I have great admiration for Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist who has not only turned heads but also shaken up the global conversation around climate change, despite being the object of so much anger. This young woman has become a global icon before even turning 20 because of her relentless advocacy for immediate political action to combat climate change. I’ve followed her and the causes she supports like the Green New Deal, divestment from fossil fuels, and global carbon emissions reductions. I’ve also seen how her Fridays for Future movement has inspired millions of young people to get involved and has had tangible impacts, such as driving companies to commit to becoming carbon neutral.
Yet, instead of listening to her vital message, I’ve also seen many people resort to idiotic forms of character assassination. They belittle her because of her age, as if passion and wisdom only come with wrinkles. They call her autistic traits into question as a means to delegitimize her activism, showing their own ignorance in the process. It’s astonishingly dumb to think that personal attacks will somehow lessen the impact of her fact-based arguments. People also like to throw the term ‘woke’ around as an insult when discussing her, without even slightly comprehending that being socially aware is not a disease but a cure for societal stupidity. In short, they hate her because she represents everything they fear: a young, informed, autistic, female disruptor who is calling out society’s systemic failures and apathy.
There had been so many attacks on her over the years. For example, she heavily was ridiculed by political leaders in 2019. Former U.S. President Donald Trump posted demeaning tweets, trying to delegitimize her efforts by alluding to her supposed lack of emotional well-being. The self-absorbed man also tweeted “So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”. Then, a month later Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a patronizing tone, painted her as “poorly informed.” Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stooped so low as to call her a “brat.” Instead of engaging in meaningful discourse, these leaders—each one supposed to be a guardian of humanity’s future—chose to demean and mock a young woman standing up for science and the planet’s survival. In my opinion, it’s nothing short of abhorrent.
And then there are the journalists, bloggers, and social media trolls. Individuals like Brendan O’Neill, Toby Young, and Piers Morgan have wielded their platforms not to dissect her arguments or scrutinize her claims but to unleash personal attacks. When it comes to climate change denial, Germany’s Alternative for Germany party stooped to viciously targeting her. Such low-brow ad hominem attacks are less an assault on Thunberg and more a confession of intellectual bankruptcy on the part of the attackers.
Turning to the audacity of detaining her for protesting against environmental degradation, it is worth noting that she has been held by authorities in multiple countries including Norway, Sweden, and Germany. Yet each time she is detained, it becomes another battle cry for those fighting for environmental justice, further solidifying the righteousness of her cause.
It’s not just aging politicians and petulant pundits; even social media personalities like Andrew Tate have entered the fray, ostentatiously flaunting their carbon footprints as if it were some badge of honor. Tate’s actions, which led to his own legal troubles unrelated to Thunberg, reflect a grotesque insensitivity not just to the climate crisis but to human dignity itself.
The glaring spotlight shouldn’t just be on Tate but also on those who support him. Like Julia Hartley-Brewer, who exhibited a stunning ignorance by using Thunberg’s autism as an insult. These are not just personal vendettas; they reveal the bubbling undercurrent of bigotry, ableism, and chauvinism that mars our society.
But through all of these attacks, I think Great Thunberg is a master class act in dignified restraint. She changed her Twitter bio to mirror their words, turning their derision into badges of honor and redirecting the focus back to the environmental cause. It reveals a resilience and maturity that surpasses the men who have disparaged her. Greta shines a light on the outdated beliefs held by people who can’t handle their worldviews being challenged. I support her, and I believe that it’s high time for these naysayers to snap out of their apathetic stupor. While they’re busy disparaging a teenager, Greta is out there fighting for a planet that desperately needs defending.
Greta Thunberg is an indomitable force, unafraid to face the double-edged sword of being both youthful and female in a realm dominated by older men. She’s showing us that courage doesn’t have an age limit, and wisdom doesn’t need a beard to manifest. Every slur thrown at her, every arrest, and every hateful tweet only fortifies her cause and serves as an example to young women around the globe. To stand strong, to be fearless, to demand respect—not just for themselves but for Mother Earth—is the lesson here.
If people spent half as much time considering her message as they do ridiculing her, we’d be leaps and bounds closer to solving the climate crisis. Greta Thunberg isn’t just a beacon for the future; she’s a glaring spotlight on the idiocy of the present. And for that, she’s not just commendable; she’s downright heroic.
Anna Nielsen serves as the Marketing Director for Our Good Living Formula, bringing over a decade of expertise to the role. Specializing in beauty and skincare, her strategic approach has consistently delivered measurable success for the company. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book and sip on an occasional appletini. Visit her at https://www.oglf.org/
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