"How dare you!" are the poignant words of pioneering climate change activist, Greta Thunberg, who addressed world leaders at the U.N. Climate Summit on Monday. Her powerful, stinging speech brought home the reality of the sheer ignorance of our world leaders when it comes to climate change, and their inability to do anything about it, or even see it as an issue in the first place.
However as is often the case with the Internet, things move quickly. And no longer are the eyes of the world on the UN speech, but they are on this.
A seemingly innocent photo of Greta went viral recently after trolls began slamming her for reportedly using single use plastics. To make matters worse, the same photo was then doctored and edited to show Greta eating in front of hungry looking children.
And thousands of people believed the image was legitimate... Including some big names in politics. Oh dear.
Greta Thunberg has become the face of the youth climate change movement.
Just a year ago, she was relatively unknown.
via: TwitterGreta 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.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 woken the rest of the world.
Thunberg is known for delivering blistering, matter-of-fact speeches about the urgency of what she calls the "climate crisis."
Her message is clear: we need to act now.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.
Thunberg has gone to great lengths to fight her cause.
Little by little, her trailblazing activism seems to be sinking in.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.
But, Thunberg's movement has been met with waves of criticism.
But her critics don't phase her...
On my way to the United Nations. Today I’m speaking in the General Assembly at the Climate Action Summit. This is s… https://t.co/MXRAyXjec0— Greta Thunberg (@Greta Thunberg)1569243289.0
The event is dedicated to world leaders sharing climate solutions and new pledges for climate action.
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.
I’ll tell you one thing Greta Thunberg does not have and that’s a future in professional poker. https://t.co/cAznzjWbeW— 🏳️🌈 Max 🏳️🌈 (@🏳️🌈 Max 🏳️🌈)1569308707.0
The video has gone 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.
@realDonaldTrump The President of the United States making a sarcastic, snide comment to make fun of a 16-year-old… https://t.co/GOHBf2wpum— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD)1569296379.0
Greta's speech wasn't the only thing to go viral this week.A photo of the sixteen-year-old sat on the train was posted to Twitter by @pocket_rocket96.
This picture wasn't just any old picture though...It showed Thunberg surrounded by lots of food and packaging while she eats.
Now, this may look like the ideal picture to shout "hypocrite!" at...And that's exactly what this user did. She captioned the post: "Oh she looks so frightened about the immediate climate catastrophe. As she sits there on a train, surrounded by plastic containers and processed foods. A picture paints a thousand words. This tells you she knows nothing about what she speaks of."
But she made a very rookie mistake...
@pocket_rocket96 Is that her on the train to China to give them a talking to !— Gary Scott (@Gary Scott)1569403787.0
Here's why she should have done the research.Do you really think Greta Thunberg wouldn't practice what she preaches? And secondly, do you think someone who is close with her would post a potentially incriminating photograph of her? Some of these people really aren't the smartest tools in the box, are they?
Here are some facts for you:
that’s a vegan salad, there’s reusable water bottles, unpackaged fruit, and she’s travelling by train which produce… https://t.co/5f2vr0qCJO— georgia-anäis (@georgia-anäis)1569428603.0
She then continues...
nobody in this world is perfect and of course she will have to use one use plastic where there is no alternative, w… https://t.co/t4PqEo3kfu— georgia-anäis (@georgia-anäis)1569428863.0
Exhibit A: we have Andy over here.
@georgiaanais_ @_NicoleCunn You can tell all that from one picture?— Andy Murray (@Andy Murray)1569442031.0
Thankfully, Georgia was back to enlighten him...
@andymurray7961 @_NicoleCunn veganskt sallad is vegan salad in swedish, those bottles clearly ain’t plastic, i don’… https://t.co/etTVo7gnNW— georgia-anäis (@georgia-anäis)1569442396.0
Someone else decided to hop in and set Andy and the rest of the haters straight.
@georgiaanais_ @andymurray7961 @_NicoleCunn -just jumping in here..- but yeah it says it’s a vegan salad in danish,… https://t.co/pWjNGtt6XA— a n i a ♦️ (@a n i a ♦️)1569446257.0
However, things went from bad to worse.As if being slandered by trolls for her apparent "use of plastics" wasn't bad enough, other trolls went to the extreme of doctoring the image of her on a train.
The "fake" photo caused outrage.The edited photo showed Greta eating her lunch as several starving children looked inwards at the food. Although the image is quite clearly not authentic, many were convinced by the photo - including some high profile celebrities.
The President of Brazil's son shared the image.
"Vocês roubaram minha infância..." disse a garota financiada pela Open Society de George Soros. https://t.co/5CzPDMd38O— Eduardo Bolsonaro🇧🇷 (@Eduardo Bolsonaro🇧🇷)1569462990.0
Eduardo also suggested that she receives funding from billionaires.
via: WikimediaThe post included an article that Eduardo shared which suggested that Thunberg receives funding from Hungarian-American billionaire, George Soros. However numerous reports state that there is no evidence at all to prove that Thunberg receives funding from Soros' foundation. In a position of power, sharing evidently fake information like this about "a CHILD" is unbelievably dangerous.
The president's son has now been accused of irresponsible fake news.
Fake news? Sei não hein... 😂 Cabe chamar a Globo para ver de novo no replêi ! https://t.co/Dz3Vgl4x4s https://t.co/KUN9TJu03V— Eduardo Bolsonaro🇧🇷 (@Eduardo Bolsonaro🇧🇷)1569579940.0