August 20, 2019
August 20, 2019 7:31 PM EDT
Climate change activist Greta Thunberg speaks at a press conference before setting sail for New York in the 60ft Malizia II yacht from Mayflower Marina, on August 14, 2019 in Plymouth, England. Getty Images
Is she being manipulated?
Greta Thunberg, 16, dubbed GQ’s ‘Game Changer Of The Year’ is a climate change advocate who has helped propel climate change to the top of the global political agenda and is currently riding a zero-carbon yacht across the Atlantic on her way to the U.N. climate action summit in New York, Daily Mail reports.
Questions and rumours surrounding whether the young girl is merely a talking figurehead with a mother looking to cash in have taken root over the course of the girl’s year-long rise to fame.
Addressing the rumours, Thunberg said: “A lot of people like to circulate rumours about someone ‘behind me’ or that they ‘pay’ me or ‘use’ me to do what I do. But ‘behind’ me is only myself.”
“I’m totally independent and I only represent myself,” she said, adding, “And I do what I do for free.”
Curiously, Malena Ernman, Thunberg’s mother, released a memoir titled Scenes From The Heart, not long after the first of Thunberg’s climate strikes.
Ernman, an opera star in Sweden, sought to break out internationally by entering Sweden’s 2009 Eurovision contest where she placed 21st out of 25, Daily Mail reports.
Ernman’s daughter rose to prominence after her ‘school strike for climate’ campaign last year that grew to have 1.6 million supporters across 133 countries.
Thunberg has even been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and met Pope Francis.
16-year-old Swedish climate change activist, Greta Thunberg (C) holds a placard reading in Swedish “school strike for the climate” as she takes part in the Fridays For Future rally in Piazza del Popolo in Rome on April 19, 2019. Getty Images
Despite the young eco-warrior and Stockholm native being diagnosed with Asperger’s, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and selective mutism, she hasn’t let that stop her from getting her message out.
Addressing MPs in the U.K. parliament she boldly said: “You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to,” Daily Mail reports.
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She also told MPs a 50% reduction in carbon emissions must occur by 2030 or “we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, that will most likely lead to the end of our civilization as we know it.”
At the age of eight, Thunberg learned about climate change in school.
The knowledge caused her to be upset that adults did not take the issue seriously, which was a factor that led to her depression at age 11.
“I don’t easily fall for lies. I can see through things,” she said.
I received death threats for making this image. So here it is again. pic.twitter.com/ShVkX7P195
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 19, 2019
Global warming skeptics have attacked Thunberg online, including the recent news from the Daily Mail that Thurnberg’s sailing trip isn’t carbon neutral because two sailors have to be flown to New York to return the sailboat back to Europe.
Those coming to her defence criticized people for attacking a teenager.
Thunberg gracing the front of British GQ’s upcoming October issue.