Inspired by a Swedish teenager, students around the world on Friday will protest political inaction.
By The Editorial Board
The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.
March 12, 2019
The girl in long braids and lavender pants was in striking contrast to the rich and powerful adults gathered in Davos in January for the World Economic Forum, and her brief address lacked the usual niceties.
“Adults keep saying, ‘We owe it to the young people to give them hope,’” she said. “But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”
The applause was tepid.
Hers was not a tone grown-ups welcome from a 16-year-old. But Greta Thunberg is someone they should listen to. In fact, must listen to.
Not because the catastrophe she sees coming is news: The warnings of impending climatic catastrophe are already deafening — in the 2018 report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warns that we are less than 12 years away from the point of no return; in the findings of 13 United States federal agencies that describe the grave threats posed by climate change to the nation; in the extremes of weather reported daily; in the vanishing Arctic ice, raging wildfires, violent tornadoes and other consequences of an overheating planet that appear with ever increasing frequency.