Just before U.S. President Joe Biden's two-day virtual summit on the climate crisis got underway, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg on Thursday shared a video message calling out the "bullshit" of world leaders who she says are failing to take the steps necessary to confront the planetary emergency.
"While we can fool others and even ourselves, we cannot fool nature and physics."
Posted online by NowThis News, the video featuring Thunberg comes as a warning from the well-known global climate campaigner that the people of the world should not be fooled by the lofty rhetoric they will hear at the summit.
"At the Leaders' Climate Summit, countries will present their new climate commitments, like net-zero emissions by 2050," Thunberg says in the video. "They will call these hypothetical targets 'ambitious.' But when you compare our insufficient targets with the overall current best available science, you clearly see that there's a gap. There are decades missing."
Watch the video:
‘We cannot fool nature and physics’ — In this NowThis exclusive, @GretaThunberg says commitments presented by countries at the Leaders’ Climate Summit will leave a ‘gap of awareness, action, and time’ pic.twitter.com/y8qYPJKmAE
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 22, 2021
The 18-year-old founder of "Fridays for Future" and inspiration for the global climate strike movement also penned an open letter first published in Vogue on Thursday, making much the same argument.
"You may call us naïve for believing change is possible, and that's fine," Thunberg wrote. "But at least we're not so naïve that we believe that things will be solved by countries and companies making vague, distant, insufficient targets without any real pressure from the media and the general public."
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Of course, we welcome all efforts to safeguard future and present living conditions. And these targets could be a great start if it wasn't for the tiny fact that they are full of gaps and loopholes. Such as leaving out emissions from imported goods, international aviation and shipping, as well as the burning of biomass, manipulating baseline data, excluding most feedback loops and tipping points, ignoring the crucial global aspect of equity and historic emissions, and making these targets completely reliant on fantasy or barely existing carbon-capturing technologies. But I don't have time to go into all that now.
The point is that we can keep using creative carbon accounting and cheat in order to pretend that these targets are in line with what is needed. But we must not forget that while we can fool others and even ourselves, we cannot fool nature and physics. The emissions are still there, whether we choose to count them or not.
"The gap between what needs to be done and what we are actually doing is widening by the minute," she added. "The gap between the urgency needed and the current level of awareness and attention is becoming more and more absurd. And the gap between our so-called climate targets and the overall, current best-available science should no longer be possible to ignore."
Speaking of world leaders in the Thursday video and the shortcomings of their climate proposals thus far, Thunberg said, "Let's call out their bullshit," because the gap between what their rhetoric and what's actually needed is "the biggest elephant there's even been in any room."
Along with other witnesses, Thunberg is testifying before congressional lawmakers on Thursday during a hearing convened by the House Subcommittee on the Environment.
Watch the hearing—titled "The Role of Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Preventing Action on the Climate Crisis" and slated to begin at 10:00 am ET—live: