Greta Thunberg’s work is nowhere near done.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Late Show‘s Stephen Colbert, the 17-year-old climate activist spoke about her ongoing school strike, her recent open letter to world leaders, and that famous photo of herself glaring pointedly at Donald Trump during the U.N. Climate Summit last September.
“There are some things that have surprised me,” said Thunberg, talking about some of the negative reactions she’s received from world leaders. “First of all, how far some people are willing to go to just keep the focus away from the climate crisis — everything from organised hate campaigns to threats, just because they feel threatened by a couple of young kids taking to the streets.”
Thunberg went on to speak about the people in powerful positions (*cough*, Trump) who have taken to social media in an attempt to mock or silence her.
“In one way it’s hilarious, as it shows they have nowhere left to go,” Thunberg said. “It also shows that we are actually having an impact because there must be a reason why they’re trying to silence us.”
Colbert also asked Thunberg what it was like to sail all that way when she travelled to New York from the UK, and whether it gave her a fresh perspective on the planet she’s trying to save.
“When you’re out there, you’re just completely at the mercy of nature, and you have to act accordingly,” she said. “So it just really puts things into a different perspective.”
Thunberg explained that when you’re at sea, you can’t behave irrationally.
“You would not light a fire on deck, because you are cold,” she said. “And it feels like right now, humanity, we are a civilisation in the middle of the ocean. And we are, right now, setting fire to the boat because we have nowhere left to turn to.”
Finally, Colbert asked Thunberg about the famous photo of her glaring at Trump. “I agree with your stare,” he said. “I’m just curious what was going through your mind?”
Her response was as blunt as it was perfect.
“To be honest, I don’t think you need an explanation.”