These Anti-Greta Thunberg Criticisms Are Almost Hilarious
On September 23, Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist and contender for the Nobel Prize, spoke at the UN Summit, where, in a stinging speech, she exhorted officials to do something about the climate crisis.
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be standing here,” she said, addressing world leaders. “I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
It is the kind of speech that is perhaps destined to go down in history among other rousing calls to action. She is also quite correct. The world might not look like a scene from Mad Max where you are, but that doesn’t mean climate change isn’t already devastating people around the globe. India is running out of water rapidly. People are migrating from Guatemala because “food doesn’t grow there anymore” due to climate change. While climate change will hit the world’s poorest the hardest, even in America, Texas is currently experiencing its first 500-year flood in five years. Around the globe, the insect population is dropping at record speeds. For those inclined to make a “good, I hate insects joke”— sure, I hate mosquitos too, but do know that insects comprise the lowest level of the ecosystem, so you will not be eating much without them.
For some reason, a young woman pointing out these unpleasant truths and asking officials to take steps to save the planet is exceptionally triggering to, largely, older white men on the right. And boy, are they flailing in their attempts to respond.
Greta Thunberg is young, passionate, and has science on her side. The rhetoric employed against her suddenly feels as dated as the climate denial that Thunberg spoke out against at the UN. So, it is no surprise that their retorts about her seem poor, and at times, outright hilarious. That said, if you would like to reply to them, here’s some of the most common anti-Thunberg rhetoric being invoked:
This is child abuse! Greta Thunberg is being cruelly manipulated by her parents.
Ah, yes, teenagers, a group of people notoriously open to being told what to do by their parents. Given that young people have been protesting since, well, forever, I’m not sure why anyone is surprised that another one is doing so now. The anti-Nazi activist Sophie Scholl is one obvious example, as is every single teen who protested Vietnam (much like Thunberg, because they feared for their personal safety which politicians seemed fairly indifferent to). Perhaps we should look back to the suffragettes, one of whose mottos was “the young are at the gates.” In 1907, the face of the Suffragette cause was a 16-year-old named Dora Thewlis who tried to storm the house of Parliament. When she was arrested, the judge declared that she a) had terrible parents and b) that she was probably only doing this for male attention. Her parents responded that their daughter felt passionately about having voting rights, that she chose to protest on her own, and that they supported her stance entirely. Today, we understand this as being a rational position for a young woman to have, just as the people of tomorrow will feel about Thunberg’s.
Why is it okay to make fun of a teenager snickering at a Native American man at a pro-life rally and not Greta Thunberg?
Because those teens were doing something stupid, and Greta Thunberg is not.
Greta Thunberg is mentally ill. According to Michael Knowles on Fox News, at least.
In regards to her mental health: Thunberg has tweeted, “I have Aspergers and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And—given the right circumstances—being different is a superpower.” Aspergers is on the autism spectrum, and people with it can have difficulties regarding social interactions and non-verbal communication (reading facial expressions). That said, people with Asperger’s also tend to showcase a tremendous attention to details and are as a result, let’s just say for brevity’s sake, are often really smart. When Hans Asperger first diagnosed the disease, he referred to kids with Aspergers as “little professors” owing to their enormous vocabularies, seemingly precocious interests, and tendency to lecture people. Abraham Lincoln, Nikola Tesla, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are all thought to have had Aspergers.
How would you feel if this person supported an entirely different cause?
Consider for a moment that you enjoy eating potato tacos. Would you like them if they were filled with dog shit? I doubt not, so I have no idea why a bizarre hypothetical scenario that asks me if I’d like someone doing something I regard as evil as much as someone doing something I regard as good applies here. It is entirely nonsensical unless you believe there is absolutely no difference between good and bad intentions, and everything is performative, which is a position dumb people think is smart.
If Greta Thunberg can be taken seriously, I should be allowed to have sex with children.
Absolutely not, you psychopath.
Greta Thunberg is a communist!
She doesn’t seem happy enough.
After attending the climate summit at the UN for 10 minutes and hearing Greta speak, Donald Trump sneered sarcastically: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.” Of course she doesn’t seem happy. She’s talking about changes in the world that are already threatening the lives of a great many people. If she did so with a broad smile on her face and a cheery tone, she’d sound like a sociopath. That said, she did change her Twitter bio to reflect Trump’s description, so, while she is not happy, she is very funny.
She is a hypocrite because she has used plastic/done something else that is environmentally impure.
First of all, I do not think that a girl eating vegan food in a train car is really the person you need to focus on in the climate crisis. That said, yes, people who are trying to create change in society also have to live in society. That means not being able to be perfectly pure.
Greta has talked about how some of the steps she’s taken to draw attention to the climate crisis—like sailing across the Atlantic ocean in a solar powered boat—”are not something I want everyone to do”. She also advocates manageable actions, like planting trees, which seems, among other things, like a pleasant thing to do. That said, she’s also spearheaded a movement encompassing millions, and is forcing leaders to take action on climate change, so maybe stop throwing stones from your glass, non-solar powered house on this one.
I do not like her physical appearance/tone of her voice.
Yeah, well, I don’t like misogyny, so I guess we’re even.
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