Teen activist Greta Thunberg says adults must protect kids from climate change

Pablo Tucker
October 28, 2019

Nelloptodes gretae is described as a yellow and gold beetle, with no eyes or wings, that measures just 0.79 millimeters.

"But the world ignored her".

Onstage, Indigenous activists including Audrey Siegl, Ida Manuel, and Dakota Bear, and 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was introduced by Joan and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).

N. gretae belongs to a collection of samples of soil and leaf litter from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, compiled in the 1960s and donated to the NHM in 1978.

"It is an honour for me to be here with you today, thank you", said Thunberg, who began her 10-minute speech by acknowledging that she was on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people.

He was supported by Dr Max Barclay, the museum's senior curator in charge of beetles, who added that the name was apt because "it is likely that undiscovered species are being lost all the time, before scientists have even named them, because of biodiversity loss".


The museum said the beetle's existence in its vast collection had only just been discovered.

Biological names comprise two words, one for the genus and the second for the species. Darby has previously named another species of the beetle after British naturalist David Attenborough.

Greta Thunberg, pictured, is a teenager who began a solo protest outside the Swedish parliament previous year which has since spread across the globe. She was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019.

Thunberg, known worldwide for her climate activism, has been travelling in North America since late August, after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in a zero-emissions sailboat.

Sustainabiliteens, a youth-led group, has been staging Fridays for Future rallies inspired by climate protests Thunberg launched past year outside the Swedish Parliament.

An 18-year-old plaintiff, Sophia Sidarous, of the Metepenagiag First Nation in Quebec, told the Vancouver crowd that the climate crisis threatened her way of life and the existence of the Mi'kmaq people.


What began as a lone fight in August past year outside the Swedish parliament spread all over the world and involved more than 100,000 schoolchildren in 112 different countries.

"If world leaders would have started to take action back then, when this crisis became known to them, then imagine the sufferings that could have been prevented", she says.

Greta with her hair in pig tail plaits.

"On Friday people of all ages from across Treaty 6, 7, and 8 territory will join together with Greta Thunberg in-person to fight for a future that: respects climate science, upholds indigenous rights and sovereignty, creates millions of good jobs, and enshrines dignity and justice for all".

Greta was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by members of Norway's Parliament for her work and determination, and she received the freedom of expression, Fritt Ord Prize, in April.

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