Sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg just told a group of the elite gathered in Davos for the World Economic Forum—as they were seated just feet away from her—that they are among those directly responsible for the climate crisis.
"It takes deep courage to go to Davos and tell the masters-of-the-universe *to their faces* that they knowingly torched the planet in order to get filthy rich."
—Naomi KleinSpeaking Thursday before a panel that included U2 frontman Bono, former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, acclaimed conservationist Jane Goodall, and panel host and billionaire Marc Benioff, Thunberg echoed themes from a video she created to share with Davos-goers.
"Some people say that that the climate crisis is something that we all have created. But that is not true—because if everyone is guilty, then no one is to blame. And someone is to blame," Thunberg said to the peope in the room. "Some people, some companies, some decision-makers in particular have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to make unimaginable amounts of money, and I think many of you here today belong to that group of people."
Her statement was followed by silence until Bono began applauding. Other audience members and panelists then followed suit.
The teen activist shared the moment on Twitter:
Journalist and climate activist Naomi Klein applauded Thunberg's bravery, writing on Twitter: "It takes deep courage to go to Davos and tell the masters-of-the-universe *to their faces* that they knowingly torched the planet in order [to] get filthy rich."
It takes deep courage to go to Davos and tell the masters-of-the-universe *to their faces* that they knowingly torched the planet in order get filthy rich. @GretaThunberg did that. She's 15. https://t.co/66koheOsUq— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) January 24, 2019
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Speaking to CNN Business about the talk, Thunberg said, "It was pretty fun."
"I think it's very insane and weird that people come here in private jets to discuss climate change. It's not reasonable," Thunberg—who arrived at the gathering by train and has been sleeping in a tent—told the outlet.
Benioff also shared clips of some of the others on the panel speaking, including Goodall:
"What can we do to improve the state of the world?" Everyone has a role. The youth must lead us. Learn more & Watch Bono, @iamwill, @JaneGoodallInst, Kengo Sakurada, @CFigueres, @GretaThunberg, visions for our future at #wef19: https://t.co/h45vo6JeGJ pic.twitter.com/LYElx7wwkp— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) January 25, 2019
On Friday, the last day of the forum, Thunberg continued her criticism of the Davos attendees in an address that demanded action above all else from the world's so-called leaders. "I want you to act as you would in a crisis," she said. "I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is."