16-Year-Old Badass Schools Congress On Climate Change

On Wednesday, Greta Thunberg bluntly told Congress that it's time to step up and actually do something about climate change. "You're not trying hard enough. Sorry," said the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist.

Thunberg and four other student activists were invited to speak to the House Climate Crisis Committee and a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee about climate change. Rather than read her prepared remarks, Thunberg submitted the UN's 2018 report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Why? "I don't want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists."

"This is not political views or my opinions," said Thunberg. "This is science."

Everything Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Said Before Congress | NBC New Yorkwww.youtube.com

Meeting with Senate Democrats later in the day, Thunberg said she wasn't there to receive accolades. As Vox put it, "[c]limate activist Greta Thunberg used her superpower of shaming adults on Senate Democrats."

Thunberg's superpower appears to be shaming adults. The teenager's direct, stern rhetoric in the US Senate Tuesday is similar to what she's told politicians in Europe. Thunberg, who has Asperger's, has calmly been excoriating the most powerful people in Europe, in settings ranging from British Parliament to the UN Climate Change COP24 Conference to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don't want your hope. I don't want you to be hopeful; I want you to panic," Thunberg said during her January speech in Davos. "I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act, I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house was on fire, because it is."

After Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) told the young activists that they could soon run for office themselves, Thunberg said:

We don't want to become politicians, we don't want to run for office. We want you to unite behind the science. I'm sorry, I know you're probably trying very hard, and this is not personally to any one of you but generally to everyone. I know you're trying, but just not hard enough.

She also called out the US for withdrawing from the Paris accords and being the world's top oil producer and the "biggest carbon polluter in history."

When Rep. Garret Graves, a Louisiana Republican, said he supported the US emissions reduction target enshrined in the Paris Accord but didn't think China was doing enough, Thunberg was ready. She informed the congressman that people in Sweden think the same thing about the US. "The same argument is being used against you," she said.

Thunberg has been touring the US to raise awareness about climate change. Her first DC appearance was in front of the White House last Friday. She didn't mention climate denier Trump in her remarks, but instead used the opportunity to encourage other young environmental activists.

Thunberg pressed lawmakers for their timetable on passing climate legislation, but didn't get any real answers. Between Moscow Mitch in the Senate and climate denier Trump in the White House, there's not a lot Democrats can do. A lot of Dems are relying on activists like Thunberg to put pressure on lawmakers. But activists like Thunberg want results, not excuses.


Thunberg also met with Obama, who said the two are a team and praised Thunberg's activism.


And here's a video of their meeting, because Greta + Obama = Nice Time.

Former President Obama Meets Climate Activist Greta Thunbergwww.youtube.com

It is nice time, that we were able to put one of our best feet forward in meeting this young hero, and we are sad to have to admit that while he wasn't actively forcing coal companies to be MORE DIRTIER, like some presidents we could mention, Obama could have done ... stuff ... about climate change. Although joining Paris and the massive investments in clean energy were better than not doing that, Thunberg's entirely right that it wasn't enough, while Fox News is still screaming about Solyndra anyway. MOVING ON.

Badass? Badass.

Greta Thunberg sparked a worldwide movement at the age of 15, when she began striking on Fridays, leaving school to protest in front of Sweden's Parliament building. At first, Thunberg was alone -- but not for long. On March 15 of this year, an estimated 1.6 million people followed Thunberg's lead and protested across 133 different countries, demanding action to combat climate change.

Thunberg is leading the Global Climate Strike, starting tomorrow and running through September 27. Millions of people in 150 countries around the world are expected to participate.

Last year, Thunberg spoke at the United Nations COP24 Climate Summit in Poland, telling world leaders that they "have ignored us in the past, and you will ignore us again. You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes." She also chastised politicians for not stepping up to make meaningful change.

For 25 years, countless people have come to the UN climate conferences begging our world leaders to stop emissions, and clearly that has not worked as emissions are continuing to rise. So I will not beg the world leaders to care for our future. I will instead let them know change is coming whether they like it or not.

Last month, she sailed across the Atlantic in a zero emissions, solar powered yacht for a UN climate change summit in New York. People were dicks about it, because people are awful.

Now 16, Thunberg is the founder of Fridays for Future, an organization that encourages people around the world to strike to stand up for real change. She has also been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Thunberg is also a HUGE BADASS who has no time for haters and internet trolls.

[Guardian / Al Jazeera / NYT / USA Today / Vox / Global Climate Strike]

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Jamie Lynn Crofts
Jamie Lynn Crofts is sick of your bullshit. When she’s not wrangling cats, she’s probably writing about nerdy legal stuff, rocking out at karaoke, or tweeting about god knows what. Jamie would kindly like to remind everyone that it’s perfectly legal to tell Bob Murray to eat shit.

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