Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who is known for her apocalyptic rhetoric about climate change and organising school strikes, has sparked strong reactions in her recent interview with Sky News.
According to Thunberg, children and young people have a better understanding of climate change and see that “our future is at risk”. Thunberg stressed that many young people of her generation felt “sad, angry and scared” at the failure of adults and politicians to stop the climate crisis.
“If they don't act now, then in the future they will be seen as some of the greatest villains in human history and we will not judge them easy”, Thunberg said glumly. “But, I mean, they can still change that”.
When asked whether it is a burden to be the face of the popular climate movement, Thunberg explained the goal of the message used by herself and her fellow school strikers, “You are stealing your future”, is to induce guilt when people hear children say that.
Asked if the UK's commitment to produce net zero carbon emissions by 2050 was a sign of progress, Thunberg replied: “That depends on what you define as progress”.
The teenage climate idol slammed the measure as slow and insufficient, adding that it is “actually doing more harm than good”. “They are being very proud of what they've accomplished but that's not nearly enough if they are to do their part”.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the message and the harsh tone struck a sore spot with many Brits.
“I look forward to Greta Thunberg visiting China, the world’s greatest polluter, to lecture them on climate change”, a user wrote, slamming Thunberg's focus on the Western world, whose inhabitants are known for having high environmental awareness.
I look forward to Greta Thunberg visiting China, the world’s greatest polluter, to lecture them on climate change.— Richard Northey (@RichardNorthey) 17 июля 2019 г.
Many tweets featured the same message, urging Thunberg to go and lecture “massive polluters such as China and India”.
Very nice now go to #CommunistChina & #India and tell these massive polluters the same.— The Chaplain (@BrianHassan12) 17 июля 2019 г.
Others called Thunberg, “a puppet”, “a globalist tool”, “a brainwashed green extreme child who has been traumatised by leftist green adults with 'The end is nigh' climate horror stories”, suggesting it amounts to child abuse.
One user even boasted the “F*** you Greta” bumper sticker he intends to sport on his car together with many others, seemingly fed up with being lectured.
My bumper sticker arrived yesterday - I'll post a picture of it when it's on next to the exhaust pipe pic.twitter.com/9OvEReJIhp— Jean Noir (@JeanNoir3) 17 июля 2019 г.
At home, Greta Thunberg has risen to stardom with her weekly “school strikes for the climate” held outside the Swedish parliament. As her movement gained international attention, hundreds of thousands of students followed suit.
In Scandinavia and a large part of Europe, Thunberg is almost venerated by the political establishment and the mainstream media, despite being the perennial target of her attacks. By the tender age of 16 Thunberg has starred on the cover of the Time magazine, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and appointed woman of the year by several major newspapers.
Still, her name is almost synonymous with controversy. Many are sceptical of Thunberg's stance due to her diagnoses of Asperger's, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and selective mutism, assuming that she is being used as a front for government-led environmental campaigns, as her movement calls to carbon dioxide taxes and further power centralisation and rarely, if at all, addresses pollution outside of the West.
While many sceptics sarcastically call her “climate prophet” suggesting that the climate movement has become increasingly akin to a religion, Swedish deacon Anna Ardin, who has accused Julian Assange of rape, unironically proclaimed Greta Thunberg a prophet of our time, just as the biblical characters Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah and Ezekiel once were.
Jon är snart större än Gud själv, om inte redan. Skulle inte förvåna mig om det finns någon som redan tillber #klimatgreta och de som tror på #klimatbluffen Sorgligt, men tyvärr tror jag inte att jag har fel. pic.twitter.com/HUnn0T8dxb— Stephen feffe Landberg 🇺🇲🇹🇭🇸🇪 (@onlyDtruths) 14 июня 2019 г.
Thunberg's mother Malena Ernman has also sparked controversy by claiming that her daughter possesses the ability to see carbon dioxide with the naked eye.