In the recent months there has been a lot of attention surrounding the issue of the current climate crisis. A lot of eyes are now on world leaders and big corporations as they continue to skirt around the issue. However, one young activist refuses to give up and continues to encourage youths to keep fighting. Just recently Greta Thunberg delivered a very emotional speech at the U.N Climate Action Summit held in New York.
Greta Thunberg attracted attention last year when she decided to sit outside the Swedish parliament. She did this to protest and raise awareness for climate change activism with a card reading “Skolstrejk för klimatet” which means ‘School strike for the climate.’
This then began the movement called School strike for climate, also known as Fridays for Future or Youth for Climate. Back in 2018 she was the only person to protest in regards to climate change but this year she was joined by approximately 4 million people worldwide.
Now the 16-year old Swedish environmental activist is working harder than ever to get world leaders to listen. She arrived in New York on the 28th of August via her emission free sailboat in preparation. The U.N Climate Action Summit was held from the 21st to the 23rd of September in New York.
On the 23rd of September, Greta Thunberg took to the stage to challenge all the world leaders present.
“”You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words… People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
She then continues her speech with some facts regarding the current sentiments towards the climate crisis. She said:
“The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.”
“But those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice. So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us — we who have to live with the consequences.”
She then ended her speech by straight up giving everyone a warning:
“You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.”
“We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”
Reactions Towards Her Speech
Her speech has garnered a lot of mixed reactions from the public, politicians, and even celebrities. She posted a snippet of her speech on her Instagram and received more than 3 million likes.
A few prominent figures have voiced out their support for her and are also calling for action. Both actor Seth MacFarlane and U.S Senator Kamal Harris took to their Twitter accounts to repost the speech along with their own encouraging words.
She’s 1000% correct. What’s being advocated is not new. It’s the accelerated wholesale transformation of an entire industry, in proper response to a crisis. The US did it during WWII in response to a different crisis, thanks to FDR. We can do it again. https://t.co/WihdFbI6LY
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) September 23, 2019
.@GretaThunberg is right: we are currently failing our nation's youth by not taking swift action to combat the climate crisis. We owe it to them to stand up to polluters and stop poisoning our planet.pic.twitter.com/coGN5JQOmA
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 23, 2019
On the other hand, she has also received some negative feedback regarding her stance and efforts. U.S President Donald Trump took to his Twitter account to mock her serious attitude. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered a speech saying “I don’t want our children to have anxieties about these issues.”
She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see! https://t.co/1tQG6QcVKO
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019
You can watch her whole speech here:
What do you think about her speech and stance on the climate crisis?