15-year-old activist shames our ‘adult’ politicians over climate chaos, right in front of the UN

Greta Thunberg speaking at the UN plenary
Support us and go ad-free

One of the “most influential teens of 2018”, Greta Thunberg, addressed the UN for the second time to shame political leaders on climate policy this week.

“Behaving like children”

Since Thunberg first walked out of her school in Sweden to protest climate breakdown over four months ago, students across the globe have been following suit.

And as the UN climate conference drew to a close this week, Thunberg travelled from Sweden to Poland by electric car to make a powerful speech:

World leaders are “behaving like children”, she previously claimed. And in the speech above, she insisted:

You only speak of green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular… You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden, you leave to us children.

Thunberg thus nailed a crucial yet rarely mentioned environmental truth: the economic necessities of consumer capitalism are simply incompatible with solving our climate crisis. She continued with a killer punch:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

If solutions within this system are so impossible to find, then maybe we should change the system itself.

And in an all-round moving speech, this quote stands out:

The year 2078, I will celebrate my 75th birthday. If I have children, maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you. Maybe they will ask why you didn’t do anything while there still was time to act. You say you love your children above all else, yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.

Global praise

Thunberg’s activism has received global support and praise:

And according to author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, Thunberg has “set something big in motion”:

Renowned author and activist Naomi Klein also showed her support:

“Stealing their future”

The true thieves of our children’s future revealed themselves at the summit, with the US joining Russia, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia in blocking endorsement of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s landmark climate report. The US state department said:

The United States was willing to note the report… but not welcome it, as that would denote endorsement of the report.

According to Alden Mayer of the Union of Concerned Scientists:

The fact that a group of four countries were trying to diminish the value and importance of a scientific report themselves, with all other countries, requested three years ago in Paris is pretty remarkable.

“We have run out of excuses, and we are running out of time,” Thunberg told the UN. She’s right: young people must reclaim the future that is being stolen from them. And we must all stand alongside them in that struggle.

Featured image via screengrab

Support us and go ad-free

Get involved

  • Support the organisation that Thunberg represents, Climate Action Now.
  • Read more of The Canary‘s coverage of climate breakdown.

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us