DENVER (CBS4)– A teenager drew a large crowd at Civic Center Park to talk about climate change on Friday. Greta Thunberg, 16, is a climate change activist from Sweden who addressed the United Nations last month.
With a “climate strike” sign written in her native Swedish placed in front of her, she greeted the crowd of several thousand people.
“It is so great to be here in Denver, in Colorado with all of you,” she said.
People including one group from Carbondale near Aspen who skipped school to be at the event.
Alyssa Verwiebe told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger, “I think being here is a once in a lifetime opportunity thing.”
A group of 9-year-olds came to watch Greta because they have been studying climate change. They carried signs reading, “Activism is education” and “You’ll die of old age, I’ll die from climate change.” Those signs joined dozens of others in the crowd.
Jessica Gavel is their teacher at the Denver Expeditionary School, “Now at this point of year they are ready to speak about it and take action support.”
Greta is the symbol of that theme.
“The people in power continue to ignore us and they have the available science. How dare they?” she asked.
She began the climate strike standing outside the Swedish parliament.
“How dare they leave this mess for their own children to clean up and solve?” she said to applause.
Her movement has taken her to the halls of Congress and the United Nations, lashing out at political leaders.
“The world is waiting for change and change is coming whether you like it or not.”
The audience at the Greek Amphitheater in Civic Center Park responded with repeated cheers of “Greta,” “Greta,” “Greta.”
The Western Energy Alliance responded to the anti-coal and gas rhetoric by pointing out a recent survey found most Americans favor oil and gas extraction and stating that natural gas is a beneficial source to address greenhouse gas emissions.