During a Sunday evening broadcast of the Mehdi Hasan Show on MSNBC, Thunberg, who declined to grade Biden’s progress on climate agenda on the grounds that she’s “just a teenager” who “doesn’t have the mandate to sort of give grades like that,” argued that the new administration’s environmental policies don’t match the science.
“No, it’s not nearly enough in line with the science,” she said of Biden’s early actions aimed at combating climate change.
When host Mehdi Hasan pointed out that Biden set up a climate office, named John Kerry as climate czar, and made plans to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, Thunberg, who was named Time‘s 2019 Person of the Year for her activism, demurred, saying only that she would like Biden to “treat the climate crisis like a crisis” instead of a “political topic.”
Hasan again pressed Thunberg, who declined to name a specific policy Biden should implement.
“Is there a specific policy, or if he rang you up and said, ‘Greta, what should I do? I can wave a presidential magic wand executively. What should I do that I’m not?’ What would you say to him?” Hasan asked.
“Well, nothing, because that’s not democratic. I mean, an elected leader cannot do anything without support from voters, and I would not want anyone to do anything that would not have the support because that would be undemocratic, and democracy is the most precious thing that we have and we must not risk that,” she said. “So what we need now is to raise awareness and create public opinion to treat the crisis like a crisis.”
During his early days in office, Biden has taken many steps to enact sweeping environmental reforms. One of his first acts as president was to cancel plans for the Keystone XL pipeline, an oil conduit that would have brought in revenue and created jobs, due to environmental concerns.
The move to cancel the pipeline was met with mixed responses. Despite praise from environmental groups, supporters of the project argue that Biden’s moves are harming many of the laborers who supported his candidacy.
“I haven’t been offered a job in the solar panel industry, and I haven’t been sent an application or a phone number or anything. I don’t know what I have to do to do the work and the groundwork and everything it takes to get there,” Jason Jernigan, a third-generation oil and gas worker who was hired to work on Keystone XL, said on Fox News. “And secondly, I mean, I’ve done the research. If I went to work for a solar panel right now, I would be taking a $35-an-hour pay cut and lose my benefits and retirement.”