Greta Thunberg Says the Coronavirus, Climate Change, and BLM Are Similarly Urgent Issues

Lizzy Rosenberg - Author

Jun. 24 2020, Updated 11:19 a.m. ET

Greta Thunberg
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Even during the seemingly endless coronavirus quarantine, 17-year-old climate activist, Greta Thunberg, is continuing to fight for what she believes in, and spreading the message that we, as global citizens, need to start taking the climate crisis and racial injustice more seriously. In a radio interview with the BBC's Justin Rowlatt, Greta Thunberg explained that climate change, coronavirus, and racial inequality should be addressed in an equally urgent manner.

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Greta emphasized the desperate need for world leaders and global citizens to take climate change more seriously, saying:

"People are starting to realize that we cannot keep looking away from [racial injustice and climate change]... We cannot keep sweeping these injustices under the carpet." Needless to say, the teen has a fantastic point.

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Greta says global leaders could learn a thing or two from their response to the pandemic.

Greta told Justin she had recently been taking a lot of time to reflect on global issues as a whole, and came to the conclusion that world leaders must start to realize the environmental crisis, as well as racism, should be approached with just as much tenacity as the pandemic. She says that creating a simple "green recovery plan" won't be effective enough, and that globally, we're passing a social tipping point on this issues.

Greta reassured the radio host that "humanity has not yet failed," however, she said that social injustices and the climate crisis have gone somewhat ignored for far too long. She continued, saying that we need to stop putting this issues on the back-burner, before things start to get worse.

"We can no longer look away from what our society has been ignoring for so long — whether it is equality, justice, or sustainability," she said.

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Countries across the globe are continuing to make devastating decisions.

Unfortunately, world leaders have continued to make environmentally detrimental decisions, even during the coronavirus pandemic. Apparently, Trump has rolled back a total of 64 environmental policies, and some even happened during the pandemic. For example, he has eased hunting restrictions in Alaska, and committed to an extremely damaging fracking project in Colorado.

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Russia also experienced its second largest oil spill in recent history earlier this month, due to company leaders who failed to address the situation in a timely manner. Clearly, we have work to do, and it all starts with a little additional worldwide motivation.

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Likewise, Jane Goodall believes another pandemic will occur if climate change isn't addressed immediately.

Several like-minded activists, such as primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall, have echoed Greta's sentiments, urging people to care more about climate change than they ever have before. In an interview with Channel 4 last month, she warned listeners and world leaders alike if something doesn't drastically change soon, the planet could be faced with another pandemic or similar global crisis.

“I think it’s time we begin realizing [COVID-19 happened] because we have disrespected animals and disrespected the environment. And people seem to think, ‘Oh we humans with our brilliant intellect, we don’t need nature.’ But actually we do,” Goodall said in the video interview. 

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Greta certainly makes a valid point in that we cannot keep turning a blind eye to racism and the ongoing climate crisis. Things could take a turn for the worse very soon.

If you are looking for ways to donate your time or money to Black Lives Matter and other antiracist organizations, we have created a list of resources to get you started.

The best way to prevent contracting or spreading coronavirus is with thorough hand washing and social distancing. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, which include persistent cough (usually dry), fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue, please call your doctor before going to get tested. For comprehensive resources and updates, visit the CDC website. If you are experiencing anxiety about the virus, seek out mental health support from your provider or visit

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