Greta Thunberg to Congress: 'Don't listen to me. Listen to the scientists'

Pablo Tucker
September 19, 2019

"My name is Greta Thunberg".

"When I found how [climate change] actually was, that made me furious so that I wanted to do something about it", she remarked. Instead of testifying she simply hands the Foreign Relations committee a copy of the IPCC report on 1.5 degrees.

GEORGI TOMISATO: You know, when I first heard about Greta Thunberg, she really impressed me. She has helped energize a youth movement focused on the generational injustice of climate change and the lack of global action. "We don't want it", she said. "And then I want you to take action".

When the committee chairman, Democratic Representative Bill Keating from MA, asked Greta "why it's so important to listen to the science", she said: "Well, I don't see a reason not to listen to the science".

The world is currently on track to surpass a warming limit of 2C agreed to in the Paris climate agreement, with major emitters such as the United States and Brazil now headed by leaders who have questioned climate science and enthusiastically back mining and logging that causes the release of planet-warming gases. It's just something that everyone should do.

"My message for him is listen to the science", Thunberg said. She then literally shrugged.

The plaintiffs were joined by teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

"I urge you to accept climate change for what it is, and to act accordingly".

Ms Thunberg said in response that in her home country, people criticised the United States for not taking enough action.

"The climate crisis doesn't exist somewhere in the distant future, the climate crisis isn't an issue for tomorrow, the climate crisis is the issue of our lifetime" Vic Barret, a 20-year-old plaintiff from White Plains, NY said at a press conference in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tomisato says that she hopes that it will raise awareness about the climate crisis globally.

Democratic Senator Ed Markey, chairman of the task force, called the growing number of young protesters the new "X-Factor" in politics, and said their passion could play a significant role in next year's US presidential elections.

Anaiah Thomas, a 17-year-old climate activist and member of US-based youth movement Zero Hour, told the senators they needed to take an urgent approach to climate change and support proposals like the Green New Deal.

"I'm a lifelong conservative activist". Last year, she started skipping school on Fridays to stand outside the Swedish parliament demanding climate action. "I believe humans are making an impact. Despite this, though, the natural world is still being destroyed - so even more action is necessary, now more than ever".

At the panel, Republican representatives praised the students for raising awareness about climate change but disagreed over what action the USA should take. "But I also do think it's important to note that other countries are emitting and we must hold them accountable as we hold ourselves accountable".

The hearing came on a day when Donald Trump's administration, which has reversed the major climate policies put in place by Barack Obama, sought to hobble California's ability to enact stricter emissions standards for cars and trucks. "It's not a hoax". Trump also called it "very expensive bullshit", according to the Atlantic.

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