She Doesn’t Seem Happy Enough
After attending the climate summit at the UN for 10 minutes and hearing Greta speak, Donald Trump sneered sarcastically: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.” Of course she doesnt seem happy. Shes talking about changes in the world that are already threatening the lives of a great many people. If she did so with a broad smile on her face and a cheery tone, shed sound like a sociopath. That said, she did change her Twitter bio to reflect Trumps description, so, while she is not happy, she is very funny.
Why Do People Hate Greta Thunberg So Much
Well, in short, its for the same positive qualities listed above, and if that seems odd to you, thats because it is. Its a combination of factors that makes Thunberg such an appealing target, particularly for anti-climate reform groups.
Often, her critics are middle-aged men who can’t seem to fathom listening to the thoughtful words of a young woman.
Detractors of Thunberg attempt to discredit her for being a child or mentally ill on account of her age and being on the autistic spectrum.
RELATED: 15 Best Greta Thunberg Quotes About What It Really Takes To Change The World
Even those who push back against such condescending remarks will often describe Thunberg as just a child, in an attempt to say that its a low blow to go after her.
Even this defense is problematic because by saying that Thunberg is too young to be attacked by adults, one also implies that she is too young to have valuable and independent opinions.
To use Thunbergs age as an attack or defense is to say that she is less than the adults that supposedly run her life and that she doesnt belong in the conversation at all.
The truth is, that Thunbergs detractors actually care a lot about what she has to say and will take any excuse to tear her down or, more importantly, trivialize her words and her beliefs.
White House Mandates Pfizer Vaccines For Millions Of Citizens Before The Fda Clinical Or Safety Reviews Have Been Made Public
Many seasoned politicians couldnt handle such personal attacks without launching personal counter-attacks themselves or needing help from their political allies. Yet Thunberg seems to be taking these attacks in stride. In fact, the following parody suggests that it is not Thunberg who needs help:
How then is Thunberg able to endure? What makes this 16-year-old different? Well, her tweet below suggests some reasons:
Thunberg may be bringing more attention not only to the urgent problem of pollution and climate change but also to Asperger syndrome . The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website calls AS a developmental disorder and an autism spectrum disorder . When you hear the word disorder you may think of something that doesnt work like a smartphone that wont allow you to take a selfie. But having AS doesnt necessarily mean that you cant function correctly. In fact, it can be quite the opposite.
Take a look at how the NINDS website describes AS: the most distinguishing symptom of AS is a childs obsessive interest in a single object or topic to the exclusion of any other. Children with AS want to know everything about their topic of interest and their conversations with others will be about little else. Their expertise, high level of vocabulary, and formal speech patterns make them seem like little professors.
You May Like: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism
Greta Thunberg Helped Sue Five Countries
To quote Jim Croce, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape.” Unless, of course, you’re Greta Thunberg and Superman contributes heavily to global climate change in which case Thunberg will tug on his cape and tell him his X-ray vision is shortsighted. And if that doesn’t sway him, she’ll try to sue the “S” off his chest. As described by the Conversation, in 2019, Thunberg and 15 other young climate activists tried to sue the “S” out of France, Germany, Turkey, Argentina, and Brazil . The youths, whose ages range from 9- to 17-years-old, aren’t looking for a payday but rather to force these five countries in cooperation with other nations to set legally legally binding emission reduction targets.
The legal framework that allows the Thunberg and company or as we like to call them, the Climate Friends to even attempt this lawsuit is laid out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The convention requires participating countries to act within the best interest of children when taking any legislative action which concerns their well-being. Per UNICEF, “Children will bear the brunt of climate change” as droughts and extreme weather events increase and diseases spread more rapidly. If you’re wondering why the Climate Friends didn’t sue the world’s biggest superpower, the United States, well, the U.S. refused to ratify the treaty.
Greta Thunberg Sees Asperger’s Syndrome As Her Superpower
Some of Greta Thunberg’s conservative critics have attempted to discredit her by bringing up her Asperger’s syndrome and past struggles with depression. The Times Union reported that Maxime Bernier, head of the People’s Party of Canada, branded her “clearly mentally unstable,” citing Thunberg’s autism spectrum disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and previous mental health woes. Media Matters recounted how Daily Wire podcaster Michael Knowles went after Thunberg on Fox News, calling her a “mentally ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents.”
Of course, if mental illness alone invalidates someone’s ideas, then nobody should take Isaac Newton’s claims about calculus or gravity seriously because, as noted by Live Science, the father of modern science was “prone to bouts of depression and once suffered a mental breakdown.” In fact, many people deemed geniuses throughout history were often neurotic or mentally ill. And Asperger’s syndrome, which used to be classified as a mental illness, according to the UK National Health Service, doesn’t impair intelligence. Rather, it diminishes social skills and makes communication difficult.
Also Check: Dyslexia And Autism In Adults
I Didnt Have The Courage To Get Friends Now I Have Many I Really See The Value Of Friendship Apart From The Climate Almost Nothing Else Matters
Thunberg shot in Stockholm in August 2021. Photograph: Marcus Ohlsson/Lundlund
Wow, I say, so, really, youre just a bunch of jokers? A little crease spreads across her lips. I think shes smiling. Yes, we discuss very important topics like mousse and baby carrots, and bread. Sometimes we have very heated discussions. About chocolate mousse? No! she says, appalled. The animals. Do you discuss whether moose are in danger of extinction? No! I dont know if I want to say this. We joke we are a moose cult. Why? Its a very long story. And then we have these internal jokes, like the poem about the baby carrot. At this point, I have to admit to her that shes lost me. But shes on a roll. Its Henrik Ibsen. You can Google it. We sometimes have discussions where we just write babycarrot, babycarrot, babycarrot.
Thats bonkers, I say. She nods, happily. I love seeing her like this. It feels a privilege to be let into her private world, however briefly. Lots of people would think you dont have the time or the inclination to mess around, I say. I think we mess around a bit too much. I may make us sound like idiots now, but thats what we do.
However, the last thing Thunberg herself wanted was a break the climate wouldnt wait for her and, anyway, she was on a high. After all those years of struggle, she had finally found her purpose.
Thunberg leads a school strike and sits outside of the Swedish Parliament. Photograph: Michael Campanella/The Guardian
Greta Thunberg’s Mother Speaks Out On Daughter’s Autism
Greta Thunbergs mother is opening up about her daughters struggles, including an eating disorder that almost required the young girl to be hospitalized.
In the familys new book, Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis, the Swedish environmental activists mother, Swedish opera singer Malena Ernman, details everything from her daughters autism and eating disorder to panic attacks and bullying at school, the Observer reports.
She was slowly disappearing into some kind of darkness, Ernman says. She stopped playing the piano. She stopped laughing. She stopped talking. And she stopped eating.
Rapidly losing weight and only eating small amounts of rice, avocado and gnocchi, Thunberg had lost over 20 pounds from her small frame, and could no longer climb stairs.
After two months of not eating Greta has lost almost 10kg, which is a lot when you are rather small to begin with, writes Ernman, according to an extract published by the British newspaper. Her body temperature is low and her pulse and blood pressure clearly indicate signs of starvation. She no longer has the energy to take the stairs and her scores on the depression tests she takes are sky-high. We explain to our daughter that we have to start preparing ourselves for a stay at the hospital, where its possible to get nutrition and food without eating, with tubes and drips.
You May Like: Freddie Highmore Autistic
People With Autism Have Been Ignored And Condemned Throughout History
Being autistic does not protect these environmental advocates from the usual attacks leveled against anyone who raises the alarm about the oncoming climate catastrophe instead, it gives the trolls another angle of attack.
In one particularly egregious recent example, Brendan ONeill, the British editor of a webzine called Spiked, trotted out a hit parade of toxic stereotypes in a crass attempt to paint Thunberg as a millenarian weirdo with a monotone voice and a pre-modern lack of affect. Meanwhile, a recent court victory by Packhams Wild Justice, a nonprofit he set up to defend threatened species, inspired bullies to send him death threats and string up dead birds on his garden gate .
Though its rarely discussed in the clinical literature, the fact that some people on the spectrum feel an intense connection to the natural world has been known for a long time. My history of autism, NeuroTribes, explores how autistic scientist Temple Grandins love for animals inspired her to become a designer of more humane technology for the livestock industry . In one of the first case reports of Aspergers syndrome from 1954 long before there was a name for it a boy teaches himself the names of the plants that flourished around the residential facility where he was forced to live, while offering lectures on nuclear fission and corporate finance to his peers.
Greta Thunberg Slams World Leaders In Emotional Address At Un Climate Summit
“I think it’s good that we’re eliminating some of the stigma around mental health and we can see certain things as helpful or just a part of living as opposed to a bad thing,” McIlraith said.
That’s exactly what Thunberg has said about her diagnosis. On Twitter, she wrote that what makes her different is actually a “superpower.”
Thunberg also has been a target of criticism and discrimination.
At one point, an Australian columnist called her “deeply disturbed.” A U.S. TV commentator also called her a “mentally ill Swedish child.”
When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know youre winning!< br> I have Aspergers and that means Im sometimes a bit different from the norm. And – given the right circumstances- being different is a superpower.< a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/aspiepower?src=hash& amp ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”> #aspiepower< /a> < a href=”https://t.co/A71qVBhWUU”> pic.twitter.com/A71qVBhWUU< /a>
Read Also: What Is The Symbol For Autism
Watch Greta Thunberg’s Impassioned Un Speech: ‘change Is Coming Whether You Like It Or Not’
Since then, her campaign has gone global, attracting throngs of supporters as well as critics, some of whom have seized upon her Asperger’s as an “illness.”
That has not stopped her. Last month, she tweeted: “When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know youre winning! I have Asperger’s and that means Im sometimes a bit different from the norm. And given the right circumstances being different is a superpower. #aspiepower“
Is My Autism A Superpower
Greta Thunberg, Chris Packham, Jack Monroe and others credit their Aspergers with giving them the focus to get things done. Here, poet, writer and autist Joanne Limburg wonders if the condition has helped her, too
When I heard Greta Thunberg say that being different was a superpower, I had to replay her saying it. Several times. I was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome at 42 and, seven years on, Im still far from sure what that means. Are those of us with autistic spectrum conditions disabled or different? Are we, by definition, deficient human beings, or are there compensations that come with our condition? Are there any circumstances in which autism could be considered, not merely an acceptable difference, but a superpower?
Thunbergs comment some two months ago was her robust response to commentators who had sought to use her Aspergers to discredit her, claiming she must be a nave puppet and calling her a weirdo with a monotone voice. She wrote: I have Aspergers and that means Im sometimes a bit different from the norm. And given the right circumstances being different is a superpower. #aspiepower.
And I can add from personal experience, that when you have to perform almost every time you interact, performing in front of 1,000 people isnt very different to performing in front of three. To a non-autistic person, who finds conversation easy but public speaking unnerving, this may well look like a superpower.
Read Also: Is The Good Doctor Actor Really Autistic
Greta Thunberg Sees Her Asperger’s Syndrome As A Superpower In Her Climate Fight
Thunberg tags Instagram posts #aspiepower and writes that “being different is not an illness and the current, best available, science is not opinions it’s facts.”
“For those of us who are on the spectrum, almost everything is black or white,” she said at a TEDx Talk in Stockholm in November 2018.
To Thunberg, climate change is a black and white issue: It’s bad and it needs to be stopped now.
It’s that outlook, the singular focus, that makes Greta’s message so powerful, says Steve Silberman, a science writer and author of the book NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity.
Public Response And Impact
Thunberg has received both strong support and strong criticism for her work from politicians and the press. Thunberg has met with many politicians and world leaders, but said that she could not think of a single politician who has impressed her. Asked about widely respected New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who described the climate crisis as a matter of life or death, Thunberg commented “It’s funny that people believe Jacinda Ardern and people like that are climate leaders. That just tells you how little people know about the climate crisis.” Thunberg ignores words and sentiments: “Obviously the emissions haven’t fallen. It goes without saying that these people are not doing anything” .
Recommended Reading: Is Dr Shaun Murphy Really Autistic
How Greta Thunberg’s Autism Helps Give Her A Singular Focus
Greta Thunberg has met with world leaders, had an audience with the pope and made an impassioned plea to the United Nations. She’s done it all in the public eye, facing down trolls and sounding off against politicians, an impressive feat for any teenager.
The 16-year-old has reached millions with her message about the need for urgent action on climate change. She’s also inspired people with her public acknowledgement that she’s on the autism spectrum.
She calls her autism her “superpower.” She has a clear message: she succeeds not in spite of her disability, but because of it.
It’s a voice that’s refreshing for Anne Borden King and her son Baxter, 9, who are both autistic. They travelled from Toronto to Montreal on Friday to march in the country’s largest climate strike.
Empowering for others on the spectrum
The way Thunberg frames her diagnosis as an advantage instead of an obstacle is empowering, says Anne Borden King.
“I think that a lot of the time that we look at how autism is portrayed, it’s often portrayed as kind of a burden. As a sadness. And autistic people are often made to be very sort of two-dimensional in media,” she says. “And to see someone that big and outright in the media and really a three-dimensional person is incredible.”
Watch: Greta Thunberg explains how autism helps her environmental mission
“For those of us who are on the spectrum, almost everything is black or white,” she said at a TEDx Talk in Stockholm in November 2018.
“Yeah, it’s pretty cool.”
This Is Child Abuse Greta Thunberg Is Being Cruelly Manipulated By Her Parents
Ah, yes, teenagers, a group of people notoriously open to being told what to do by their parents. Given that young people have been protesting since, well, forever, Im not sure why anyone is surprised that another one is doing so now. The anti-Nazi activist Sophie Scholl is one obvious example, as is every single teen who protested Vietnam . Perhaps we should look back to the suffragettes, one of whose mottos was “the young are at the gates.” In 1907, the face of the Suffragette cause was a 16-year-old named Dora Thewlis who tried to storm the house of Parliament. When she was arrested, the judge declared that she a) had terrible parents and b) that she was probably only doing this for male attention. Her parents responded that their daughter felt passionately about having voting rights, that she chose to protest on her own, and that they supported her stance entirely. Today, we understand this as being a rational position for a young woman to have, just as the people of tomorrow will feel about Thunbergs.
Also Check: Autism Cue Cards Free