He was the first person to climb Mount Everest without oxygen – just one of Reinhold Messner’s lifetime achievements. As a member of the European Parliament, he campaigned for the interests of the Italian Greens. And so Sandra Maischberger’s questions on Wednesday evening were not far-fetched. In her talk show, she not only spoke to the extreme mountaineer about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and his opinion of Putin. She also spoke about the climate catastrophe.

He thinks it’s great what “the Fridays for Future people are doing,” says Messner. “But when it comes to the climate stickers, I’m even angry,” he said of the actions of the last generation. There was “lost hops and malt,” he explained.

He thinks it is commendable that the young activists from Fridays for Future draw attention to the ever-increasing problems of climate change. However, Messner, who campaigns for environmental protection himself, also criticized the fact that his own generation was being blamed. “You let it shine through, it was intentional. That’s not true,” said the South Tyrolean. “We grew up much more modestly after the Second World War than these young people. Today they live off the wealth that has accrued over the last 80 or 100 years,” he said.

Messner said that as a child in poor circumstances he had to learn to make sacrifices. Something that stayed with him later in life. “These young people couldn’t skip school on Fridays (…) if these developments hadn’t happened,” he said.

However, the last generation is trying “to blackmail us,” says Messner. As a voter in a democracy, he thinks it’s okay that people are in power who he personally didn’t vote for. “These deputies have to make the decisions and we can more or less support them,” said the climber. However, what emanates from the last generation is not acceptable to him. The activists are dissatisfied with decisions, but instead of protesting like Fridays for Future does, they resort to other means. “They are blackmailing democracy. We have to be careful that we save democracy,” said Messner about the activists. And he went one step further. “If things continue like this, in a few years we won’t have a war, but a civil war,” said Messner.

It is important for him to “screw down” the consumption of fossil fuels. Because global warming is “our fault,” said Messner, who has been committed to environmental protection for decades.

Source: “Maischberger”

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