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“I Know You’re Trying, but Just Not Hard Enough”, Teen Activist to Lawmakers

"I know you're trying," she told Democratic senators at an invitation-only forum, but just not hard enough

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Teen, Activist, Lawmakers
Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunber, 16, sits on the side among other youth climate activists at a news conference about the Green New Deal hosted by U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sept. 17, 2019. VOA

Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg offered a blunt message to Congress on Tuesday as she brought her campaign for urgent action on climate change to the U.S. Capitol. Teen.

“I know you’re trying,” she told Democratic senators at an invitation-only forum, “but just not hard enough. Sorry.”

Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey thanked the 16-year-old activist for her advice and her activism, which has gained worldwide attention by inspiring a series of protests and school strikes, including one set for Friday.

Thunberg and other young activists bring “moral clarity” to the fight against global warming, Markey said.

Teen, Activist, Lawmakers
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) speaks at a news conference about the Green New Deal hosted by U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) on the Northeast lawn in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sept. 17, 2019. VOA

“We hear you,” he told her, vowing that lawmakers “will redouble our efforts to make sure that we inject this issue into the politics of this building and this country because time is running out.”

Markey and other lawmakers hailed Thunberg as a “superpower,” noting that her activism has drawn a passionate following of children essentially challenging their elders to take action.

“Save your praise,” Thunberg replied. “We don’t want it,” she added, especially if officials intend to talk about climate change “without doing anything about it.”

Thunberg was in Washington ahead of a global strike planned for Friday. Activists are calling for immediate action from the world’s governments to halt global warming, reduce fossil fuel consumption and avert environmental catastrophe.

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Instead of listening to her and other teenagers, lawmakers should invite scientists to the Capitol to listen to their expertise on ways to slow a rise in global temperatures, Thunberg said.

“This is not about us. This is not about youth activism,” she said. “We don’t want to be heard. We want the science to be heard.”

Despite Thunberg’s request, lawmakers bombarded her and other youth activists with praise, saying they had sparked a global movement that is already being felt in the 2020 presidential campaign and in the halls of Congress, where lawmakers are debating proposals such as the Green New Deal.

Markey is a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, which would shift the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels such as oil and coal and replace them with renewable sources such as wind and solar power.

Teen, Activist, Lawmakers
Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg offered a blunt message to Congress on Tuesday as she brought her campaign for urgent action on climate change to the U.S. Capitol. Pixabay

“We need your leadership,” he told Thunberg and other activists. “It’s creating a new X-factor” to boost efforts to fight climate change.

Last month, Thunberg crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a solar-powered boat, landing in New York City on Aug. 28. She’s in Washington for several days of rallies and lobbying efforts ahead of Friday’s global climate strike.

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Thunberg will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday and address the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York next week. (VOA)

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Swedish Teen Climate Activist Urging Law Makers to “Listen to the Science” and Take Action

The 16-year-old Thunberg has been in Washington since last week when she joined U.S. and indigenous activists for a protest designed

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Swedish, Teen, Climate
Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg testifies at a Climate Crisis Committee joint hearing on "Voices Leading the Next Generation on the Global Climate Crisis," on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Sept. 18, 2019. VOA

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg appeared before a U.S. Congressional committee Wednesday, urging law makers to “listen to the science” and take action on global climate change.

The 16-year-old Thunberg has been in Washington since last week when she joined U.S. and indigenous activists for a protest designed to build support for a global climate strike on Friday and put pressure on lawmakers to take action on climate change.

She was one of four students to appear Wednesday before a joint hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

She submitted a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in lieu of her testimony, and told the lawmakers to “follow the science:”

Swedish, Teen, Climate

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg appeared before a U.S. Congressional committee Wednesday, urging law makers to “listen to the science” and take action. Pixabay

“Well, well I don’t see a reason to not listen to the science, is such just such a thing that we should be taking for granted that we listen to the current best available united science. It’s just something that everyone should do. This is not political opinions, political views or my opinions, this is, this is the science, so yeah,” she said.

Later on Wednesday, Thunberg joined seven young Americans who have sued the U.S. government for failing to take action on climate change on the steps of the Supreme Court. They urged political leaders and lawmakers to support their legal fight and take action to phase out the use of fossil fuels.

Thunberg first gained notoriety last year when she began skipping school each Friday to protest outside the Swedish parliament. She was joined by other students and later founded the ‘Fridays for Future’ weekly school walkouts around the world  to demand government climate-change action.

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Her organization of “climate strikers” reached 3.6 million people across 169 countries. She has been in the United States since last month when she sailed in to New York on a solar-powered boat to attend a U.N. climate summit. (VOA)