Sixteen-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg is in Washington, D.C. to do her thing – she is berating politicians for not doing enough to save the planet from the inevitable apocalypse brought on by climate change. Former President Obama decided to take the opportunity to get some press for the Obama Foundation.
Obama tweeted out a photo of the meeting.
Just 16, @GretaThunberg is already one of our planet’s greatest advocates. Recognizing that her generation will bear the brunt of climate change, she’s unafraid to push for real action. She embodies our vision at the @ObamaFoundation: A future shaped by young leaders like her. pic.twitter.com/VgCPAaDp3C
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 17, 2019
The former president fist-bumped with her, because, you know, he’s cool. “You and me we’re a team.” He asked if she “believes” in fist-bumping, which is an odd thing to say, but, ok. The Obama Foundation Twitter account has a short video clip of the two sitting down to talk.
Our future will be shaped by the next generation—and @GretaThunberg isn't waiting to get started. At 16, Greta is a leading voice in the fight to save our planet. Yesterday, she sat down with @BarackObama for a conversation about how no one is too young to change the world. pic.twitter.com/7qnIXyUY8P
— The Obama Foundation (@ObamaFoundation) September 17, 2019
At the end of August, Greta Thunberg arrived in lower Manhattan on a 60-foot zero carbon-emission yacht. She is in Washington, D.C. to promote an “intergenerational climate strike” on September 20. Tuesday Senator Markey, the sponsor of the Green New Deal in the Senate, organized a news conference with other Democrats. Thunberg attended but didn’t speak. She served as a prop for the cameras to bring attention to the young activists on Capitol Hill. Wednesday she will appear before the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and later speak on the steps of the Supreme Court.
What Markey may not have expected was to be scolded by the teenager for not doing enough for the cause. He said the 2020 election will be a referendum on climate change. I certainly hope so. Americans looked at the Green New Deal and became concerned for the sanity of the far-left.
By failing to take meaningful action on climate, our leaders failed the young people of the world. A generation of leaders owes our youngest generations an apology & a commitment to finally take the bold action we’ve failed to achieve. Proud to join young climate activists today. pic.twitter.com/B7DEPKIcfK
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) September 17, 2019
Markey said their movement is shifting the political landscape. The senator pointed to the 2020 presidential debates as evidence of what has changed. Candidates are being asked about climate change and pushed to introduce plans to combat global warming. This is in stark contrast to 2016.
“What has happened? You have happened,” he told the activists. “You are giving this extra level of energy to the political process that is absolutely changing the dynamics of politics in the United States.”
The 2020 election, Markey said, will in many ways be a “referendum on climate change”.
Thunberg and other young climate change activists met with the Senate climate crisis task force on Tuesday. After praising the youngsters and asking for advice on how to move forward, Markey and the others got their comeuppance. The kids want action righthisminute. Save your praise, gramps.
“Please save your praise. We don’t want it,” she said. “Don’t invite us here to just tell us how inspiring we are without actually doing anything about it because it doesn’t lead to anything.
“If you want advice for what you should do, invite scientists, ask scientists for their expertise. We don’t want to be heard. We want science to be heard.”
In remarks meant for Congress as a whole, she said: “I know you are trying but just not hard enough. Sorry.”
Nonetheless, Markey persisted. The man can pander with the best of them. Many of these kids aren’t even old enough to vote and Thunberg isn’t an American citizen. He’ll take marching orders from them anyway. Who is the adult here?
“We need your leadership,” he told Thunberg. “Young people are the army politically, which has arrived in the United States. You put a spotlight on this issue in a way that it has never been before. And that is creating a new X factor.”
Still, Markey vowed to try: “We hear you. We hear what you’re saying and we will redouble our efforts.”
The global climate strike on September 20 precedes the U.N. Climate Summit. Thunberg will be in New York for both. Some businesses are so cowed by the kids that they are actually closing their doors for a period of time in support of the climate strike. I’ve written about the liberal activism of companies like Patagonia in the past and that company will join in. Others this year include Amazon.
Amazon employees are planning to take action against their employer. More than 1,400 Amazon employees are expected to strike against the company’s practices that have contributed to the current climate crisis, marking the first walkout at the company’s Seattle headquarters.
Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, the group behind the protest, lists three specific demands: zero emissions by 2030, zero custom Amazon Web Services (AWS) for fossil fuel companies, and zero funding for climate politicians and lobbyists who deny climate change.
Google and Microsoft refuse to be left out, too.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Google Workers for Action on Climate tweeted that over 400 employees have committed to join a local climate strike.
“I support climate actions because we only have one earth and keeping it alive and healthy is one of the biggest responsibilities that we have,” one Google employee shared on the twitter account. “I don’t want my kids to look at me in 20 years asking how could you screw up like this.”
New York City schools are excusing students so that they can participate in the strike. I’ll be surprised if other school systems controlled by liberal alarmists don’t do the same. The marching orders have been received.