President Trump may have fled Washington in part to avoid the start of his Senate impeachment trial.
But he couldn’t escape Greta Thunberg.
In two speeches Tuesday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, the 17-year-old Swedish environmental activist renewed her call to “start listening to the science” on human-caused climate change. The world, she said, needs to “treat this crisis with the importance it deserves.”
“The science and voice of young people is not the center of the conversation, but it needs to be,” she said.
Thunberg’s words “stood in stark contrast to President Trump’s,” reported the Washington Post.
In his own keynote address to the assembled world leaders, Trump claimed he is a “big believer in the environment,” and announced his support for planting a trillion trees.
But he avoided the words “climate change” and, says Reuters, “spoke at length about the economic importance of oil and gas,” and called climate change activists ‘pessimistic,’ adding that people everywhere should “reject the perennial prophets of doom.”
As the most prominent member of a panel of young environmentalists invited to this year’s conference, Thunberg said, “Planting trees is good, of course, but it’s nowhere near enough of what is needed.”
“Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fueling the flames by the hour. And we are telling you to act as if you loved your children above all else.” she said, echoing her own remarks at Davos last year.
“I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act,” she told the 2019 conference.
Trump mocked Thunberg after she was chosen last month as Time magazine’s Person of the Year, noted the New York Times: “So ridiculous,” he tweeted. “Greta must work on her anger management problem.”
But Thunberg is far from alone when it comes to young people angry about the threat of climate change caused by human pollution of the Earth’s air, sea and land.
Among the other “climate heroes” being celebrated by the WEF this year is “Irish teen scientist Fionn Ferreira, who created a solution for preventing micro plastics from reaching oceans,” says Reuters.
“They also include South African climate activist Ayakha Melithafa, 17, and Canadian Autumn Peltier, who has been advocating for water conservation since she was 8. “