While President Donald Trump still can’t even be counted on to admit that climate change is a real threat to the United States and human civilization at large, figures like former President Barack Obama are still leading the way. This week, he met with 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who is in the U.S. to press for action via means including meeting with leaders like him and participating in an at this point upcoming student strike over inaction on climate change that mirrors collective action she helped kickstart in Europe. Obama proclaimed Thunberg to be “one of our planet’s greatest advocates.”
Along with a photo of the two shaking hands, he shared on Twitter:
‘Just 16, @GretaThunberg is already one of our planet’s greatest advocates. Recognizing that her generation will bear the brunt of climate change, she’s unafraid to push for real action. She embodies our vision at the @ObamaFoundation: A future shaped by young leaders like her.’
Just 16, @GretaThunberg is already one of our planet’s greatest advocates. Recognizing that her generation will bear the brunt of climate change, she’s unafraid to push for real action. She embodies our vision at the @ObamaFoundation: A future shaped by young leaders like her. pic.twitter.com/VgCPAaDp3C
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 17, 2019
While in office, Obama attempted action on climate change through means like bringing the United States into the landmark Paris Climate Accord signed by essentially every country on earth at this point. That agreement set targets for emissions reduction and more — and upon taking office, Trump promptly moved to withdraw the United States from that agreement, complaining that it was supposedly unfair. Numerous jurisdictions around the United States have still moved to implement the provisions of the agreement anyway.
Besides Obama, Thunberg has also met with Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey (D), who sponsored the Senate version of the so-called “Green New Deal,” an ambitious plan to take the United States to a point of net-zero carbon emissions within ten years. In the House, that plan was spearheaded by figures including prominent progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — and unsurprisingly considering precedent, it’s attracted significant Republican opposition. Republicans like Trump’s own campaign have gone all in on taking even the smallest steps to try and salvage the environment as a personal threat. They’ve even sold Trump-branded plastic straws to “own the libs” or whatever.
Check out Twitter’s response to Obama…
Featured Image via screenshot