Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg did not mince her words when she spoke at the ongoing UN Climate Summit in New York. She attacked the world leaders for 'lying' about their action against climate change.
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg took the center stage at the UN Climate Summit in New York Monday with a stirring and stunning speech accusing the world leaders of failing to act on climate change.
“How dare you?” the 16-year-old teen activist thundered, “this is all wrong, I shouldn’t be up here, I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope, how dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet I’m one of the lucky ones.”
With teary eyes, she continued, “people are suffering, people are dying, as entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?”
Barely controlling her breath, she continued, “for more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you are doing enough when politics and solutions needed are nowhere in sight. You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency but no matter how sad or angry I am, I do not want to believe that because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil and that I refuse to believe. 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.”
"Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up – change is coming if you like it or not."
Spine-tingling speech from @gretathunberg at today's #UNGA #ClimateAction Summit.pic.twitter.com/ZmTrWdTzLJ
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) September 23, 2019
Her passionate speech echoed the sentiments of many if not all; the climate scientists, environmentalists, and conservationists who have been warning the world leaders to stop and think. With international bodies like UN and IPCCC and agencies like Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion and many others regularly and continuously warning to act, countries like the US and Saudi Arabia have denied all proof of the catastrophe that has been affecting millions of people, animals and plant species.
Thunberg has come a long way from being a lone protester in front of the Swedish parliament to a global face for climate strike all in a matter of 13 months. And then came her moment when she gave a steady stare to US President Donald Trump as he arrived at the UN just before Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s address. Trump was reportedly attending a meeting on religious freedom, snubbing a major UN climate summit held on the same day.
Video courtesy: The Guardian
The teenager has in her own way managed to encourage millions of school-goers and adults to sit up and notice the glaring gaps in the global response toward climate change and holes in the action to address the issue. She has now become a force to reckon with and as the world grapples with pollution, water scarcity, loss of livelihood, poverty, and hunger, her voice will now resonate.
And as more get ready to join her, fossil-fuel giants, corporates and leaders are feeling the heat from the actions, thoughts, and words of this ‘smart kid’.