Climate change activist Greta Thunberg blasted U.S. President Joe Biden for failing to lead on climate change and for investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure during his first year in office.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Thunberg ripped Biden for his apparent hypocrisy and his ability to say one thing and do another.
“I mean, it’s strange that people think of Joe Biden as a leader for the climate when you see what his administration is doing,” said Thunberg. “The U.S. is actually expanding fossil fuel infrastructure. Why is the U.S. doing that?”
Thunberg made her remarks on the state of the climate movement, which propelled her to the world stage when she first arrived on the scene in 2018. What began as a one-person strike in front of the Swedish parliament has become an international movement warning about the dire ramifications of ignoring the effects of fossil fuel combustion.
“It should not fall on us activists and teenagers who just want to go to school to raise this awareness and to inform people that we are actually facing an emergency,” she said.
Thunberg, who previously called the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference a “failure” and a “PR event,” doubled down on her criticism of the event.
“Well, in the final document, they succeeded in even watering down the blah, blah, blah,” she said. “Which is very much an achievement, if you see it that way. Of course it’s a step forward that, instead of coming back every five years, they’re doing it every year now. But still, that doesn’t mean anything unless that actually leads to increased ambition and if they actually fulfill those ambitions.”
Thunberg explained that world leaders like Joe Biden were afraid to make any substantive changes to policy because people are “herd animals.”
“It feels like many today — neurotypical people, people in general — are so focused on following the stream, doing like everyone else, because they don’t want to stand out,” Thunberg told the Post. “They don’t want to be uncomfortable. They don’t want to cause any problems. They just want to be like everyone else.”
“And I think that’s very harmful in an emergency where we are social animals,” she added. “We’re herd animals. In an emergency, someone needs to say that we’re heading towards the cliff. And everyone is just following, saying like, ‘Well, no one else is turning around, so I won’t either.’ That could be very dangerous.”
While Thunberg did not elaborate on how Biden expanded U.S. fossil fuel infrastructure, the Biden administration has noticeably overseen the largest oil lease sale in U.S. history in November, when it auctioned off more than 80 million acres of drilling space in the Gulf of Mexico.
Biden’s Department of the Interior defended the decision to move forward with the sale by claiming its hands were tied by a federal court ruling, the Daily Caller reported.
Despite Biden’s move to expand offshore drilling, the president has also pursued an aggressive policy of canceling the construction of domestic oil and gas pipelines. At the start of the year, Biden scrapped the Keystone XL pipeline extension to pursue the construction of renewable energy projects as a substitute, costing thousands of jobs.