Despite Time Award, Trump Says Greta Thunberg Should Chill

What were you doing at 16? Greta Thunberg, the young activist from Sweden who is inspiring youth from all over the world to demand more accountability from the political class on the issue of climate change and pollution, is Person of the Year in this month’s edition of Time Magazine.
Greta Thunberg is named Time's Person of the Year for her activism in 2019 4 photos
Photo: Time Magazine
Donald Trump has thoughts on Greta Thunberg's being named Time Person of the YearGreta Thunberg is Person of the Year 2019Greta Thunberg has a sense of humor, claps back at Donald Trump
In receiving this honor, Greta has become the youngest person ever to do so. For her, the recognition from the prestigious magazine marks the culmination of one whirlwind year in which she went from a student going on school strike every Friday to raise awareness on the need to reach zero-emissions goals as soon as possible, to an international icon, a symbol of emissions activism.

Despite her efforts, her travels and her highly-mediated discussions on the topic with political leaders of the world, she still has more than a fair share of deniers. President Donald Trump is one of them.

The President of the United States has previously gone on record saying he refused a meeting with Greta because he thought her an unhinged young girl. It’s not just that he doesn’t see her as a credible voice, but also that he doesn’t believe she is making a valid point. As you may have heard, Trump doesn’t believe in climate change so, as far as he’s concerned, all this talk about the need for urgent action is a storm in a teacup at best.

No wonder then that he took Greta’s Time Award as a personal offense. Trump, famous for his around-the-clock Twitter rants and no-filter comments, went online to suggest the Swedish activist would be better off with some anger management education, some time off to “chill” with friends, instead of getting more validation from reputable publications. In his opinion, since what she’s doing is pointless and off-base, recognizing her will only encourage her to more of the same.

“So ridiculous,” Trump tweeted as the news of Greta’s Time Award was spreading online. “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”

Donald Trump has thoughts on Greta Thunberg's being named Time Person of the Year
Photo: / Donald Trump
Capitalization and punctuation issues aside, the message comes across loud and clear, even if someone from Trump’s camp must have taken it down since: Greta is a loudmouth teenager with anger issues, who’s causing a world of trouble by speaking on issues that simply do not exist. What climate change? What emissions? What problem?

Regardless of whether you believe in Greta’s cause, you have to give her some credit for spunk. Minutes after Trump’s tweet, she changed her bio to include it. Greta took Trump’s own words and threw them back at him, delivering to him a master class in the art of clapping back.

“A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend,” her Twitter bio currently reads. Not that all this chilling and movie-watching is keeping her from doing what she’s been doing for the past year: she’s still tweeting about her work and keeping up with her commitments.

Twitter-feuding aside (though fun, it’s still childish), there’s a lesson in here for all of us. Even if you personally don’t believe Greta should be given a platform or you don’t believe that what she’s saying is 100 percent accurate, at least take a moment to think about it. Maybe some of the things we’ve been doing could stand changing, and that alone would translate into improved quality of life.

At the end of the day, yes, Greta is advocating for drastic measures, such as cutting down emissions to a net zero in the auto and aviation industries, removing plastic altogether from our life and leading more sustainable, preferably-vegan lives. But that’s not to say a smaller change wouldn’t matter too.

Even if you’re personally irked by this teenager with an “anger management issue” or think she’s too young to make an educated, valid point, do your best. Walk to work today instead of driving. Leave the private jet at home and fly commercial. Since you’re rich enough to own a private jet, buy an electric car instead of a gas-guzzler for your next show-off purchase. Use a cotton bag instead of single-use plastics. Your planet will thank you.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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