Climate activist Greta Thunberg said Tuesday that “pretty much nothing has been done” to reduce emissions of CO2 since French mathematician and physicist Joseph Fourier discovered the “greenhouse” effect in the 1820s.
The 17-year-old Swedish climate activist made the comments at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting, commonly known as Davos. But she didn’t stop there.
Thunberg, who arrived in Davos by sailboat after discovering a southern route to the landlocked country from Sweden, also alleged that “nothing has been done” since any of the major milestones in climate politics.
- John Tyndall experimented with hydrocarbons in the 1860s.
- Svante Arrhenius theorized in 1895 that greenhouse gases would warm the planet.
- Guy Stewart Callendar calculated in the 1930s that doubling CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere could warm Earth by 2 degrees C.
- Charles Keeling developed a new way of measuring atmospheric CO2 in 1958.
- NASA scientist James Hansen told Congress in 1988 that global warming was upon us.
- The IPCC was formed in 1989.
- George HW Bush signed the UNFCCC in Rio de Janeiro in 1992
- The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 (and abandoned in 2001).
- Al Gore released An Inconvenient Truth in 2006.
- California launched its carbon cap-and-trade market in 2013.
- Barack Obama signed the Paris Accord in 2015.
- Donald Trump left the Paris Accord in 2017.
Thunberg also warned that the planet has just eight year’s worth of “carbon budget” left to avoid dangerous warming to the globe over the next 100 years.
“Without treating this as a real crisis we cannot solve it,” Thunberg said. “I guess I’m just frustrated that a mass human extinction still hasn’t happened 200 years after science discovered global warming and 30 years after politicians weaponized it.”