Is sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg happy?
According to her father, yes.
Svante Thunberg recently spoke to the BBC and said as much, although he expressed worry over what she’s doing with her life.
Mr. Thunberg told the network he was “not supportive” of her skipping school for a climate strike.
If he wasn’t supportive, how was she able to do it?
When I was 16, I wanted to spend $5,000 on clothes, drive a Ferrari to Malibu, hop a plane to Hawaii, and stay in a 5-star resort for a month.
Sadly, my parents were “not supportive.”
Back to Svante, he also explained that — before Greta was missing class to prevent Armageddon — she was kept out of school for a year because she suffered greatly from depression.
She became mute:
“She stopped talking…she stopped going to school.”
And not only that, she stopped eating — “for three months, or two-and-a-half months” — which was the “ultimate nightmare for a parent.”
The concerned dad’s also disturbed by “hate” for his little girl, and the “fake news, all the things that people try to fabricate (about) her — the hate that that generates.”
Svante believes people see his daughter as a special star; but he’s got news for you — she’s actually just an “ordinary child”:
“You think she’s not ordinary now because she’s special, and she’s very famous, and all these things. But to me she’s now an ordinary child — she can do all the things like other people can.”
Svante traveled with Greta when she sailed to New York and Madrid for the United Nations Summits.
If I may say so, the environmental movement seems filled with acts of symbolism which change nothing. Sailing across the ocean, or hanging from a bridge (here), or blocking intersections (here) doesn’t actually make the air safer or the oceans cleaner. Personally, I believe strongly in conservation; but so much done in the name of environmentalism, in my view, is just pageantry.
But perhaps I’m wrong.
As observed by the BBC:
Millions of people have been inspired to join the 16-year-old in raising awareness of environmental issues.
There was even this:
As part of the same (BBC) broadcast, guest-edited by Greta for Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir David Attenborough told her she had “woken up the world” to climate change.
The broadcaster and naturalist told Greta she had “achieved things that many of us who have been working on the issue for 20 years have failed to do.”
In response to Greta’s debilitating depression, Svante made the decision to spend more time with his kids:
To help her get better, Mr Thunberg spent more time with Greta and her younger sister, Beata, at their home in Sweden. Greta’s mother, opera singer and former Eurovision Song Contest participant Malena Ernman, cancelled contracts so the whole family could be together.
The family also sought help from doctors, Mr Thunberg said. Greta was diagnosed with Asperger’s – a form of autism – aged 12, something she has said allows her to “see things from outside the box.”
Over the next few years they began discussing and researching climate change, with Greta becoming increasingly passionate about tackling the issue.
And now she’s a big-time leader:
Di Caprio: “Greta is a leader of our time.”
Jane Fonda: “I worry about Greta.”
And she’s not afraid to call people out — even her mom and dad:
As “very active” human rights advocates, Greta accused her parents of being “huge hypocrites,” Mr Thunberg said.
“Greta said: ‘Whose human rights are you standing up for?’ since we were not taking this climate issue seriously,” he explained.
Svante became a vegan and Mrs. Thunberg refused to travel by plane, and now they were cookin’.
Fast-forward to the dad-and-daughter sailing.
“I did all these things, I knew they were the right thing to do…but I didn’t do it to save the climate, I did it to save my child.”
And how is Greta now, thanks to her activism? “Very happy.”
“She dances around, she laughs a lot, we have a lot of fun — and she’s in a very good place.”
As for adults’ criticism, it cracks her up:
“Quite frankly, I don’t know how she does it, but she laughs most of the time. She finds it hilarious.”
Svante thinks Greta “really wants to go back to school.”
But who’s got time for school when you’re saving the world?
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