Opinion Piece

Once upon a time a young 16-year-old Swedish girl was tucking into her herring and potatoes during her lunch break at school.

Later that afternoon she was being taught about the environment and its current impact and how it will continue to affect us unless we act now and begin to reassess our current emissions and other sustainable ways to save the planet.

So, this plucky 16-year-old began to speak out standing outside the Swedish Parliament calling for stronger climate action and holding a sign which read “”School strike for climate”.

Soon, other students engaged in similar protests in their own communities. Together they organised a school climate strike movement under the name Fridays for Future.

After Thunberg addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, student strikes took place every week somewhere in the world.

In 2019, there were at least two coordinated multi-city protests involving over one million students each.

So, with so much passion and after sailing to the New York to speak at the 2019 Global Climate Strike in which she gave a passionate speech did the attacks begin from adults about her involvement.

Many have citied her mental health with a Fox News guest Michael J Knowles saying the following

“None of that matters because the climate hysteria movement is not about science,” Knowles said. “If it were about science it would be led by scientists rather than by politicians and a mentally ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents and by the international left.”

Fox News later apologised.

Over here in Australia the attacks continued

Which has me scratching my head in confusion? Why are they attacking a 16-year-old with Asperger syndrome, have they no shame?

The simple answer is no.

These so-called commentators are merely seeking to attack someone on the basis that she doesn’t have a clue what she’s talking about. That she’s scaring other teenagers around world into believing her whacko ideas as if she’s some type of influential cult leader.

This is the person who has won awards and given speeches and achieved so much in such a short space of time.

She’s passionate because she’s worried about what is currently happening to the planet and what those lasting affects may be.

These people are attacking her because I believe that they’re scared too, those commentators who are appearing on Sky News, Fox News, and other news networks are scared too, but they’re not doing anything about this and because Greta is they’re embarrassed and rather than working with her to achieve the same outcome they attack and belittle her and think that this is an acceptable way to behave and address a teenager.

I have written about this here

They are also attacking her for having Asperger’s. Which is irrelevant.

As someone who is on the Autism Spectrum it’s uncomfortable for me to sit back and watch these people write and commentate about her without getting angry.

So, what is Greta’s message?

When Thunberg began her protest outside the Swedish Parliament in 2018 at age 15, she had two simple messages: a sign which said, “School strike for the climate” and leaflets she handed out which said: “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.”

As her protest gained momentum, she was invited to give speeches at a variety of forums which enabled her to expand on her concerns.

So far, she has stated four interwoven themes: that humanity is facing an existential crisis due to climate change, that the current generation of adults is responsible for climate change, that climate change will have a disproportionate effect on young people and that too little is being done about the situation.

She has also stated that that politicians and decision-makers need to listen to the scientists.

To put this into perspective this week Sir David Attenborough slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s support for new coal mines and lack of action on climate change, in his most damning assessment yet of Australia’s environmental record.

In an interview with Hack, the world’s most renowned natural historian said previous governments had been “saying all the right things” but this had suddenly changed.

“You are the keepers of an extraordinary section of the surface of this planet, including the Barrier Reef, and what you say, what you do, really, really matters.”

So, a 93-year-old broadcaster and naturalist can speak out and criticise and no one attacks him or comments on the fragile state of his mental health but when a 16-year-old girl does the same thing she’s vilified.

And I don’t believe that it’s their gender that’s being attacked here, I think that it boils down to respect. They respect David Attenborough, but they cannot begin to comprehend the idea that they should respect Greta who has Asperger’s.

Although during the week a possible reason for this white middle-aged anger and outrage was brought to my attention

I’ll also leave this here

Emissions Tracking How We Are Tracking To 2030

So, what do I think?

I think we set aside the personal vindictive attacks, I think that we sit up and take note of what Greta along with other young people of this generation are saying and consider that if we don’t act now, we will end up destroying the natural world.

I’ll leave the last words to Greta

“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be standing here. 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 fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!” “You are failing us.” Thunberg stated.

“But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.

Carry on the Conversation

As always, I can also be found on Twitter: @AutisticNick9 and at my email

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Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.

4 thoughts on “THUNBERG V’S THE WORLD”

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