“How dare you!” are the poignant words of pioneering climate change activist, Greta Thunberg, who addressed world leaders at the U.N. Climate Summit last night. Her powerful, stinging speech brought home the reality of the sheer ignorance of our world leaders when it comes to climate change, and their inability to do anything about it, or even see it as an issue in the first place.
During the event, Thunberg crossed paths with Donald Trump. As you can imagine, she isn’t exactly his biggest fan and shot him the most amazing death stare we think we’ve ever seen. In fact, it was so good, that it’s become a bit of an internet sensation.
Trump wasn’t having any of it, so, in order to show her who’s boss, he decided to mock her on Twitter. But Greta had the perfect response to his childish ways… keep scrolling to find out what it was.
The Swedish sixteen-year-old has been responsible for the global school strike movement, which began with weekly friday school strikes to protest for climate change action.
Greta would regularly sit on her own outside Swedish parliament, first staging a “School Strike for Climate” in August last year.
In the weeks leading up to the country’s general election, Thunberg sat on the steps outside of the parliament building in Stockholm, holding up the now-iconic sign that read “Skolstrejk För Klimatet” — translating to “school strike for climate.”
Her demands were that the Swedish government reduce carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement.
By sacrificing her education to protest for action, the teen began to conjure up attention and gain traction online.
While a little over a year ago, the name “Greta Thunberg” was relatively unknown, now, her’s is the first name that springs to mind when you think of the climate change movement.
If we fast-forward to now, Thunberg continues to hold governments accountable during her powerful talks, which have seen her nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and placed in TIME’s top one-hundred influential people in the world list.
Her message is clear: we need to act now.
Having whipped up a gigantic global youth movement, climate change is finally getting the attention it deserves, but Thunberg still believes that governments are the ones who still aren’t listening.
According to the United Nations, humanity has under twelve years to prevent a climate change crisis. A report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the end of 2018 called for immediate “unprecedented changes” to all aspects of society.
If we do not act, the future, if there is one at all, will be very bleak.
Rising global temperatures pose a high risk of social and environmental disasters, including floods, drought, wildfires, and food shortages for millions of people across our planet.
In July, the teen ditched environmentally damaging air travel and sailed across the Atlantic to attend the U.N. climate summits in the U.S. and Chile.
According to Live Kindly, earlier this year, Mohammed Barkindo — the secretary-general of OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) — acknowledged public opinion surrounding the climate crisis as a threat to the oil industry.
On September 20, millions around the world, from London to New York, Sydney to Colombia, ditched the classroom to peacefully protest for climate action in what Thunberg dubs “Fridays for Future.”
Her activism has seen her labelled “melodramatic” amongst other things, as well as others saying that she is being used as a political shield.
Yesterday, Thunberg addressed world leaders at the U.N. Climate Summit and delivered a blistering, anger-tinged speech demanding climate action.
During her powerful speech, Thunberg highlighted how the science behind climate change has been “crystal clear” for over 3 decades.
“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!” she said.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”
“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
She continued: “How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you are doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.”
“You say you ‘hear’ us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I don’t want to believe that. Because if you fully understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And I refuse to believe that.”
“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.”
Safe to say, she understandably isn’t his biggest fan and shot him the most intense death stare we’ve ever seen.
When faced with one of the world’s most powerful leaders, Thunberg remains fearless, and her death stare has become a somewhat internet sensation.
In usual Trump-style, he took to Twitter to seemingly mock the teen, writing “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” above a video of her speech.
And, of course, people slammed the president for attacking the young activist.
This is the President of the United States, ladies and gentlemen…
Greta may be young, but there’s one thing she’s not, and that’s stupid.
She decided to edit her Twitter bio to quote Trump’s tweet about her. Generally, you describe yourself, or your interests in that little box, but since the president did so well at telling Greta what she is, she paid tribute to him.
How’s that for sarcasm?
We’re totally here for it!
And every time someone else tweets about her, talks about her, or even decides to insult her…
Just know that they’re aiding our climate change cause.
So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you! Let’s try to make our planet a more sustainable place to live.
In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the climate crisis, keep scrolling to read a story about a scientist with a rather strange solution to global warming.