Leaders of France, Germany, and Australia criticized teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg after she accused them on the world stage of not taking enough action to avert what she calls a “mass extinction.”
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel distanced themselves from Thunberg over her speech to the United Nations and a legal complaint Thunberg filed that accuses France and Germany, among other nations, of a lack of action on climate change. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison faulted Thunberg for subjecting Australian children to “needless anxiety.”
“They’ve got enough things to be anxious about,” Morrison said of his own daughters. “We’ve got to let kids be kids. We can’t have them growing up as mushrooms, but we’ve got to get a bit of context into this.”
Thunberg, 16, has become the face of the global alarmist environmental movement. In her speech to the U.N., she accused world leaders of destroying her “dreams” and her “childhood” with “empty words.”
“People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!” Thunberg said.
Thunberg and 15 other child climate activists filed a formal complaint with the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child that accuses Argentina, Germany, France, Brazil, and Turkey of violating children’s rights by taking insufficient action to address global warming. The children’s complaint didn’t include China and India, the world’s biggest polluters.
Macron, who had previously sided with Thunberg’s movement, criticized the youth for taking a radical and antagonistic position.
“All the movements among our youth, or the less young, are useful,” Macron told French broadcaster Europe 1. “But now they must concentrate on the people who are further away, those who are trying to block [sustainable initiatives]. These radical positions will naturally antagonize our societies.”
French Ecology Minister Brune Poirson also criticized Thunberg for creating divisions that may prove irreparable.
“I do not believe that we can mobilize the population with despair, with almost hatred, setting people against one another,” Poirson told Radio France. “It’s important, she mobilizes. But what are the solutions she puts on the table? I do not know.”
Merkel, who has said that Thunberg’s movement “drove” Germany to take environmental action, took a subtler approach to criticize the teenage climate activist.
“I would like to take the opportunity to strongly contradict her in one matter,” Merkel said, according to The Times of London. “She did not adequately address the way technology and innovation, especially in the energy sector but also in energy conservation, raise possibilities for reaching our goals.”
Macron, Merkel, and Morrison aren’t the first to criticize climate alarmists. The chief of the World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas, told a Finnish magazine in early September that climate extremists and “doomsters” are attacking mainstream scientists in a bid to shift them toward a radical view of climate change.
“While climate skepticism has become less of an issue, we are being challenged from the other side. Climate experts have been attacked by these people and they claim that we should be much more radical. They are doomsters and extremists. They make threats,” Taalas told Talouselama magazine on Sept. 6.
Taalas said climate extremists are selectively picking out facts from the reports by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
“The IPCC reports have been read in a similar way to the Bible: you try to find certain pieces or sections from which you try to justify your extreme views. This resembles religious extremism.”
According to Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London, “Europe’s political leaders are increasingly concerned about losing their climate agenda to eco-fanatics and extremists.”
Peiser wrote in an email to The Epoch Times: “Greta’s apocalyptic mass movement is turning millions of young French, German, and European children and teenagers against their own governments, their institutions, and their countries, turning them into a resentful, angry mob.
“Officials and politicians are beginning to speak out because they fear they may lose control over this increasingly dangerous tiger they thought they could ride forever.”