Greta Thunberg’s highly emotional approach to climate change activism threatens level-headed debate on the subject, German lawmakers have cautioned.
In a provocative speech at the UNGA Climate Action Summit on Monday, 16-year-old Thunberg accused world leaders of stealing her “dreams” and her “childhood” by not doing enough to combat climate change.
“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!” she sermonized.
The headline-grabbing Swedish activist also filed a formal complaint at the UN against Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina, and Turkey for failing to do enough to safeguard the environment for future generations.
While her performance at the UN received accolades from Germany’s left-wing parties, conservative lawmakers raised alarm over Thunberg’s incendiary approach.
MP Roderich Kiesewetter, a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said that Thunberg was attempting to bully those who seek respectful, fact-based dialogue about environmental issues.
“Anyone who wants to argue rationally is already discredited from the outset,” he wrote, adding that objectivity was being thrown out the window.
Another CDU deputy, Jana Schimke, accused Thunberg of spreading “incipient mass hysteria.”
Gerd Müller, the minister of economic cooperation and development, noted in response to the activist’s fighting words that “climate protection does not start with Greta Thunberg.”