At just 16 years old, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has made waves all over the world for her plain-spoken, no-holds-barred chastising of world leaders over their inaction on climate change. Thunberg’s signature calm and the profound magnitude of her quietly delivered warnings were on full display this week as she addressed members of the U.K. Parliament after a weeklong series of militant actions by Extinction Rebellion. “Is my microphone on? Can you hear me?” she asked several times, with a palpable anger.
Thunberg called out Britain for claiming that it has lowered its emissions but leaving out of its calculations major sources of carbon emissions. She also blamed lawmakers for championing such new fossil fuels as fracked oil and gas. “This ongoing, irresponsible behavior will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind,” Thunberg said, as Members of Parliament watched and listened in silence. Secretary of State for Environment Michael Gove later said he felt “great admiration, but also responsibility and guilt.” Labour MP Ed Miliband admitted, “You have woken us up.”