16-Year-Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Takes On Trolls Who Openly Mock Her

great thunberg sailing trip

16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg has embarked on a two-week, zero-emission sailing journey to attend the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York and the COP25 in Santiago, Chile to meet with world leaders about climate change.

Yet, despite her inspirational trip, many grown adults have taken to Twitter to openly mock Greta and her mission.

British radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer wrote,

“Hi Greta, I’ve just booked some long haul flights for my family to enjoy some winter sun on the beach this Christmas. Level guilt being felt: 0%”

After garnering criticism for bullying a girl who’s just trying to make the world a better place, Julia doubled-down on her stance. She called Greta a “vulnerable child brainwashed and exploited to further their political aims.” She again added,

“Level of guilt being felt for posting this tweet: Still 0%. Next.”

Here’s the thing, Julia: Greta isn’t trying to make you feel guilty. She’s literally just practicing what she preaches by not adding to an ongoing crisis.

In 2015, Greta decided to forgo airplane travel due to the high amount of greenhouse gases they emit. She told the BBC News that “by stopping flying, you don’t only reduce your own carbon footprint, but also, that sends a signal to other people around you that the climate crisis is a real thing.”

great thunberg climate change
@gretathunberg / Instagram

The boat is fully equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines and set sail from Plymouth, U.K. on August 14th. The boat will have no heating, kitchen, fridge, shower, or bathroom.

Since she announced her upcoming trip, conservatives have freely taken out their anger on her and folks like Brexit supporter and insurance mogul Arron Banks have “jokingly” suggested that Greta’s life could be in danger on the trip. He tweeted,

“Freak yachting accidents do happen in August.”

He then accused “lefty” climate change activists of using Greta to “promote a political crusade” and that she was “being abused and paraded” around.

Even publications have publicly derided her. Australian newspaper The Herald Sun recently tweeted an article along with the description,

“As the deeply disturbed Greta Thunberg spreads her climate panic, we should ask why so many world leaders are listening to her, writes Andrew Bolt”

The writer even had the audacity to mock Greta’s Asperger’s Syndrome.

“I have never seen a girl so young and with so many mental disorders treated by so many adults as a guru.”

great thunberg sailing trip climate change
@gretathunberg / Instagrm

Greta has had no trouble standing up for herself among all this hate, however. In response to that particularly horrible article, she wrote,

“I am indeed ‘deeply disturbed’ about the fact that these hate and conspiracy campaigns are allowed to go on and on and on just because we children communicate and act on the science. Where are the adults?”

Greta’s right. Why is it so hard for adults to understand that climate change is real? Science can not be disputed. We are in the middle of a climate crisis, and the fact that Greta, a girl with Asperger’s is spearheading a movement and giving hope to millions of people is nothing to mock. She’s doing more than any of her naysayers.  She even told BBC that her fight for climate change has given her life a purpose.

“Before I felt lonely, both because I have Asperger’s Syndrome and I don’t enjoy socializing. But also because it felt like, I was the only one who cared about the climate and ecological crisis. No one I knew cared about this, and I felt like I was the only one. It makes me feel good that I’m not alone in this fight. And it feels like my life has gotten some kind of meaning lately.”

As Greta continues to fight the good fight, you can follow her journey here.


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Alysia Stevenson
Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she's not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.