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.
Who wrote this verbal diarrhoea— Lin #FREESPEECH Left 29/3 (@Lin46222208) July 24, 2019
I’ve read a couple of scientific reports which suggests that there is only natural global warming. One of the most common sense people I’ve listened to is Patric moore. Very enlightening— Lin #FREESPEECH Left 29/3 (@Lin46222208) July 24, 2019
Another also posted a link to a study explaining in scientific terms the Sun’s output and space rays thrashing Earth:
maybe learn the real climate change that is always been on the planet billions of year? the name is the sun output and earth vulcanos plus the the space rays.. Video series 4, Part 5B, covers where to go to survive the next Polar Reversal and Ice Age.https://t.co/hBj3eEA4cY— Balder383 shadowbanned XX (@balder383) July 24, 2019
…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”.
I have been listening to politically motivated climate scientists for over 40 years young lady, now listen to your Uncle Jason , they all talk nonsense.— Jason Maher (@oneman73) July 24, 2019
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:
You're right most of the parliamentarians who attended in this morning know nothing about the IPCC reports They are omnibulated only by the GDP. They are unable to question themselves. @brunepoirson @EmmanuelMacron @EPhilippePM— duahcim niala (@symbollum) July 24, 2019
C'mon, earthlings! Greta is right: you can no longer pretend you are blameless for the #ClimateCrisis. If you are able to do so, install rooftop solar, drive an electric vehicle. Don't continue to perpetuate the fossil foolishness with a tailpipe behind you! BE the solution! pic.twitter.com/e5Nzs8AUqt— Mark Larsen (@yanquetino) July 24, 2019
The speech was great. The comments are unbelievable.— Bill Dung (@BiII_Dung) July 24, 2019
I’m reading “America First” on a lot of accounts, but when it comes to climate action “But China needs to be first”, “But you (Greta) better Start with China”, “But China...”
Just too many Butts here 🤦🏻♂️
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.