Six times protest teen Greta Thunberg was brutally honest about climate change

Six times protest teen Greta Thunberg was brutally honest about climate change

If you haven't heard of Greta Thunberg, then I expect you live under a rock. Thunberg is the teen climate change activist, who has been described as a role model for worldwide activism.

She rose to fame for initiating the school climate change strike that formed in November 2018, and then went global after the COP24 conference in December the same year.

More: Greta Thunberg now has more Twitter followers than the Green Party

And, to top that off, Thunberg was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and she's still only 16-years-old. Puts things into perspective, doesn't it.

Now, the flag-bearer for the climate change protest generation has pledged her allegiance to Extinction Rebellion, the latest climate change movement to take place in London.

Extinction Rebellion have been demonstrating in London since Monday April 15, to encourage the UK Government to do more about climate change.

As part of their protests, they've planted trees, glued themselves to stationary trains, and disrupted travel near Heathrow Airport, reports the BBC.

In honour of her untiring commitment to action on climate change, here are some of Thunberg's most hard-hitting speeches.

1. Speaking at the Extinction Rebellion, Marble Arch, London.

On Sunday April 21, Greta Thunberg joined the Extinction Rebellion protests in London, where she spoke to a packed crowd gathered at London's Marble Arch, saying 'Keep going. You are making a difference', and eliciting supportive cheers from those gathered.

She didn't mince her words, saying:

For way too long the politicians and people in power have got away with not doing anything at all to fight the climate crisis and ecological crisis. But we will make sure they will not get away with it any longer.

She also said she hoped people in attendance would follow the protestors' example:

Humanity is now standing at a crossroads. We must now decide which path we want to take.

How do we want the future living conditions for all living species to be like?

We have gathered here today, and in many other places throughout London and across the world too, we have gathered today because we have chosen which path we want to take and now we are waiting for the others to follow our example.

2. Speech at the EU Parliament in Strasbourg

Speaking to EU leaders at the EU parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday 16 April, an emotional Thunberg, who even broke into tears at points during her speech, criticised leaders for not taking the threat posed by climate change seriously enough.

The 16-year-old activist said:

If our house was falling apart our leaders wouldn’t go on like we do today ... if our house was falling apart you wouldn’t hold three emergency Brexit summits and no emergency summit regarding the breakdown of the climate and the environment.

3. World Economic Forum in Davos

In an impassioned speech delivered to the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 25, 2019,Thunberg told the gathered audience that 'our house is on fire' in a brutally honest speech:

Our house is on fire, I am here to say our house is on fire. According to the IPCC we are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes. 

In that time unprecedented changes in all aspects of society needs to have taken place including a reduction of our co2 emissions by at least 50% and please note that those numbers do not include the aspect of equity which is absolutely necessary to make the Paris agreement work on a global scale.

Nor does it include tipping points or feedback loops like the extreme powerful methane gas being released from the thawing Arctic permafrost. 

4. Speech at TEDX Stockholm

Thunberg addressed the TEDX Stockholm audience in 2018, focusing on the fact that she learned at a young age that there was a lapse in what climate change activists were saying, and in the actions being taken by people in society.

In the address, she didn't hold back, imploring people for 'action' not just 'hope':

So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then, and only then hope will come. 

Today we use 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground. So we can't save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed. 

Everything needs to change. And it has to start today. 

5. Speech to politicians in Brussels at the European Commission

On Thursday 21 February, Thunberg addressed officials in Brussels at the European Commission, where she marched with other school children as part of the climate change strikes that had been ongoing since December.

In a characteristically no-holds-barred speech, she told adults that they can't just 'sit around', and that they're acting like 'spoiled irresponsible children'.

Go, Greta:

You can’t just sit around waiting for hope to come. Then you are acting like spoiled irresponsible children.

You don’t seem to understand that hope is something that you have to earn.

And if you still say that we are wasting valuable lesson time, then let me remind you that our political leaders have wasted decades through denial and inaction. And since our time is running out we have started taking action.

We have started cleaning up your mess and we won’t stop until we are done. Thank you.

6. COP24 plenary session

More: Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg nominated for Nobel Peace Prize and people are ecstatic

More: Teenager behind student climate change strike has more Twitter followers than Green Party leaders

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