Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish activist, politely told members of Congress that they are not doing enough to combat the urgent threat of global warming during a meeting of the Senate climate crisis task force on Tuesday.
Thunberg has galvanized young people across the world to strike for more action to combat the impact of global warming but she told lawmakers to get to work instead of applauding young people who are demanding that they do so.
“Please save your praise. We don’t want it,” Thunberg said. “Don’t invite us here to just tell us how inspiring we are without actually doing anything about it because it doesn’t lead to anything.
“If you want advice for what you should do, invite scientists, ask scientists for their expertise. We don’t want to be heard. We want the science to be heard,” Thunberg said.
In remarks meant for Congress as a whole, the teenage Swedish environmentalist said: “I know you are trying but just not hard enough. Sorry.”
Thunberg was one of several youth activists invited to address the task force during two days of action and speeches aimed at urging lawmakers to support “transformative climate action.”
She was joined by activists from across the US and South America, part of a “multiracial, intergenerational” effort to combat climate change.
Senator Ed Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat who co-sponsored the Green New Deal and leads the Senate task force, told Thunberg and her colleagues, “We hear you. We hear what you’re saying and we will redouble our efforts.”
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