Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has earned accolades from world leaders for her emotional speeches. While cheering her as a person, Vladimir Putin still stayed cautious, saying he doesn’t “share the common excitement.”
Thunberg’s passionate speech before world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York last week cemented her as probably the world’s most famous climate change activist and media darling.
“How dare you!,” the 16-year-old campaigner scolded world leaders. “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money, and fairy tales of eternal economic growth.”
Thunberg’s lecture earned her praise from politicians and the media, but Russian President Vladimir Putin is not among them.
“I may disappoint you but I don’t share the common excitement about the speech by Greta Thunberg,” he told an energy forum in Moscow on Wednesday.
“No one has explained to Greta that the modern world is complex and different and … people in Africa or in many Asian countries want to live at the same wealth level as in Sweden,” he continued.
“Of course, emotions are inevitable, but still if we want to be effective, we must stay professional.”
Thunberg’s eco-activism has been criticized before for focusing on the Western world, while ignoring the damage being done to the environment by less wealthy countries going through their own industrial revolutions.
While young environmentalists should be supported, “when someone is using children and teenagers in personal interests, it only deserves to be condemned,” the leader argued.
“I’m sure that Greta is a kind and very sincere girl,” Putin added.
“But adults must do everything not to bring teenagers and children into some extreme situations.”
While Thunberg’s solitary school walkout last year has since evolved into thousands-strong ‘Fridays for Future’ protests worldwide, her activism has drawn criticism for its apparent alarmism, as well as mockery from US President Donald Trump. Thunberg herself has said that this backlash proves her message is “too loud to handle.”
Yet, critics also pointed out that the teenager has failed to present any clear steps on how to change the situation.
Greta is just a human shield for the real agenda of the people who pull her strings. Neo-feudalism disguised as environmentalism. The raw lust for power and control disguised as right-on hipster activism.
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