Greta Thunberg Mural Vandalized Hours After Completion | 22 Words

Greta Thunberg has had a remarkable year. The trailblazing, teen climate change activist has started an entire climate change activism revolution with her school strikes each week, which are now happening around the globe, and millions taking to the streets. She's got the world talking about an issue that many have shied away from, and despite having her critics, there's no denying her huge impact on the movement.

She's gone from skipping school on her own to protest outside Swedish parliament, to within a matter of months, addressing world leaders on the so-called climate crisis. She initiated the entire "School Strike for Climate," and, of course, threw Trump that infamous death stare last month.

But, of course, she has her fair share of critics and haters, and these individuals went the extra mile to vandalize a mural put up in her honor. Keep scrolling to learn more...

Greta Thunberg has become the face of the youth climate change movement.

The Swedish sixteen-year-old has been responsible for the global school strike movement, which began with weekly Friday school strikes to protest for climate change action.

Just a year ago, she was relatively unknown.

via: Twitter

Greta would regularly sit on her own outside Swedish parliament, first staging a "School Strike for Climate" in August last year. In the weeks leading up to the country’s general election, Thunberg sat on the steps outside of the parliament building in Stockholm, holding up the now-iconic sign that read “Skolstrejk För Klimatet" — translating to “School Strike for Climate."

The teen sat outside the building during school hours for 3 weeks.

She demanded that the Swedish government reduce carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement. By sacrificing her education to protest for action, the teen began to conjure up attention and gain traction online.

Her unwavering commitment to the environment has shaken the rest of the world.

While a little over a year ago, the name "Greta Thunberg" was relatively unknown, now, her's is the first name that springs to mind when you think of the climate change movement.

Thunberg is known for delivering blistering, matter-of-fact speeches about the urgency of what she calls the "climate crisis."

If we fast-forward to now, Thunberg continues to hold governments accountable during her powerful talks, which have seen her placed in TIME's top one-hundred influential people in the world list.

Her message is clear: we need to act now.

Having whipped up a gigantic global youth movement, climate change is finally getting the attention it deserves, but Thunberg still believes that governments are the ones who still aren't listening. According to the United Nations, humanity has under twelve years to prevent a climate change crisis. A report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the end of 2018, called for immediate “unprecedented changes" to all aspects of society.

If we do not act, the future, if there is one at all, will be very bleak.

Rising global temperatures pose a high risk of social and environmental disasters, including floods, drought, wildfires, and food shortages for millions of people across our planet.

Thunberg has gone to great lengths to fight her cause.

In July, the teen ditched environmentally damaging air travel and sailed across the Atlantic to attend the U.N. Climate Summits in the U.S. and Chile.

Little by little, her trailblazing activism seems to be sinking in.

According to Live Kindly, earlier this year, Mohammed Barkindo — the secretary-general of OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) — acknowledged public opinion surrounding the climate crisis as a threat to the oil industry.

And her youth school strike movement is growing on a mass scale.

On September 20, millions around the world, from London to New York, Sydney to Colombia, ditched the classroom to peacefully protest for climate action in what Thunberg dubs "Fridays for Future."

But, Thunberg's movement has been met with waves of criticism.

Her activism has seen her labeled "melodramatic" amongst other things, as well as other critics saying that she is being used as a political shield.

But her critics don't phase her...

Thunberg addressed world leaders at the U.N. Climate Summit last month and delivered a blistering, anger-tinged speech demanding climate action.

The event is dedicated to world leaders sharing climate solutions and new pledges for climate action.

During her powerful speech, Thunberg highlighted how the science behind climate change has been "crystal clear" for over 3 decades. "I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope? How dare you!" she said. "You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words."

As she spoke, the teen got visibly emotional.

via: YouTube

"People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. 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!" She continued: "How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you are doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight." "You say you 'hear' us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I don’t want to believe that. Because if you fully understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And I refuse to believe that."

She concluded with a poignant message: change is coming, whether you like it or not.

via: YouTube

"You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you." "We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not."

After her speech, the teen activist happened to cross paths with Donald Trump in the lobby.

Safe to say, she understandably isn't his biggest fan and shot him the most intense death stare we've ever seen.

The video went viral online.

When faced with one of the world's most powerful leaders, Thunberg remains fearless, and her death stare has become a somewhat internet sensation.

As you'd expect, Donald Trump had something to say about the whole thing.

In usual Trump-style, he took to Twitter to seemingly mock the teen, writing "She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!" above a video of her speech.

His swipe radiated sarcasm.

And of course, people slammed the president for attacking the young activist.

Many weren't sure of how Thunberg would react to this trolling by the President of the United States...

via: Getty Images

Her mental health has been a consistent worry of many during her time as an activist over the last year. She rose to fame extremely quickly, with her now having 7.1 million followers on Instagram. Thunberg is a young woman who has a history of depression, OCD, anorexia, was a selective mute for several years, and has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.

But despite many worrying that she will soon "burn out" or have a breakdown...

Her following and support system is larger than ever, and she recently showed President Trump that he doesn’t intimidate or scare her. In her own swipe right back at Trump, she updated the bio of her Twitter account... “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future," her new bio read, which is a clear dig at the president, showing that Thunberg isn’t going to let his childish and petty online comments stop her from doing what she believes is right.

Trump isn't her only critic.

via: Getty Images

Vladimir Putin has also taken aim at the teenage activist, claiming that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, and may be being used by the adults around her. He spoke out at the Energy Partnership for Sustainable Growth: "I may disappoint you but I don’t share the common excitement about the speech by Greta Thunberg." “When someone is using children and teenagers in personal interests, it only deserves to be condemned."

But, Greta's hard work has been paying off.

She already snagged the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, which is widely known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize."

Thunberg was honored with the prize for her "inspiring" work.

According to a statement from the Right Livelihood Foundation, “Thunberg is the powerful voice of a young generation that will have to bear the consequences of today’s political failure to stop climate change.
Her resolve to not put up with the looming climate disaster has inspired millions of peers to also raise their voices and demand immediate climate action."

But Greta had some tough competition for the Nobel Peace Prize.

via: Getty Images

Worthy competitors, including David Attenborough, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and even Pope Francis were also up for the award.

But, Thunberg was the favorite to win...

According to British bookmaker, William Hill, this week, 96 percent of Nobel Peace Prize bets had been placed on Thunberg.

Although she didn't win today, congratulations are most definitely in order for the teen activist.

via: Getty Images

Being nominated for such a prestigious award is an impressive achievement in itself.

Millions continue to praise the teenager worldwide...

And one of those people decided to immortalize the teen in a mural in Canada.

Thunberg has opened eyes across the globe.

Local artist AJA Louden decorated a free wall in Edmonton, Alberta, because he believed in what the activist was saying.

A few hours after Louden had completed his masterpiece, however...

via: CBC

The mural had been defaced by 2 different people.

The vandalism was caught on camera.

via: CBC

It was reported by a CBC journalist who managed to identify one of the culprits in the act as James Bagnell, who was spraying "Stop the Lies. This is Oil Country!!!" over the teen's face.

Bagnell wasn't happy with some of the things Thunberg had proposed...

via: Getty Images

"This is Alberta. This is oil country. My father has worked in the oil industry. We don't need foreigners coming in and telling us how to run our business, support our families, put food on our tables," he said when asked why he was vandalizing the mural.

He said Canada shouldn't change its energy industry because other countries are worse offenders.

via: Getty Images

"I think it's absolutely intolerant of them to tell us how to change our lives and our people. She should go back to her country and try to make her country better," he went on to say.

He said he isn't against being eco-friendly...

via: Getty Images

But he strongly believes that Thunberg is a child who is "doing what she's told," and she has offered no solution at all towards combating climate change.

The vandalism continued to grow...

via: CBC

When CBC returned later in the day to get more footage, a different man was further defacing the mural - this time calling the teen a derogatory term, and telling her to get out of the country. The man declined to be interviewed.

Louden said it "isn't a big deal at all"...

Reached by email after the initial pro-oil message was painted, Louden said it's normal for artists to paint over each other's work as it's a free wall.

The wall is there for anyone is freely express their opinion.

"Nothing lasts forever — one of my favorite things about that wall is that anyone is allowed to express themselves there, so I'm not upset at all. I haven't seen what went over it, but if anyone is upset about what was painted over the portrait, they can just paint back over it, it's not a big deal at all," Louden wrote. People are entitled to express their opinions on whether they support Thunberg or not, but there is never an excuse for a hate crime.