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Greta Thunberg Has Given Up on Politicians | NYT Opinion

NYT, 28 Oct 2021
Why are we asking a teenager how to solve the climate crisis?

“It’s absurd,” says Greta Thunberg, in an Opinion Video guest essay, that we are asking her to answer this question. Even more absurd, she argues, “is the fact that the climate and ecological emergency is being reduced to a problem that needs to be fixed.”

On Tuesday, evidence of what Thunberg calls the “political and economic failure” to address climate change was on full display when the United Nations released their annual report detailing “the difference between where greenhouse emissions are predicted to be in 2030 and where they should be to avert the worst impacts of climate change.”

The report paints a bleak picture of missed targets and pledges that don’t go far enough.

In her video guest essay, Thunberg criticizes the presidents, prime ministers, kings and queens attempting to wield her image for their own political gain.

The animated video offers a unique window into the life of the 18-year-old Swedish activist.

“You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” Thunberg famously said to the United Nations.

Our video unpacks the experience of being transformed into an icon; the experience of being Greta Thunberg.

And Thunberg is correct — selfies and hashtags won’t save the planet.

And yet, she still believes humanity has not failed. In a rising ocean of troubling news, she has managed to hold on to hope.

Hope, not from politicians and leaders, but from ordinary people. The masses, she argues, have the power to create change.

As political powers head to Glasgow next week for COP26, Thunberg has a message to those of us not going to Scotland: “Hope comes from people, from democracy, from you.”

“It’s up to you and me,” she says. “No one else will do it for us.”
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