. Sorry.”
Head of the Senate task force and co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, Senator Ed Markey, was pleasantly surprised by how straightforward Thunberg was.
“We need your leadership,” Markey responded. “Young people are the army politically, which has arrived in the United States. You put a spotlight on this issue in a way that it has never been before. And that is creating a new X factor.” He added, “We hear you. We hear what you’re saying and we will redouble our efforts.”
Although sitting at the table with the activists were numerous supporters who are looking for more effort from Congress to fight climate crisis, a Republican-run Senate and a belligerent White House means implementing improvements in accordance with what is being requested by activist and scientists is unlikely.
Thunberg was among a number of other young activists from all over the United States and South America who are trying to direct much needed focus towards tackling the climate crisis. On Friday when world leaders congregate in New York for the United Nations summit, a global climate demonstration will take place where students and workers will abandon schools and offices as a sign to push governments to take action.