16 year-old Swedish Great Thunberg has recently fought her way into the limelight with her strong advocacy for climate change and environmental awareness. For some odd reason, a majority of the attention she’s received has been negative feedback from powerful political and public figures. But why? What’s wrong with advocating for the betterment of the earth?
Thunberg got her start to fame when she organized a school strike for the climate in front of the Sweedish Parliament that has since spread and now involves nearly over 100,000 students. Since then, Thunberg has spoken about climate change on massive stages around the world, including Brussels, Stolkholm and London.
Recently, Thunberg addressed the UN General Assembly, visibly holding back tears of anger as she spoke pointedly about the Trump administration. Trump was only present at the assembly for about 15 minutes before he left without a word. And yet, he seemed to have no problem mocking the teen on Twitter later on, in true Trump fashion.
Trump responded to a Tweet of a video from Thunberg’s speech with an attached quote of hers saying “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 external economic growth.” Trump’s response read: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”
I personally find it disgusting that Trump would go after someone like Thunberg. Advocating for better care and protection of our environment shouldn’t be political and I will never understand why it so often is. We all live on the same planet, Democrats and Republicans alike, so why not all work together to preserve it? Do you think Trump knows that he won’t be able to take to Twitter to attack people if the earth dissolves before our eyes?
Of course, people like Trump don’t care about the environment because they’ll be long gone before anything happens that will personally affect them. That’s exactly why people like Thunberg are so important. She’s very young and still has such a firm grasp on what’s wrong with our world and, despite her own disabilities, has no problem speaking out against the hate.
Further, she also gives the younger generation a better name for themselves. Time and time again young advocates get dragged through the mud by older politicians and influential figures because of their age and supposed ignorance about the issues at hand. There are your fair share of idiots in the world don’t get me wrong, but these adults aren’t exactly geniuses either. Besides, you don’t have to be an expert on something like climate change to know that we’ve mistreated our planet for far too long and we should be doing more to protect it.
If I had to play devil’s advocate and point out one negative aspect of Thunberg’s advocacy, it’s that most of her speeches are just calls to action but lack the information and the ‘how.’ It’s one thing to tell people that they need to help and do what they can to help the planet, but with a platform like the one she has, I think she should be recommending organizations to donate to or specific ways people can help and get more information, instead of just the call to action.