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Source: Obama Foundation

Barack Obama fist-bumped Greta Thunberg at their meeting and everyone loved it


Sep. 18 2019, Updated 8:15 a.m. ET

Just a year ago, no one outside of Sweden had even heard of Greta Thunberg. Now, she's almost a household name and has even been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. The 16-year-old has made a name for herself and become the face of the generation that will feel the harshest effects of climate change.  

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And to show how dedicated she is to reducing humanity's carbon footprint, the teenager recently spent two weeks traversing the Atlantic’s rough waters in the zero-emission Malizia II yacht to make it to the UN's Climate Action Summit which will be held in New York later in the month.

While she's waiting to give her speech at the conference, which will be attended by world leaders and business people from around the world, Thunberg is traveling around the United States meeting lawmakers to further her cause. 

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And on Monday, Thunberg met former President Barack Obama in Washington D.C. Former President Obama has previously said that Thunberg is "changing the world." Video of the meeting was posted by the Obama Foundation, and while we don't know exactly what they discussed, the former President can be heard asking Thunberg about recent climate strikes she participated in while she visited New York and Washington. 

"Everyone is so nice and all of these young people seem so eager, very enthusiastic which is a very good thing,"  Thunberg replied. 

And of course, the two fist-bumped after former President Obama said: "You and me, we're a team." 

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"Just 16, @GretaThunberg is already one of our planet's greatest advocates," Obama tweeted after his meeting with Thunberg. "Recognizing that her generation will bear the brunt of climate change, she's unafraid to push for real action." 

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There were plenty of reactions to the meeting on Twitter, with the fist bump standing out as a prime moment for many commenters. 

"Greta sailed from Europe to NYC to limit the carbon footprint of an airplane ride! We can't all do that," one user wrote. "But we can be more aware of the impact of climate change."

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While another user joked: "In which Barack Obama teaches Greta Thunberg how to do a pound and explode."

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Another user wrote: "I've been thinking about what makes [Greta Thunberg] so compelling. Above all else, she's undaunted. A role model for anyone of any age."

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Following the meeting with Obama, Greta Thunberg spoke at a meeting of the Senate climate crisis task force on Tuesday. After the group praised the young climate activists present, Thunberg said: 

“Please save your praise. We don’t want it. Don’t invite us here to just tell us how inspiring we are without actually doing anything about it because it doesn’t lead to anything. 

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“If you want advice for what you should do, invite scientists, ask scientists for their expertise. We don’t want to be heard. We want the science to be heard.” 

In a remark intended for Congress as a whole, she added: “I know you are trying but just not hard enough. Sorry.” 

Senator Ed Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat who co-sponsored the Green New Deal, told Thunberg in response: 

“We need your leadership. Young people are the army politically, which has arrived in the United States. You put a spotlight on this issue in a way that it has never been before. And that is creating a new X factor.” 

“We hear you. We hear what you’re saying and we will redouble our efforts.” 


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