When climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the UN on Monday this week, she gave a passionate speech calling on world leaders to take action against the effects of climate change. Her speech didn’t escape the attention of the world and more so of the US president Donald Trump.
On Monday, Trump quote-tweeted a video of the 16-year-old with an interesting caption. In the video, Thunberg says, “How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”
The president, however, had a sarcastic response to this writing, “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright future. So nice to see!” Despite this, Thunberg didn’t address Trump’s comments directly. Instead, the Swedish activist decided to take a more subtle approach.
Less than 12 hours after Trump’s tweet, Thunberg changed her Twitter bio. She wrote, “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright wonderful future.” Many who saw the bio felt that this was an indirect attempt to troll the US president.
It’s not the first time though Greta Thunberg has come under fire from conservative criticism because of her stance on climate change. Just this week, Fox News had to officially apologize after one right-wing commentator, appearing on the network, referred to the teenager as a “mentally ill Swedish girl.” The comment was particularly distasteful, especially because Thunberg has discussed publicly about her being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism.
But despite this, the 16-year-old has remained relentless in her push to get world leaders to act on climate. In her speech to the UN, Thunberg noted with concern that “people are suffering and dying.” She went on to argue that ecosystems are collapsing, noting that the world was in fact at the beginning of mass extinction. The teenager’s activism has caught the attention of the whole world and while she’s been getting some support from other climate change campaigners, climate change doubters have been pushing back against her efforts.
Her recent spat with Trump didn’t escalate and it’s unlikely the president will want to get into a climate change debate with a 16-year-old. But even then, there is no denying that the effects of climate have been growing by the day. Extreme weather and catastrophic climate events like hurricanes are becoming all too common. Most countries also seem to recognize that action is needed now in order to reverse these effects in the future.
But the Trump administration has failed to recognize the science and instead joined the bandwagon of people who have called climate change a “hoax”. The White House has been rolling back a number of climate change regulations in the US over the last few years. Trump also infamously withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. But his latest tweet, mocking a 16-year-old climate change activist, is yet another clear sign of where the president stands on the issue.