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Your young women will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams


Greta Thunberg, the sixteen-year-old climate activist who has captured the imagination of the world, is not nearly as amenable to flattery as most of her elders:

“Please save your praise, we don’t want it,” said Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swede who has become the most recognizable and influential face of the youth climate movement. “Don’t invite us here to tell us how inspiring we are without doing anything about it. We don’t want to be invited to these kinds of meetings because, honestly, they don’t lead to anything.”

Thunberg, who has made a habit of reprimanding adults in power on their climate complacency, has learned that the frustration, impatience, and fear of young people for the catastrophic future is a powerful tool. And she used it on Democratic members of the Senate Climate Change Task Force.

At one point, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) told the assembled activists — which also included members of Fridays for Future, Zero Hour, and US Youth Climate Strike — they’d soon have the opportunity to seek office themselves, bringing more concrete change. Again, Thunberg wasn’t impressed.

“We don’t want to become politicians, we don’t want to run for office,” she said. “We want you to unite behind the science. I’m sorry, I know you’re probably trying very hard, and this is not personally to any one of you but generally to everyone. I know you’re trying, but just not hard enough.”

Meanwhile, at the other end of the age spectrum, Jimmy Carter tries to talk some sense into Democratic voters:

“I hope there’s an age limit,” Carter said with a laugh as he answered audience questions on Tuesday during his annual report at the Carter Center in Atlanta. “If I were just 80 years old, if I was 15 years younger, I don’t believe I could undertake the duties I experienced when I was president.” . . .

Carter, who turns 95 on Oct. 1, said the Oval Office requires a president “to be very flexible with your mind,” particularly on foreign affairs. He was speaking on the 41st anniversary of the Camp David Accords, a peace agreement he negotiated with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

“You have to be able to go from one subject to another and concentrate on each one adequately and then put them together in a comprehensive way, like I did between Begin and Sadat with the peace agreement,” Carter said.

“The things I faced in foreign affairs, I don’t think I could undertake them at 80 years old,” he continued, before adding with a smile: “At 95, it’s out of the question. I’m having a hard time walking.”

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