Greta Thunberg’s Rebuke of World Leaders ‘Will Echo Through the Years,’ NPR Analyst Says

'This brave young woman essentially sent a message to the future'

• September 27, 2019 1:00 pm


During NPR's On Point Friday, senior editor of the Atlantic and NPR news analyst Jack Beatty commended Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg for sending a powerful "message to the future" on climate change.

"I think her j’accuse will echo through the years," Beatty told host David Folkenflik.

Folkenflik said the young activist "drove conservatives, Republicans nuts" and that she's making a valid point because she and others her age stand to inherit a world affected by climate change. Beatty agreed and went further in praising her vision.

"This brave young woman essentially sent a message to the future: We care, you should care," Beatty said. "And when she said, ‘you're talking about fairy tales of eternal economic growth'—in 2018 a report from 13 federal agencies warned that failure to rein in warming could shave 10 percent off the country's economy in this century."

"In other words, she's right."

Beatty noted that the governments of leading industrial nations did not make any commitments on reducing pollution at the United Nations.

"China, the biggest polluter, made no new commitments at the summit, the U.S. was quiet, other countries said little," Beatty said.

Thunberg grabbed headlines for sailing to New York to plead her case at the United Nations Climate Action Summit. She even drew the attention of President Donald Trump, who said, "She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future."

Thunberg sent the media into a tizzy when she changed her Twitter bio to reflect Trump's sarcastic comment, a move reporters declared an "A-plus troll of the president."