12:54 GMT +315 November 2019
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    Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg attends a debate with French parliament members at the National Assembly in Paris, France, July 23, 2019

    Netizens Knock ‘Apocalypse Guru’ Greta Thunberg’s Speech Boycotted by French Lawmakers

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    The Swedish teenager went to France to address the National Assembly as part of a children’s activist group but was shunned by a number of politicians, one of whom slammed Greta, a Nobel Prize nominee, as a contender for the prestigious award (bearing the name of the famed Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel) in the category “For Fear”.

    Teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg has slammed French lawmakers for mocking her speech to parliament, which was boycotted by right-wing politicians.

    The 16-year-old addressed legislators on Tuesday calling them to “unite behind science” of climate change. "You don't have to listen to us, but you do have to listen to the science", she said as she appeared as part of a visiting group of children in France’s parliament.

    She struck back against her critics and reiterated her demands that governments take urgent action to curb carbon emissions into the atmosphere, referring to the status children like her have acquired – that of the “bad guys” for having the courage to tell politicians unpopular and “uncomfortable things” about pressing climate issues.

    "And just for quoting or acting on these numbers, these scientific facts, we receive unimaginable amounts of hate and threats. We are being mocked and lied about by members of parliament and journalists", she added.

    However, a number of lawmakers, namely from the conservative Republicans and right-wing National Rally, said they would not attend her scheduled speech in the National Assembly. For instance, Guillaume Larrive, a leadership candidate for the Republicans, took to Twitter to express his views, arguing the nation is “in no need of gurus of the apocalypse”. Republican MP Julien Aubert, who is also a competitor for the party’s leadership, has meanwhile referred to Thunberg as a candidate for “a Nobel Prize for Fear”.

    Likewise, Jordan Bardella, an MEP for the National Rally, referred to Ms Thunberg’s efforts and her emotionally charged speeches in an interview with France 2 television as a “dictatorship of perpetual emotion”.

    However, other political camps, such as the Greens and French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist En Marche, appeared to be a little more tolerant of her appearance, with some politicians openly backing the girl’s agenda, explaining the storm of criticism as being an ongoing “internal game”. More specifically, Delphine Batho, head of the Generation Ecology party, rose up in Thunberg’s defence, arguing that Larrive and Aubert are playing a game “on the back battle against climate change”.

    Netizens appear to be massively joining the camp of Greta’s critics, however, with one referring to her speech in France as “verbal diarrhoea”, citing scientific research arguing that there is only natural global warming occurring on the planet.

    Another also posted a link to a study explaining in scientific terms the Sun’s output and space rays thrashing Earth:

    …while a different user summed up, referring to scientists who Greta trusts, and many more, who have popped up on the international scene in the past years, as “politically motivated climate scientists”.

    However, many stood by Greta, arguing that those parliamentarians who boycotted her have zero knowledge of the IPCC reports, but are instead only obsessed with GDP:

    What began with Thunberg’s solo protest outside the Swedish parliament has grown into a massive international movement that has united thousands of people, primarily schoolchildren, across the world. Greta, a Nobel Prize nominee, came into increased spotlight when she made a speech at a conference in Davos, and the EU Parliament in Strasbourg, as well as had a tete-a-tete meeting with the Pope.

    In Scandinavia, she is commonly known as "Climate Greta" and enjoys a lot of media coverage, being approved of and promoted by the political establishment.

    This is despite her repeated negative description of politicians’ work as being marked by total inaction and ignorance of the repercussions of climate change. Sweden's goal to become carbon neutral by 2045 has, meanwhile, been called "the world's most ambitious climate law".

    Greta's name has stirred a certain controversy after in 2018, Ingmar Rentzhog, founder of the non-profit We Don't Have Time Foundation, claimed to have "found" and "developed" Thunberg, having reportedly employed her as an unpaid young volunteer and used Thunberg's name and image without her being aware of it in order to raise funds.

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    Tags:
    Sweden, Nobel Prize, France, European Council, ecology, climate change
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