Thunberg to Congress: ‘Listen to the scientists’
Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered a short and direct message before a Congressional hearing on Wednesday (September 18): "I don't want you to listen to me.
I want you to listen to the scientists." Yahaira Jacquez reports.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH TEENAGE CLIMATE ACTIVIST GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "I am Greta Thunberg." The teenage activist - who sailed across the Atlantic on an emissions-free yacht - brought her fight for more action on climate climate to Capitol Hill Wednesday, where she delivered a short, direct message.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH TEENAGE CLIMATE ACTIVIST GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "I don't want you to listen to me.
I want you to listen to the scientists.
And I want you to unite behind science.
And then I want you to take real action." The Swedish 16-year-old was one of four students who appeared before a House hearing, during which she submitted a report that urges unprecedented changes to the way we live in order to counter global warming.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH TEENAGE CLIMATE ACTIVIST GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "I am submitting this report as my testimony." Thunberg sparked a worldwide movement when she began skipping school on Fridays and sitting outside the Swedish Parliament to protest against political inaction on climate change.
While the students were praised by Republican lawmakers for raising awareness, they disagreed on what actions the U.S. should take.
Most notably, in this exchange with Congressman Garret Graves from Louisiana, who criticized the Paris Climate Agreement for allowing emerging economies like China to continue to emit greenhouse gases.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) REP.
GARRET GRAVES (R-LA): "Miss Thunberg, If you're sailing across the ocean and you're picking up trash along the way and for every one you take, there's a boat right next to you dumping 5 pieces.
How would that make you feel?" Thunberg responded by explaining the U.S. should still do more even if others are lagging behind.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH TEENAGE CLIMATE ACTIVIST GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "If you use that logic then I'm also dumping a lot of trash in the ocean.
Then I would stop dumping my trash in the ocean and tell the other boat to stop dumping their trash in the ocean, as well." Thunberg has been in Washington since last week to build support for a global strike set to take place Friday.
And she is set to speak at the United Nations Climate Summit next week.