You know who Greta Thunberg is, there’s no way you haven’t heard about the young climate change activist. Greta has led climate change protests, spoken to parliaments of many countries and even did a UN speech. She’s clearly very passionate about climate change, her only wish is to protect the planet, because that’s our home and it’s on fire, and if we don’t do anything about it, Greta’s future and the future of younger generations looks very grim. But as per usual, when there’s a young girl with a strong opinion, there will be people who will try to tear her down.
You don’t have to dig hard to find articles and videos of newscasters who are blatantly calling Greta a victim of brainwashing, saying that she’s clearly mentally unstable or blaming her parents for using her for their own agenda. But is that the case?
It’s not a secret that Greta has Asperger’s syndrome, which means she’s on the autistic spectrum. But if anything, that’s Greta’s strength, not weakness. People actually have dealt with children on the autistic spectrum will tell you that you can’t tell those kids what to do, it just doesn’t work that way. Sure Greta might be hyper-focused on climate change, but that just means she puts an insane amount of effort and time into research so she knows what she’s talking about when she says we’re running out of time.
Speaking of her parents, they’re far from having an agenda of their own. In fact, at the beginning, when Greta was only starting her environmental protest they were against it. Not because they don’t believe in climate change, but because no parent wants their kid to be at the forefront of something that could bring hate into their life.
Greta’s mother is an opera singer and after Greta has made her read books and watch documentaries about climate change, the woman stopped using air travel for touring and now uses only trains instead. Greta’s father has become a vegan in order to minimize his carbon footprint. All these changes are stemming from Greta and affecting her parents, not the other way round.
Greta herself is a vegan and she refuses to travel by plane, instead, she chooses to spend hours and days on trains because that is the most eco-friendly mode of transportation. When she had to travel to the US, Greta travelled by a solar-powered boat, when she could’ve easily gone by plain. But Greta practises what she preaches.
Her father chose to accompany her on this trip to the US because like any parent, he was worried that it’s a hard journey and his child might need help and naturally he wanted to be there for her. But of course, right-wing media decided to frame it as a grown man using his child to further his agenda. Sounds insane, doesn’t it?
If there’s any proof you need that Greta is actually a very bright girl who’s just doing what she can to make change the world for the better listen to Greta herself. She never makes up any stories, she always says “I don’t want you to listen to me, listen to the scientist”. She’s aware that she’s going to be criticized because of her age and because she’s different, but Greta has a great attitude. She knows that when people start attacking you for your looks, age or your disorder – it’s because they can’t argue with what you’re saying, because it’s a fact. So she doesn’t care what others might say, she’s a girl on a mission. And in this case, her Asperger’s is not her weakness, it’s her superpower.