On September 23, 2019, she spoke at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York and called on world leaders to address the growing danger of climate change.
“My message is that we will be watching you,” said Thunberg. “It’s all wrong. I shouldn’t be here. I should be back to school on the other side of the ocean. However, you all come to us, young people, to hope. How dare you! You stole my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I am one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People die. Whole ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the start of a massive extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you … You fail us. But young people are beginning to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are on you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: we will never forgive you. We won’t let you get away with it. Here, right now, this is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming whether you like it or not. ”
Thunberg has been the subject of controversy on both sides of the political spectrum, with some right-wing experts downplaying her talking points by stressing that she is autistic and mentally ill.
Others pointed out that her beliefs could be those of her parents and that she was used as a figurehead by the left to spread lies about the state of the environment.
President Donald Trump turned to Twitter and apparently made fun of her for her outrage, saying that “she seems to be a very happy girl, looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.” It’s so nice to see! ”
At a more local level, opinions remain divided.
“I don’t know what it feels like, yes, she’s young but I feel like these are people who trip. I think the media is forcing her on us, like with these sad advertisements on dogs, You know, that means making us feel bad, “said Scott Young, a plumber living in Highland.
In contrast, Stephen Anderson, a computer science student, said, “I think Greta is a really interesting example of the number of children who feel grown up in today’s society … For Greta and others his age and from their youngest, they didn’t grow up in a world where we didn’t talk about the climate crisis… Greta grew up with the fear and danger associated with climate change all her life. It is much more serious for their generation and I think that her anger and her passion refresh a debate much older than her. ”
Regardless of people’s opinion about it, it is fair to say that Thunberg has become a prominent figure on the issue of climate change. As to what effect, if any, it will have on the matter remains to be seen.