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22 Apr, 2020 12:57

Not now, Greta: Child climate activist calls on world to fight climate change AND coronavirus at the same time

Not now, Greta: Child climate activist calls on world to fight climate change AND coronavirus at the same time

Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg has reemerged once again to lecture the world’s governments about how to do their jobs, arguing that they must continue to fight climate change while facing down a global pandemic.

Thunberg told an Earth Day livestream event on Wednesday that she wants the world to fight the twin crises of climate change and the global coronavirus pandemic simultaneously. 

“Today is Earth Day and that reminds us that climate and the environmental emergency is still ongoing and we need to tackle both the corona pandemic ... at the same time as we tackle [the] climate and environmental emergency, because we need to tackle two crises at once,” Thunberg said.

Her appearance at the Earth Day event coincided with the release of a new video by the Fridays for Future organization, depicting a family going about their normal daily lives while their house burns down around them. 

The timing was rather unfortunate, however, as it depicts parents packing school lunches for their children who then head out onto the street, somewhat removed from the actual reality many families in lockdown around the world are facing, thanks to the Covid-19 crisis. 

Thunberg’s renewed call to arms in the fight against climate change were also perceived by many as somewhat tone deaf, particularly as countries are already struggling to equip their frontline medical staff with sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to stave off mass outbreaks, not to mention the respirators needed to keep Intensive Care patients alive should their infection go critical. 

“It’s been lovely not listening to her,” wrote one exasperated Twitter user. 

“How many people did she meet or attended one of her rally’s are now affected.....stay in school kids,” another stressed. In fact, Thunberg herself claimed she’d probably been infected with coronavirus back in March, but her symptoms were mild and she has never been tested.

Many others responded to her reappearance in the headlines with despairing gifs, amid already unsettling times as the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus infection around the world surpassed 2.5 million and the death toll approaches 180,000.

Some even insinuated that the coronavirus was somehow Greta's more effective competition in tackling climate change. Tongue firmly in cheek, of course.

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