MIAMI – Delaney Reynolds, a 20-year-old American who is an admirer of world-famous Swedish climate-change activist Greta Thunberg and is currently suing Florida’s Republican governor for not diversifying the state’s energy matrix away from fossil fuels, said she does not believe a word uttered by those who deny that climate change is occurring.
“I don’t think that they don’t believe. I don’t think it’s possible,” Reynolds said in an interview with Efe at the University of Miami, where she is studying marine science to better understand what is happening and contribute to efforts to solve the problem.
She said those who say climate change is fiction do so because “they’re more interested in their own personal profits ... (and) getting money from the special-interest groups, the fossil-fuel industries – coal, oil, gas, all of them, because it’s better for their pockets rather than the planet.”
“It’s completely immoral. We’re clearly seeing the effects. We’re being impacted all the time. We see the flooding. We see the wildfires. We see the increased temperatures,” Reynolds added.
Reynolds is the founder and chief executive officer of The Sink or Swim Project (www.miamisearise.com), a non-governmental organization whose name refers to the idea that no one can afford to be indifferent to what she sees as the greatest challenge facing her generation and future ones.
Reynolds said that her family has lived in South Florida for many decades but that conditions in that region could eventually become unlivable due to sea-level rise.
The young activist said her environmental concerns developed gradually and naturally. Her family divides its time between the Florida Keys, where they own a house on one of the islands of that archipelago, and Miami.
She has always been surrounded by the ocean or lived near the coast and says she has seen with her own eyes the rise in sea levels, the destruction of coral reefs and the disappearance of animals that live in that ecosystem.
As an adolescent, she wrote three children’s books aimed at raising awareness among young readers about climate issues and says she needed to do a lot of reading for those projects.
That research made her more informed but also made her increasingly worried about the future, Reynolds said.
She then decided to write a fourth book about climate change with the idea that if she had not learned about this threat in school it was likely that others had not either.
Her growing prominence in the local environmental community has led to her giving talks at high schools and different forums.
Referring to the 17-year-old Thunberg, Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year, Reynolds praised the Swedish teen for motivating “hundreds of thousands of children” to become involved in climate-change activism and showing them that “their voice matters and that they really can make a difference” in this struggle.
The number one priority, she said without hesitation, is to “completely eliminate the use of fossil fuels and use sustainable energies instead.”
She is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Cabinet he chairs for alleged non-compliance with their duty under the state’s constitution to protect the environment.
The plaintiffs, who range in age from 12 to 21, say they are not seeking money but rather actions to reduce carbon emissions.