Thunberg Scolds Elites Over Climate 01/21 06:12
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) -- Four young climate activists, including Greta
Thunberg, scolded the elites gathered at the World Economic Forum for not doing
enough to deal with the climate emergency and warned them that time was running
At a panel in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, the four said Tuesday that they
hoped their generation had found its voice and can work with those in power to
bring about the necessary change to limit climate change. Yet Thunberg said not
enough has been done.
"We need to start listening to the science, and treat this crisis with the
importance it deserves," said the 17-year-old, just as U.S. President Donald
Trump was arriving in Davos and was due to give a speech. Trump has pulled the
U.S. out of the Paris accord to limit climate change and has traded barbs with
Thunberg on social media.
"Without treating it as a real crisis we cannot solve it," Thunberg said.
The Swedish teenager came to fame by staging a regular strike at her school,
sparking a global movement that eventually earned her Time Magazine's award as
the 2019 Person of the Year.
She said that people are more aware about climate issues now. "It feels like
the climate and environment is a hot topic now, thanks to young people pushing."
The others on the panel were just as forceful and passionate about the
effects of global warming and how they, as young people, need to play a central
role in raising awareness and insist on change.
"The older generation has a lot of experience, but we have ideas, we have
energy, and we have solutions," said Natasha Wang Mwansa, an 18-year-old
activist from Zambia who campaigns for girls' and women's rights.
Salvador Gmez-Coln, who raised funds and awareness after Hurricane Mara
devastated his native Puerto Rico in 2017, said young activists are doing more
than just talking.
"We're not waiting five, 10, 20 years to take the action we want to see.
We're not the future of the world, we're the present, we're acting now. We're
not waiting any longer."
Thunberg said the time for action was now, that being at the top of the
agenda meant nothing if the world doesn't get to grips with the climate
"I am not the person who can complain about not being heard. I'm being heard
all the time," she quipped. "But in general the science and the voice of young
people is not in the center of the conversation."
Autumn Peltier, the chief water commissioner for the Anishinabek Nation of
indigenous people in Canada, said plaudits are not what they are looking for at
the World Economic Forum.
"I don't want your awards. If you are going to award me, award me with
helping to find solutions and helping to make change."