Greta Thunberg has inspired millions to strike for the climate. But the road has been paved with criticism and myths spread by politicians, opinion-makers, and the public.
In 2018, Greta Thunberg sat outside the parliament in Stockholm with the sign: School strike for the climate. Since then, she has spoken around the world and gained millions of followers on social media.
But at the same time, Thunberg and her school strike have led to upset criticism and become a real water divider. And since Thunberg’s sailboat added in New York, the storm of opinion has escalated. Here are three of the, often constructed, arguments used to criticize the 16-year-old climate activist.
The elite are behind
The idea for the strike came from Bo Thorén, involved in the non-profit association Fossilfritt Dalsland, among others. His idea was to gather several young people in a joint protest. But it was only Greta Thunberg who liked at the idea, according to her mother Malena Ernman. Greta Thunberg then conducted the school strike on her own initiative.
But many people suspect that it is, in fact, other than Thunberg behind. Among other things, conspiratorial theories are spread that Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros controls the climate activist.
This summer, a message was also circulated that Greta Thunberg was represented by an agency that hires well-known speakers. According to the data, she earned hundreds of thousands of dollars on her numbers. That statement was rejected by Thunberg:
“Of course, this is not true, I do not belong to any agency and I do not get paid py a cent for my speeches. And what I earn on my books and the prizes I get goes to charity,” she wrote on Twitter in June.
“She is mentally ill”
Greta Thunberg has repeatedly stated that she has Asperger’s syndrome. Among other things, she has said that the diagnosis means that she “works differently and sees the world from a different perspective”.
On social media, there are many posts about Thunberg’s diagnosis claiming that she is exploited and needs help. Thunberg has repeatedly objected to the criticism:
“When hate-filled people chase you for what you look like, it means they have nothing more sensible to do. And then you know you’ve won, ”she wrote on Instagram shortly after arriving by sailboat to New York.
“Used by the parents”
People have criticized Greta Thunberg’s parents, also on social media, where it is argued that they should be reported to social care.
The accusation against the parents, the actor Svante Thunberg and the opera singer Malena Ernman, is often about the fact that, together with the establishment, they exploit the daughter.
Shortly after the strike, Svante Thunberg said that the parents cannot support the school strike, but that he, as a fellow, understands the daughter’s decision.
Malena Ernman backed the criticism on Facebook in January, writing: “No one has planned or encouraged her to do what she does.”