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19 Aug, 2020 10:29

‘In over her head’: Greta Thunberg’s latest op-ed and Guardian’s cover image selection backfires spectacularly

‘In over her head’: Greta Thunberg’s latest op-ed and Guardian’s cover image selection backfires spectacularly

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has penned a new opinion piece for the Guardian ahead of her Thursday meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. However, many are not in the mood for another lecture.

In the two years since her ‘Fridays for Future’ school strike began, Thunberg says the world has “wasted the time” and that “we are still in a state of denial.” 

The teen repeats the same talking points that many have heard time and time again since she took to the international stage. 

She then discusses her Thursday meeting with the German leader, when she plans to “deliver the letter and demands” and to “tell Merkel that she must face up to the climate emergency.”

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Thunberg and her fellow climate strikers Luisa Neubauer, Anuna de Wever and Adelaide Charlier will demand the cessation of all fossil fuel investments and subsidies, and the introduction of an annual carbon budget. They will attempt to leverage Germany’s current presidency of the European Council to effect more widespread change. 

Naturally, both Thunberg herself and the Guardian faced swift and immediate backlash after the article was published. Among the list of complaints was the UK news outlet’s choice of cover photo in an article that accompanied her opinion piece.

“Love the Guardian’s choice of artwork here, inferring that #Greta is in over her head, unknowingly signaling that maybe the computer-model-dependent #ClimateChange agenda is really under water in the face of facts and real science…” journalist Patrick Henningsen wryly noted.

Others were quick to point out how tone deaf Thunberg’s latest diatribe was given the current context of the coronavirus pandemic, to which she refers a total of zero times in her opinion piece. 

“Is she nuts? The entire transport network of the world was shut down for months as were most factories & businesses. And emissions fell around 1%,” wrote one Twitter user, adding that “the Guardian should not be giving her air time.”

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Others point to changes already made in key industries including the steel industry, which is allegedly “working its butt off to eliminate CO2 emissions by 2030” while transitioning  to hydrogen steelmaking.

Some mocked her as the climate movement’s Karen, while others accused the Guardian of using click bait tactics.

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