On Sunday, CNN host Fareed Zakaria decided to interview a veteran climate change activist in order to buttress the case for the importance of confronting global warming: a Swedish 15-year-old girl, Greta Thunberg, who came to prominence after skipping school for three weeks to champion the cause of the dangers of global warming. She warned "climate change" is the "biggest crisis humanity has ever faced," adding that she had given up flying, eating meat and dairy, and receiving new merchandise as Christmas gifts in order to promote the climate change agenda.
Zakaria introduced Thunberg as a girl who had spoken at the annual COP24 conference in Poland, adding that she "has decided to make it her life's mission to save the world from climate change." He played a video of her, claiming she "spoke truth to power" at the convention.
Zakaria began his interview with her by asking, “What made you decide that this was going to be the thing you wanted to do? Have you always been looking for some cause, did you always feel like you wanted to make a difference in the world or is it that climate change just strikes you as so big that you felt moved by that?”
Thunberg, who came off as extremely earnest and not cynical, responded, “Yes, I mean the climate crisis the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced and if we don’t do anything right now, we’re screwed. And then I thought that I want to be able to when I grow up to look back and say I did what I could back then. It is my moral duty to do what I can and then I just decided to do it because there’s nothing I have to lose.”
Zakaria continued, “And you’re not just talking about it but as we say here in the United States also, ‘You’re walking the walk.’ You have changed your life and your lifestyle to try to have as low an impact as you can both in terms of climate and sustainability. Outline some of those measures.”
Thunberg answered, “I have stopped flying. I have stopped eating meat and dairy and I have stopped consuming new things and buying new things.”
Zakaria stressed, “So we’re coming up on Christmas and New Year and you’re gonna get any new any new things as gifts?”
Thunberg, seriously, “No. Not me, my parents, they don’t get me many presents because I don’t want any presents.”
Zakaria then gave the young girl a chance to lecture adults, saying, “Greta, what would you say to people, particularly in places like the United States. What’s your message to the adults in the room, as it were?”
Thunberg concluded with a paean that would have done any leftist proud, climaxing with an appeal to anger as a call to action:
My message to the people in general is that we have to understand the emergency of this situation and we need to realize that our political leaders have failed us and that we must our voices heard and to put pressure on the people in power and say to them that we’re not going to allow this to continue any more. And we young people need to say that we must hold the older generations accountable for the mess they have created and expects us to live with. And say to them that we cannot continue risking our future like this. And so, we need to get angry and then we need to transform that anger into action.
Zakaria: “Well, I admire your conviction and your courage.”