Greta Tunberg, who is called one of the most influential teenagers in the world, spoke at the UN General Assembly, dedicated to climate issues. However, a wave of hatred fell on her in social networks – the activist is not taken seriously and criticized for her age, facial expressions and views.
In 2018, a Swedish schoolgirl went on strike and stopped going to school on Fridays. She demanded that politicians implement the Paris climate agreement. Soon, teens from around the world joined the action “Friday for the Future.” Swedish politicians nominated Thunberg for the Nobel Peace Prize, and in August 2019 she crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a yacht to get to New York and speak at the UN summit.
On September 23, Thunberg accused world leaders of letting down the next generation. She emphasized that the existence of global warming was proved 30 years ago, but the General Assembly has not yet taken serious measures.
After the speech, Tunberg, along with 15 teenagers from 12 countries, filed a complaint with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, accusing Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey of violating human rights. They believe that these states have not done enough to combat climate change and thus have violated the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The teenagers asked the committee experts to recognize that climate change directly affects children’s rights, as well as oblige these countries to take the necessary measures.
After the summit, a gif in which the Thunberg menacingly looks at Donald Trump passing by has gained popularity in social networks. The president was at the meeting for only 15 minutes. Soon, the frame turned into a meme.
Donald Trump, who denies climate change and global warming, quickly reacted to the girl’s performance. He called Thunberg “a happy girl” who is striving for a “beautiful future.”
It comes to the point that activists use the diagnosis as an argument on national television. Conservative writer Michael Knowles, Fox News, called Tunberg “a mentally ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents and the international community of leftists.” Soon the channel apologized for the commentator’s remark.
Russian President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov also expressed concern about the activist’s mental state: “The main thing is that everything is normal with the girl, that she does not experience emotional overload, that the fragile child’s body can bear it all.” He is sure that “the girl just needs to be explained that many countries are doing a lot.” At the same time, the presidential spokesman agreed that “the question [about the environmental situation] is acute.”
Often the girl is accused of hypocrisy. Despite the fact that she became a vegan and refused to travel by plane, the activist uses the benefits of civilization, which means that she pollutes the environment in one way or another. Her trip from Europe to America on a yacht was criticized, as the crew still used air travel.
Sometimes the arguments of critics go to extremes. For example, the conservative political commentator Dines d’Souza compared the image of an activist with Nazi propaganda of the 1930s.
Many American politicians and celebrities sided with Thunberg, supporting the activist for courage and courage in the fight against climate change.