Trump Mocks Thunberg After Emerging TIME’ Person Of The Year

This handout image released on December 11, 2019 courtesy of Time shows the Time person of the Year December 23/December 30, 2019 cover with Greta Thunberg.  AFP

 

US President Donald Trump on Thursday slammed Time magazine’s naming of Greta Thunberg as 2019 Person of the Year, saying the Swedish teen climate activist should “chill” and go see a movie.

“So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!” he tweeted.

Thunberg’s reply came minutes later, when she changed the bio of her Twitter account to: “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”

The exchange came after Time on Wednesday the 16-year-old, who last year launched the “Fridays For Future,” protest against global warming that has since grown into a worldwide movement and seen her tipped as a potential Nobel laureate.

The backlash on social media was swift, with numerous critics assailing Trump for what they saw as bullying, although some high profile tweeters came to the president’s defense.

“There’s a reason we don’t let people run for president until age 35. Greta is a good example,” said Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip.

Thunberg has become known for her fiery speeches to world leaders, and was that day in Madrid, where she accused rich countries of “misleading” people into thinking they are taking meaningful action against climate change.

In perhaps her most iconic appearance, she laid in to world leaders at another UN climate summit in New York September, thundering “How dare you?” in accusation of their failure to take action to stop runaway global warming.

‘So extreme’ 

She had arrived in the US at the end of a two-week journey on a sailboat — refusing to fly because of the carbon emissions caused by planes.

Her rhetoric, youth and diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism, have made her a frequent target of critics.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed her as a “brat,” and following her September speech in New York, Trump quipped that she is a “very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”

Thunberg’s struggle began quietly in August 2018 when she skipped school for the first three weeks, and then on Fridays spent the day outside Sweden’s parliament with a sign labeled “School strike for climate.”

In a November interview with AFP on the eve of her departure from North America, where she had spent almost three months, Thunberg said Trump’s climate change denialism had helped galvanize her movement.

“He’s so extreme and he says so extreme things, so I think people wake up by that in a way,” she said.

Thunberg and Trump were briefly in the same small room as they arrived for the New York summit, with video showing the teen glowering at the president as he passed by with his entourage.

“I thought when he got elected, now people will finally, now people must finally wake up,” Thunberg told AFP.

“Because it feels like if we just continue like now, nothing’s going to happen. So maybe he is helping.”

AFP

Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Emerges TIME’ Person Of The Year

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg gives a speech during a high-level event on climate emergency hosted by the Chilean presidency during the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 at the ‘IFEMA – Feria de Madrid’ exhibition centre, in Madrid, on December 11, 2019. CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP

 

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who became the voice of conscience for a generation facing the climate change emergency, was named Wednesday as Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year.

The 16-year-old first made  headlines with her solo strike against global warming outside Sweden’s parliament in August 2018.

“We can’t just continue living as if there was no tomorrow, because there is a tomorrow. That is all we are saying,” Thunberg told Time.

The magazine interviewed Thunberg aboard the sailboat that took her from the United States to Europe after a hectic 11-week North American trip to several US cities and Canada.

Thunberg has taken her disarmingly straightforward message — “listen to the scientists” — to global decision-makers, accusing them of inaction.

The Swedish activist was in Madrid as the award was announced, at a UN climate forum tasked with saving the world from runaway global warming.

“The politics of climate action are as entrenched and complex as the phenomenon itself, and Thunberg has no magic solution,” Time wrote in the interview.

“But she has succeeded in creating a global attitudinal shift, transforming millions of vague, middle-of-the-night anxieties into a worldwide movement calling for urgent change.

“She has offered a moral clarion call to those who are willing to act, and hurled shame on those who are not.”

 ‘I want you to panic’ 

Within months of launching her lonely “School Strike for the Climate” protest outside the Swedish parliament Thunberg was spearheading global demonstrations by young people and demanding environmental action from world leaders.

“I want you to panic,” she told CEOs and world leaders at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland in January 2019. “I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”

Her words spread like wildfire online.

The daughter of an opera singer mother and an actor-turned-producer father born, Thunberg has faced severe criticism — the latest from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who dismissed her as a “brat” — and been subjected to a swarm of online conspiracy theory.

Some mock her youth or try to discredit her because of her Asperger’s syndrome, a diagnosis she has never hidden.

Her diagnosis means that Thunberg “doesn’t operate on the same emotional register as many of the people she meets,” Time magazine wrote.

“She dislikes crowds; ignores small talk; and speaks in direct, uncomplicated sentences. She cannot be flattered or distracted” — and according to the magazine, “these very qualities have helped make her a global sensation.”

Thunberg says she is mystified by the hostility of some of the reaction to her.

“I honestly don’t understand why adults would choose to spend their time mocking and threatening teenagers and children for promoting science when they could do something good instead,” she wrote on Twitter in September. “Being different is not an illness.”

She also insists that she has “not received any money” for her activism.

And with 12 million followers on her Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts, she continues to rack up high-profile supporters, from Barack Obama to the Dalai Lama and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

AFP

Teen Activist, Greta Thunberg, Awarded International Children’s Peace Prize

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg during an interview aboard La Vagabonde, the boat she will be taking to return to Europe, in Hampton, Virginia, on November 12.
PHOTO: NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP

 

Teen activist Greta Thunberg was awarded an international children’s peace prize on Wednesday, for her work in the struggle against climate change which has resonated with schoolchildren across the world.

Cameroonian peace activist Divina Maloum, aged 15, also received the International Children’s Peace Prize, awarded by the Dutch KidsRight organisation, which has been handing out the prize since 2005.

Thunberg could not accept her award in person at the ceremony in The Hague because she is crossing the Atlantic by boat on her way to an international climate conference in Madrid.

However she sent a message saying she was “incredibly grateful and honoured for this prize”.

The 16-year-old climate campaigner left the United States in mid-November, hitching a ride to Europe aboard a catamaran to attend a UN climate summit in Madrid in early December.

Thunberg rose to international prominence last year when she founded the “school strikes for the climate” movement. Tens of thousands of children around the world have now got involved.

“The climate crisis is the peace issue of our time,” said German climate activist Luisa-Marie Neubauer who picked up Thunberg’s prize on her behalf.

“We took on the streets for action and the truth is, today after one year of striking, the life of every child on this planet is threatened,” she added, criticising the inaction of world leaders on the issue.

Divina Maloum was awarded her prize for her “peaceful struggle” against the Boko Haram jihadist group.

“In Cameroon and Africa, when talking about peace-building, children are forgotten by the decision makers,” she said in her acceptance speech.

“I invite my fellow children around the world to rise their voice.”

The prizes were handed out by Indian children’s rights activist and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi.

The children’s peace prize is linked to a 100,000 euro grant which is invested in projects linked to the winners’ causes.

Previous winners of the award include Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani schoolgirl who campaigned for girls’ right to education.

AFP

Former James Bond Star Brosnan Heaps Praises On Teenage Activist Greta Thunberg

US-Irish actor Pierce Brosnan poses during a photocall as part of the 45th Deauville US Film Festival, on September 7, 2019 in Deauville.
LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

Former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan heaped praise on teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg but also warned that she needed to be protected.

Brosnan described Thunberg as “a magnificent young woman. I wish her every success.”

But in comments to AFP on the sidelines of the Deauville film festival, the 66-year-old Irish actor added: “She has to be careful, has to be protected.”

Urging people to become active locally in environmental matters, Brosnan cited the example of Thunberg. In many cases, he said, “it starts with the children.

“You can see it with Greta, who has such an influence, a powerful impact on young people,” he said.

Thunberg, still only 16, has become a figurehead for the climate change movement since sitting outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018 calling for politicians to cut carbon emissions and curb global warming.

She is currently in New York for a UN summit on carbon emissions, having been offered a lift there in a racing yacht after she refused to fly there because of the carbon emissions involved in air travel.

Thunberg has come in for criticism and abuse for her uncompromising attitude.

He produced and his wife directed an award-winning documentary, “Poisoning Paradise” about the agro-chemical industry in Hawaii, where they live.

The film focuses on “the effects of GMOs, (genetically modified organisms), Monsanto, BASF, that type of farming which has a deep effect on the community,” he explained.

“Unfortunately we have a president who thinks there is no climate change,” Brosnan said, referring to US President Donald Trump, who the actor said was “rolling back so many environmental movements”.

Asked about British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s politics, Brosnan replied: “Between him and Trump, this world is in a sorry state. It is shameful really what’s happened here to England. There could be trouble ahead.”

Brosnan played James Bond four times between 1995 and 2002 before passing the baton to the current Bond, Daniel Craig.

He was in Deauville, on the north coast of France, to accept a homage to his career.

AFP