Protesters listen to speeches at the climate strike Friday at Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Grown-ups mock children because world view threatened: Thunberg

Activist Greta Thunberg responded to attacks on campaign as students take part in global protests

Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg said Friday she doesn’t understand why grown-ups and world leaders would mock children and teens for acting on science, responding to attacks on her campaign as students conducted a second wave of global protests demanding action on climate change.

When asked about U.S. President Donald Trump and others who have mocked her, the 16-year-old activist said they likely feel their world view and interests are being threatened by climate activism.

“We’ve become too loud for people to handle so people want to silence us,” she said at a rally in Montreal after meeting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “We should also take that as a compliment.”

The youth climate movement has drawn criticism from some who accuse the students of overreacting and say they would be better off going to school. In an apparent sarcastic jibe at Thunberg this week following her haranguing of world leaders, Trump tweeted: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

Instead of addressing Trump by name, she said Friday that she didn’t “understand why grown-ups would choose to mock children and teenagers for just communicating and acting on the science when they could do something good instead.”

Thousands later chanted “Greta! Greta!” as she spoke at an afternoon rally in Montreal.

“We will do everything in our power to stop this crisis from getting worse even if that means skipping school or work,” she said. “The people have spoken. And we will continue to speak until our leaders listen and act. We are the change and change is coming.”

Her comments came as students in Italy symbolically torched a replica of planet Earth, one of many protests as part of the climate strikes sparked by the Swedish teen. Some participants echoed the anger she expressed this week at a U.N. summit in New York.

WATCH: Teens gather en masse across Canada to demand drastic climate action

“How dare you!” read one banner at a rally in Italy’s financial hub of Milan, where tens of thousands took to the streets and later gathered around a giant globe to watch it go up in flames.

More than 100,000 people also rallied in Rome, where protesters held up signs with slogans such as “Change the system, not the climate” or just the word “Future.”

Fears about the impact of global warming on younger generation s drew fresh protests in India, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands and Bolivia a week after hundreds of thousands rallied worldwide ahead of the U.N. summit.

In New Zealand, students marched on Parliament in Wellington, staging one of the largest protests ever held in that capital.

In Berlin, activists from the Fridays for Future group braved persistent rain to denounce a package of measures that the German government recently agreed on to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Experts say the proposal falls far short of what’s needed if the world’s sixth-biggest emitter is to meet the goals of the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord.

Actor Javier Bardem joined dozens of young people in San Sebastian in one of several rallies held across Spain on Friday morning ahead of evening demonstrations in major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. Bardem was promoting a documentary he worked on with Greenpeace.

In Austria, organizers said 150,000 people participated, while local APA news agency said the number was 65,000.

In Poland, protesters blocked traffic in downtown Warsaw by chaining themselves to a tent. Police and firefighters tried to negotiate with them.

In Buenos Aires, where school strikes inspired by Thunberg have taken place since March, several thousand people marched from the famed Plaza de Mayo to the Congress. Protests occurred elsewhere in Latin America, including in Chile and Bolivia.

Protesters even rallied on Chile’s Easter Island, known for its massive statues known as moai.

In Canada, Thunberg met Trudeau, who praised her activism on climate change.

“She is the voice of a generation, of young people who are calling on their leaders to do more and do better,” Trudeau said. “And I am listening.”

Trudeau, who is in the middle of an election campaign, announced a plan to plant 2 billion trees over the next decade.

Thunberg, however, indicated that she expects more, even of leaders who welcome the movement. Scientists this week issued new dire warnings about the consequences of rising temperatures on the world’s oceans and cold regions.

Thunberg told a crowd in Montreal it was moving to see people of all generations so passionate for a cause.

“He (Trudeau) is of course obviously not doing enough, but this is just a huge problem, this is a system that is wrong,” she said. “My message to all the politicians is the same: Just listen and act on the science.”

Rob Gillies And Frank Jordans, The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Two strikes were held on Sept. 20 and 27, as the UN emergency climate summit took place on Sept. 23. Madelaine Picard joined both the protests happening in Prince Rupert and plans to come back as often as she can for Fridays for Future. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

Just Posted

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Buyers across the province will soon be able to pick up a… Continue reading

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 101 km/h in a construction zone

Business notes: Downtown Duncan open-air food court opens

What’s happening in Cowichan’s business community

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Most Read