Monday, January 27, 2020

Time picks Greta Thunberg as youngest-ever Person of the Year

Dec 12. 2019
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks during the New York City Climate Strike rally in New York on Sept. 20, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Demetrius Freeman.
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks during the New York City Climate Strike rally in New York on Sept. 20, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Demetrius Freeman.
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By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Jeremy Hodges

Greta Thunberg, the teenage activist behind a global wave of student strikes, was named Time magazine's youngest-ever Person of the Year.

"Her message is one the Boomers would have recognized in the 1960s: Our elders have sold us out," the magazine said in its article announcing the choice. The previous youngest Person of the Year was the first, aviator Charles Lindbergh, then 25, in 1927.

Thunberg spoke on Wednesday at a United Nations conference in Madrid, telling delegates that rich nations aren't doing enough to solve the climate crisis. Below are excerpts from her speech.

- "Rich countries need to do their fair share and get down to real zero emissions much faster and then help poorer countries do the same so people in less fortunate parts of the world can help raise their living standards."

- "Tell me how do you react to these numbers without feeling at least some level of panic. How do you respond to the fact that basically nothing is being done about this without feeling the slightest bit of anger and how do you communicate this without sounding alarmist. I would really like to know."

- "We indeed have some work to do but some more than others."

- "Recently a handful of rich countries pledged to reduce the emissions in their countries by so-and-so many percent by this or that date or to become climate neutral or net zero in so-and-so many years. This may sound impressive at first glance but even though the intentions may be good this is not leadership. This is not leading, this is misleading. Because most of these pledges do not include aviation, shipping, imported and exported goods and consumption; they do however give the possibilities of the countries to offset their emissions elsewhere."

- "Without seeing the full picture we will not solve this crisis. Finding holistic solutions is what the COP should be all about. But instead it has turned into some kind of opportunity for countries to negotiate loopholes and to avoid raising their ambition. Countries are finding clever ways around having to take action."

- "The biggest danger is not inaction. The real danger is when politicians and CEOs are making it look like real action is happening when in fact almost nothing is being done apart from clever accounting and creative PR."

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