Sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg attended the United Nations General Assembly summit on climate Monday, and had harsh words for world leaders and members of older generations who haven’t yet acted on climate change.
Thunberg, who traveled by boat from her home in Sweden to the United States to avoid creating a large carbon footprint, chastised the fact that she had to be there to begin with.
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be in school on the other side of the ocean,” she said, per reporting from Yahoo! News. “Yet you come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”
Thunberg recognized the effects on climate change felt so far weren’t too damaging to her own life. “I’m one of the lucky ones,” she said. “People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecoystems are collapsing. We’re in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.”
“How dare you,” she added, choking back tears.
Greta Thunberg at #UNGA: "This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words." https://t.co/Hy8AZgLRTE pic.twitter.com/f9RbUczzqo
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) September 23, 2019
The climate activist noted that she was not alone in her assessments, and that younger generations were willing to step up if older ones didn’t.
“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,” she said.
Thunberg has taken her message to many places around the globe, and has been equally condemning in her statements to governmental bodies. This month, she spoke in front of Congress, decrying many lawmakers’ refusals to take the science demonstrating global warming being real as a serious matter, CNN reported.
“I don’t want you to listen to me, I want you to listen to the scientists,” she told lawmakers in Washington. “And I want you to unite behind the science. And then I want you to take real action.”
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.