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Greta's Davos Warning: 8 Years to Save the Planet

She asks world leaders what they will tell their children when catastrophe strikes
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2020 11:05 AM CST
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg attends the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
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(Newser) – When Greta Thunberg addressed world leaders at the Davos World Economic Forum last year, she memorably told them that "your house is on fire," notes Rolling Stone. This year? "Our house is still on fire," she declared, adding that "your inaction is fueling the flames by the hour." At one point, the 17-year-old climate activist dismissed a question posed to her on a panel about how she handles criticism as frivolous. "I would like to say something that I think people need to know more than how I deal with haters," she said, before citing stats from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A massive and immediate reduction in CO2 emissions is required to retain a fighting chance of keeping global temperatures from rising a potentially catastrophic 1.5 degrees Celsius, she said.

"With today's emissions levels, the remaining [carbon] budget is gone in less than eight years," she said, per Fast Company. "These aren't anyone's views. This is the science." And to the media: "I know you don't want to report about this. I know you don't want to talk about this, but I assure you I will continue to repeat these numbers until you do." Thunberg didn't mention President Trump, though she did have a message for world leaders in general, per the BBC: "I wonder, what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing ... climate chaos that you knowingly brought upon them? That it seemed so bad for the economy that we decided to resign the idea of securing future living conditions without even trying?" (Trump criticized "alarmists" in his Davos speech.)

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