New beetle species named to honor Greta Thunberg

Katie Ramirez
October 29, 2019

Britain's Natural History Museum on Friday named a tiny, blind and wingless beetle after climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Thunberg is now in Vancouver, Canada, after taking part in climate protests across North America and speaking at the United Nations climate summit in September.

After Thunberg reposted the same photo to her Twitter account, one person responded to say, "Wonderful To See You With Severn There Greta.!"

Michael Darby, a researcher from the Natural History Museum in London, who described the new beetle in the journal Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, said he settled on the name as a way to pay tribute to Thunberg-who began taking time off school on Fridays to protest outside Swedish parliament a year ago.

"They're learning about the science of climate change in school and they're wondering: 'Why aren't the adults doing anything?' She's a catalyst for a level of concern and fear that has been there, ready to burst out into the open".

Crystal Blaze of North Vancouver said she brought her five-year-old daughter, Lyra, to the protest to teach her about the fundamentals of democracy.

Before a crowd of roughly 10,000 people outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, the 16-year-old expressed solidarity with 15 "brave young plaintiffs" who launched a climate lawsuit against the Government of Canada that morning, and criticized world leaders for failing to take urgent action.

Grand Chief Stewart Philip, president of the B.C. Union of Indian Chiefs, told the crowd he and others had made speeches from the steps of the art gallery for 40 years related to social justice.

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And if you feel threatened by that then I have some very bad news for you: this is just the beginning. We are a wave of change and together we are unstoppable.

She continued: "At my age, I've had the best, best years of life, and what's coming is terribly frightening".

"This time we can not afford to wait another 27 years", Cullis-Suzuki said. "For the sake of our grandchildren, our children and those generations yet to come, all of us as grandparents, as parents, as aunts and uncles - we must take our power back".

Scientists wanted to honour the 16-year-old's "outstanding contribution" to raising global awareness of the climate crisis.

The event was billed as a "post-election climate strike".

"People say it shouldn't be the youth of Canada and it shouldn't be a teenage girl representing the climate", she said. She said it was important to stand up and show the Trudeau government that young people care about the climate.

"I think she's going to help us by changing the government's mind, so they change laws to help our environment and our world", Masse said.

"I'd also like to stress that I've not named this species after Greta because it is small - it's just that this is the group that I work on", he said. "To experience it and to see how many people who showed up for her, it was awesome".

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