Greta Thunberg caught the attention of “liar” political leaders on the Glastonbury stage, saying that dishonesty in public office has not “just become socially acceptable” but something the public expects.
She told revelers at the festival that they face a battle against “the forces of greed” if they want to avoid a “total natural catastrophe” caused by climate change.
The Swedish environmental activist appeared on the pyramid’s main stage on Saturday afternoon to deliver a short speech on the climate crisis.
She said the climate crisis “is not the new normal” and will only get worse. However, she insisted that “we can still avoid the worst consequences” of climate change.
“Together we can do what seems impossible,” she said.
Posting on Twitter this morning, Thunberg released a teaser for her address, saying, “I’m excited to announce that today I’ll be at the Pyramid Stage in Glastonbury at 5:15pm. I’ll see you there!”
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Addressing the vibrant crowd of Glastonbury attendees, she said: “We are at the beginning of a climate and ecological emergency. This is not the new normal, this crisis will continue to get worse…until we prioritize people and planet over profits and greed.”
The activist said that “we were lied to, we were deprived of our rights as democratic citizens and we were unaware” of the true scale of the climate crisis.
She added that “we need immediate drastic reductions in emissions” and “we need to make fundamental changes in our societies”.
Thunberg continued: “The forces of greed, profit, and planetary destruction are so powerful that our struggle for the natural world is limited to a desperate struggle to avoid total natural catastrophe.
“We should fight for people and nature, but instead we are fighting those who are determined to destroy it. Today, our political leaders can say one thing and do the exact opposite.”
She accused world leaders of “actively creating loopholes” that benefited destructive industries. She said they could “claim to be climate leaders while expanding their nation’s fossil fuel infrastructure.”
“They can say we are in a climate emergency as they open new coal mines, new oil fields and new pipelines. Not only has it become socially acceptable for our leaders to lie, it’s more or less what we expect them to do,” she said.
His bold speech comes before the publication of his latest project, The Weather Book, which should hit shelves on October 27 this year.
Billed as a “holistic view of the true state of the planet and an essential tool for everyone who wants to help save it”, the book sees more than 100 scientists, communicators and activists weighing in on the climate, ecological and sustainability crises.
The 19-year-old followed in the footsteps of British broadcasting giant and naturalist David Attenborough, who made a surprise appearance at the Pyramid Stage in 2019.
Its slot introduced a four-minute extended trailer for the BBC series Seven Worlds, One Planet, which drew much applause from festival-goers.
Thunberg also joins the likes of former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, who in 2017 addressed a crowd before a set by American rap duo Run the Jewels.