The Swedish environmentalist was one of several who spoke at a working group on the climate crisis.
At a meeting of the Senate climate crisis task force Tuesday, lawmakers praised a group of young activists for their leadership, common sense, and wisdom far beyond their years. They then asked the teens for advice on how Congress could combat one of the most urgent and politically contentious threats facing world leaders: climate change.
Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist who has pushed young people around the world to fight for more action to combat the impact of global warming, politely reminded them that she was a student, not a scientist, or a senator.
"Please save your compliments. We don't want it, "he said. "Don't invite us here to tell us how inspiring we are without doing anything about it because it leads nowhere."
“If you want advice on what to do, invite scientists, ask for their expertise. We don't want to be heard. We want science to be heard ”.
In remarks to Congress as a whole, he said: “I know they're trying but not enough. Sorry."
The audience laughed. Supporters broke into applause. Sen. Ed Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat who co-sponsored the Green New Deal and leads the Senate task force, may have been surprised by his bluntness, but he smiled.
Sitting at the table with the teens were some of the most sympathetic and vocal supporters of bold action on climate change in Congress. But in the face of a Republican-controlled Senate and a hostile White House, the prospect of enacting reforms on the scale and scope that activists - and many scientists - are calling for is bleak.
"We need your leadership," Markey told Thunberg. “Young people are the military politically, which has come to the United States. You highlight this issue in a way that it has never been before. And that is creating a new X factor ”.
Still, he promised to try. “We listen to you. We listen to what you say and we will redouble our efforts, ”said the official.
Thunberg was one of several youth activists invited to address the task force for two days of action and speeches aimed at urging lawmakers to support "transformative climate action." She was joined by activists from across the United States and South America, part of a "multiracial and intergenerational" effort to combat climate change.
Article in English)