Politics

“We Will Never Forgive You”: Greta Thunberg Puts World Leaders On Blast In An Astonishing Speech

"We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money, and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you."

Greta Thunberg delivers scathing speech to UN Climate Summit

Greta Thunberg is not like most climate activists.

Of course, the first point of difference is her age. The Swedish-born campaigner for climate justice is 16-years old. She was just a high-schooler when she first launched her solo protest at her country’s parliament, eventually inspiring the School Strike for Climate movement, a global initiative that resulted in the biggest climate protest in the world’s history.

But there’s something else that sets her apart; something considerably more important. A lot of other climate activists, past and present, have played a game of social niceties with politicians and industry leaders. They draw a sharp line in the sand, then spend the rest of their careers re-drawing it, rubbing shoulders with polluters and constantly lowering the bar.

Of course, there’s a reason guiding this attitude, other than cowardice: such activists believe that some action is better than none, and that being polite and friendly is better for press than being realistic.

But Thunberg does not share this belief. From the very outset, her speeches have been incendiary, unapologetic, take-no-prisoners missives not only directed against polluters, but also the people who enable them.

Take, for instance, Thunberg’s recent speech at the UN climate summit.

“This is all wrong,” Thunberg began. “I shouldn’t be up here.

“Yet you come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with empty words. Yet, I am one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are dying. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money, and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.

“For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying you are doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are nowhere in sight?”

Watch the whole speech in full here, via The Guardian: