What Greta Is Doing To Make People Mad

when haters go after your looks and differences, you know you’re winning.


Winta Tekle, Sahuaro News Editor

What is it about Greta that has people mad? Let’s look to the right where she’s been dragged through the mud for her beliefs.

There’s a formula the right has perfected when reacting to Greta: attacking her character.

Greta, just like every person, is multidimensional. She’s young and neuro-diverse. However, the reactions from those who are skeptical of climate change negatively focus on exactly that. Things such as “mentally ill Swedish child,“ equating her to Nazi propaganda, and just completely disregarding her because she’s a teen are all speaking points right wing media have grasped.

For context, Greta is a 16 year-old with Asperger’s, which is on the autism spectrum. I’ve had conversations and seen discourse revolving around this and nothing positive has ever been said about her autism. Contrary to popular belief, Asperger doesn’t affect cognitive or language development. Autism isn’t a problem needed to be fixed, or a tragedy to be erased, or in Greta’s case, a reason why she shouldn’t be taken seriously. While mass media views her neurological diagnosis as hindering, Greta sees it as an asset. “Since I have Asperger’s, I am direct. I don’t say nice words,” she says.

But, they hardly ever respond to the science that she advocates for. Not only am I aware of this, but so is Greta. “Greta has said from the start that people attack her because they can’t attack the science; that seems undeniable,” said environmentalist Bill McKibben. She’s disregarded personal attacks, characterizing them as attempts to divert attention away from the issue of climate change. The attacks are hollow, and show a lapse of respect and integrity within the right.

She’s confident, and unapologetic about her emotions, demeanor and passion. It’s threatening. She speaks truth to power in the faces of politicians who play by the rules of respectable politics.

World leaders and corporations are monetizing misfortune. The science to prove that Earth is quite literally dying has existed for a while, but the politics to mitigate our downward spiral into climate chaos is nowhere to be seen. In Greta’s own words, “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!” It’s angering, to say the least, that the movement of climate change is being led by teens because grown politicians refuse to step up to the plate while simultaneously saying teens shouldn’t be.  Trump’s snarky comments mocking Greta prove exactly that. The Trump administrations relaxing restrictions on power plant emissions is deafening, especially in a period in our lifetime where inaction is a weapon of mass destruction.

So, kudos to Greta, Isra HirsiMari Copeny, Artemisa Xakriabá and all the environmental teen activists who are leading the movement.

A lot can be done when you don’t bother to be polite.