Light Wave


Gretta Thunberg’s Plea to Ruling Class: ‘Be on the Right Side of History’

By Belal Awad · July 28, 2023

In brief…

  • Environmental activist Greta Thunberg warned of escalating climate crisis at protest in London.
  • Thunberg declared the situation "an existential emergency."
  • She said extreme weather events and record-breaking heatwaves this summer are just the beginning.
  • Thunberg urged the UK to ban drilling at the Rosebank oil field.
  • Her message the ruling class: "Be on the right side of history."
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg  Anders Hellberg/Wikimedia Commons

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg has issued a stark warning about the escalating climate crisis as she urges those in power to take immediate action. In an interview with Channel 4 News, Thunberg warned that extreme weather events and record-breaking heatwaves this summer are just the beginning.

”We are in an escalating existential emergency,” she declared. The situation is “absolutely absurd… This is not the new normal. It will continue to escalate and get worse until we start to take real action.”

Thunberg, who rose to fame in 2018 after spearheading the School Strike for Climate movement, urged individuals to make their voices heard: “If you are enough people who pressure for change, then the people in power will have no option but to listen to us,” she said.

Thunberg spoke from a protest in London, where activists are demanding the UK government ban development of its largest untapped oil and gas field, Rosebank. UK regulators, the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment & Decommissioning and the North Sea Transition Authority, are expected to decide on the Rosebank application in coming weeks.

Thunberg and her group targeted the UK government with a clear message: “Stop Rosebank. We desperately need to get off oil and gas and all fossil fuels.” The 20-year-old activist questioned how the UK could consider a project with such environmental consequences given the nation’s high per-capita emissions. “I do not get the equation right in my head how they can still look at this in that way that’s completely out of touch with science and with equity, above all” she said.

Thunberg also had an important statement for the ruling class: “My message to the people in power who might be listening to this is that you have to be on the right side of history. We are many who are judging you, and who are watching you… If you think that you can just get away with a few more years, a few more months - months of continued business as usual to maximize short term profits - then you are very wrong, and history will judge you very poorly.”