The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg caused a sensation at the UN climate summit in New York with a highly emotional and moving speech. “We are at the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can think is money and fairy tales of eternal growth. How dare you,” said the visibly agitated 16-year-old on Monday.
If environmental protection were taken seriously, she wouldn’t have to be in New York right now, said Thunberg, who had a year’s absence from school for her fight. “My message is that we are watching you! This is all wrong, I shouldn’t be here. I should be back at school – on the other side of the ocean.” How dare you steal my dreams and my childhood with your empty words?” she asked angrily.
“You disappoint us!”
In addition, Thunberg denounced the “fairy tale of economic growth that would last forever”. Although researchers have been warning of massive global warming for more than 30 years, governments are not doing enough and are concerned about economic growth. “You disappoint us,” said the Swedish woman who had launched the Fridays for Future movement with her school strike.
“If you really understood the situation and still let us down, you would be cruel – and I refuse to believe that. How dare you believe that you can solve this by continuing as before – and with some technical solutions? You’re still not mature enough to say how it really is,” says Thunberg.
“You’re abandoning us!”
The 16-year-old Swedish girl criticised the governments’ behaviour as “angry and sad”, saying that she still did not want to believe that the governments were “evil”. “You are abandoning us. All future generations have you in mind, and if you decide to let us down, then I decide to say, ‘We will never forgive you! We won’t let you get away with this!’ This is where we draw the line. The world wakes up and there will be changes, whether you like it or not.”