Greta Thunberg: To be or not to be

Written By: Nagen Singh
Delhi Published: Oct 04, 2019, 05.17 PM(IST)

File photo: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

World leaders have divided views over Greta Thunberg becoming face of the climate change movement.

Sixteen-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has made it her mission to lower greenhouse gas emissions and make the world a greener, more sustainable place. She was widely celebrated after her speech at the United Nations this September. But many critics have said she is being used. World leaders have criticised her and have divided views over Greta becoming face of the climate change movement.

While there are many who support Greta’s climate change movement, US President Donald Trump has already criticised Greta Thunberg for her speech at the U.N. Even, the Australian PM Scott Morrison is not far behind to take a jibe at young climate change activists, he criticised her saying that 'let kids be kids', adult should do the work.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently dismissed Greta as poorly informed teenager and said that someone is using the teenager to make money out of it. Targeting her speech and activism, Putin called her “poorly informed teenager who is telling developing countries that they should keep living in poverty. While sending a contemptuous and passionate admonishment to the UN leaders in New York, the 16-year-old climate activist accused five of the world's prime leaders of betraying younger generations through inadequate action on the deteriorating climate conditions. Greta’s complaint accuses Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey of inaction on global warming that violates the UN convention on the rights of the child. After this accusation, French president Emmanuel Macron told that her stance is very radical and likely to "antagonize societies.”

From news commentators to world leaders and even one of the biggest fashion brand like Louis Vuitton are dismissing Greta’s activism against climate change and the number of people panning her has been piling up, one of the leading US News channel called Thunberg’s United Nations speech “chilling,” and ran segment about how climate change “hysteria” is changing American youth.

However, it's important to note that there are people who have been supporting her too and she has been an inspiration for many youths who are raising issues which matters to the world.

From Trudeau joining climate march in Montreal to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s offer to lend his electric car to Thunberg, Greta has gathered support from the world. Even Prince Harry thinks there's an emergency and the world's children are striking.

Detractors have dismissed Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, a Nobel prize nominee as mentally ill, hysterical and a millennial individualist after she pleaded with world officials last week to address the climate crisis. Thunberg has Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder often characterised by social awkwardness, difficulty interpreting social cues, and an obsessive preoccupation with a particular interest.

But in reality, Thunberg is cutting through—rather than displaying sentiments and emotions. What certain leaders do not wish to acknowledge is that asking for action on climate change is entirely rational.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)  

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