+
Planet

Greta Thunberg powerfully calls out Congress for inaction on climate change

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."

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

Because you're a girl.

This article originally appeared on 04.14.17


I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.

But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less