Greta Thunberg powerfully calls out Congress for inaction on climate change
via Forbes / YouTube

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, 18, gave a blistering critique to a House of Representatives panel on Thursday, focusing on the country's fossil fuel subsidies.

Thunberg appeared virtually at the two-day Earth Day summit where the Biden Administration announced its pledge to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

Thunberg has become an international climate icon after delivering impassioned speeches to the United Nations and inspiring the largest climate change protest in history in 2019.


The activist began her statement by casting aside any attempt to educate the panel on why addressing climate change is an important issue because it's settled science and the ramifications are clear. "I'm not even going to explain why we need to make real, drastic changes and dramatically lower our emissions in line with overall, currently best-available science," she said.

Greta Thunberg Testfies Before Congress On Earth Day, Says US Is "The Biggest Emitter In History" www.youtube.com


She pointed out that the U.S. government is speaking out of both sides of its mouth when it comes to the environment. On the one hand, the U.S. has rejoined the Paris Agreement, and made a dramatic new pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

On the other hand, it also subsidizes fossil fuel companies — arguably the largest contributors to climate change — tens of billions of dollars every year.

"It is the year 2021. The fact that we are still having this discussion, and even more that we are still subsidizing fossil fuels, directly or indirectly, using taxpayer money is a disgrace," Thunberg told the committee.

The U.S. government has subsidized gas, coal, and oil for decades, a report by Greenpeace found that the direct subsidies amount to around $20 billion a year. A recent report by Forbes found that in 2020, the fossil fuel industry received $30 billion in subsidies and direct pandemic relief.

Matthew Kotchen, economist from Yale University, said that if fossil fuel companies in the United States were made to pay for the real environmental and health costs of their products, it would set them back around $62 billion a year.

"Fossil fuel companies benefit in a big way because prices currently do not reflect the environmental and social costs associated with the production and consumption of fossil fuels,'' Kotchen said.

"A change would really affect their bottom lines, and this study estimates how much," he continued.

via European Parliament / Flickr

Thunberg reiterated the fact that the U.S.'s actions aren't aligning with the overall goals of the Paris Agreement. "The gap between what we are doing and what actually needs to be done in order to stay below the 1.5-degree celsius target is widening by the second," she said.

One of the main goals of the Paris Agreement is to prevent the planet from warming an additional 1.5 degrees celsius. According to NASA, should the Earth warm an additional 1.5 degrees Celsius, it will experience droughts, heatwaves, water-stress, extreme precipitation, loss of biological species, and biome shifts.

She ended her statement with a warning.

"So, either you do this or you are going to have to start explaining to your children and the most affected people why you are surrendering on the 1.5-degree target," Thunberg said. "Giving up without even trying."

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

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via Twitter

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Personally, when i think back to being in elementary school in the '80s, I remember the taste of the chocolate ship cookie we got on Fridays (with the pizza). The humiliation of getting nailed in the back during nation ball. And the grumbling, grinding sound that happened when you slipped a disk into the drive on an Apple IIe computer.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."