Thu, Sep 19, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Teen activist tells US Congress: Try harder on climate


Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg on Tuesday offered a blunt message to US Congress as she took her campaign for urgent action on climate change to the US Capitol.

“I know you’re trying, but just not hard enough. Sorry,” she told Democratic senators at an invitation-only forum.

US Senator Ed Markey thanked the 16-year-old for her advice and her activism, which has gained worldwide attention by inspiring a series of protests and school strikes, including one set for tomorrow.

Thunberg and other young activists bring “moral clarity” to the fight against climate change, Markey said.

“We hear you,” he told her, vowing that lawmakers “will redouble our efforts to make sure that we inject this issue into the politics of this building and this country because time is running out.”

Markey and other lawmakers hailed Thunberg as a “superpower,” noting that her activism has drawn a passionate following of children essentially challenging their elders to take action.

“Save your praise,” Thunberg said.

“We don’t want it,” she added, especially if officials intend to talk about climate change “without doing anything about it.”

Thunberg was in Washington ahead of a global strike planned for tomorrow. Activists are calling for immediate action from the world’s governments to halt global warming, reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and avert environmental catastrophe.

Instead of listening to her and other teenagers, lawmakers should invite scientists to the US Capitol to listen to their expertise on ways to slow a rise in global temperatures, Thunberg said.

“This is not about us. This is not about youth activism,” she said. “We don’t want to be heard. We want the science to be heard.”

Despite Thunberg’s request, lawmakers bombarded her and other youth activists with praise, saying that they had sparked a global movement that is already being felt in next year’s US presidential campaign and in the halls of Congress, where lawmakers are debating proposals such as the Green New Deal.

Markey is a cosponsor of the Green New Deal, which would shift the US economy away from fossil fuels such as oil and coal, replacing them with renewable sources such as wind and solar power.

“We need your leadership,” Markey told Thunberg and other activists. “It’s creating a new X-factor” to boost efforts to fight climate change.

Last month, Thunberg crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a solar-powered boat, landing in New York City on Aug. 28.

She is in Washington for several days of rallies and lobbying efforts.

Thunberg was yesterday due to testify before the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top