Greta Thunberg Just Pulled an Iconic Move in Front of Congress

The 16-year-old climate activist says it’s time for lawmakers to listen to science.

Olivier Douliery/Getty

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Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist who has inspired weekly school strikes for climate action around the world, dedicated her Wednesday morning Congressional testimony to the scientists who have outlined the irrefutable facts of climate change.

Instead of delivering prepared remarks at the joint hearing between the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Energy, and the Environment and the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Thunberg submitted to lawmakers a copy of the 2018 report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the effects of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“I am submitting this report as my testimony, because I don’t want you to listen to me,” Thunberg said. “I want you to listen to the scientists, and I want you to unite behind the science, and then I want you to take real action.”

 

Last month, Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in an emissions-free boat so that she could attend the United Nations Climate Summit in New York. She has taken a year off from school to pursue climate activism and has joined student strikers in New York and Washington, DC. in their weekly climate protests, known as Fridays for Future.

On Friday, September 20, Thunberg returns to New York to lead students and adults in a Global Climate Strike one day before the United Nations Youth Climate Summit. New York City’s 1.1 million public school students will be excused from classes Friday, and people around the world are expected to skip school and work to protest the lack of meaningful governmental action against climate change.

Thunberg’s efforts have earned the praise of prominent politicians, including former President Barack Obama.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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