Well everyone, prepare to get inspired. Over recent weeks, there's been a lot of talk surrounding young activists tackling hot-button issues across the globe. On Tuesday, Sept. 17, one of those activists shook hands with a former president of the United States, and Barack Obama's tweet about meeting Greta Thunberg shares the moment two influential powers met.
Teen activist Greta Thunberg, who has spearheaded climate change protests in her home country of Sweden, met with President Barack Obama on Monday, Sept. 16. Thunberg has made a name for herself across the world by staging weekly sit-ins outside Swedish Parliament to speak out against climate issues, but now she's traveled overseas to bring her message to the United States. The teen activist plans to speak at the upcoming United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23, but before that she met with President Obama in Washington D.C. to make her mission even clearer. The following day on Sept. 17, Obama took to Twitter to share a photo of his meeting with Thunberg, and penned a moving message. Obama wrote,
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.
Think that tweet is inspiring? Just wait until you see the exchange itself. In a video posted by The Guardian on Sept. 18, Obama greeted Thunberg with a handshake, and the two sat down at a desk to discuss the upcoming climate change strikes scheduled for Sept. 20. "No one is too small to have an impact and change the world," Thunberg told Obama.
Clearly the meeting went well, because Obama reassured Thunberg that they're fighting for the same cause. "You and me, we're a team, huh?" Obama asked Thunberg. Then, to end the meeting on a high-note, the two fist-bumped as a way to celebrate this momentous occasion.
Name a more dynamic duo. I'll wait.
One thing is for sure, Thunberg is a force to be reckoned with. During her visit to Washington D.C., Thunberg also met with the Senate climate task force to address environmental issues across the world. For many young people, coming face-to-face with top politicians might be intimidating, but not for Thunberg. While speaking to the political leaders, she pointedly told them they were "not trying hard enough" to tackle climate change. "I know you are trying, but just not hard enough," Thunberg told the Senate climate task force. "Sorry." Mic drop.
On Friday, Sept. 20, hundreds of cities across the world plan to take part in the Global Climate Strike, where individuals will walk out of their homes, schools, and workplaces to demand the end of greenhouse gases and fossil fuels. These strikes are scheduled to happen just three days before the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23, where global leaders will meet in New York City to come up with solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50% over the next decade.
When two inspiring figures meet, change could definitely be on the horizon. With the climate strike and U.N. Climate Action Summit quickly approaching, I have a feeling the conversation surrounding climate change is only just starting.