Is Greta Thunberg really naive

Criticism of Greta Thunberg - The most common allegations - and what to think of them

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The work of the popular climate activist is viewed critically by many users on social media. What is it about the allegations?

Greta Thunberg is the secret star at this year's WEF. The young Swedish climate activist's trip to Davos hit the headlines. On Facebook and in the comment columns of SRF, however, critical words about the actions of the 16-year-olds pile up. SRF climate expert Klaus Ammann comments on the six most common allegations.

Klaus Ammann

Business editor, SRF

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The historian and Russist has been an editor at Radio SRF since 2004. Klaus Ammann has been working for the business editorial team since 2011. His focus is on energy and climate issues.

1. She does not go to school and encourages other young people to skip

I can only say that Greta Thunberg does go to school, but that she has skipped on Fridays in the last few months to demonstrate for more climate protection. Strikes are fundamentally legitimate, although students of course primarily harm themselves when they are not going to school. Greta and the climate-striking students around the world argue that there is no point in going to school if they have no future because of climate change.

2. The whole thing is a pure ego project of a teenager

You can certainly see it that way. However, Greta does not give the impression that she longs for attention for her person. Rather, I had the feeling that she was taking on all the hype - for the sake of what is important to her. It looks authentic. Of course, thanks to her parents - the mother is an opera singer, the father an actor - she has better qualifications than other peers in this regard.

3. As an Asperger's she needs help instead of attention

Greta says herself that she could spend hours, even days on a topic, and recently mainly on climate change. It is difficult for me to judge whether she can do this better than other peers due to Asperger's Syndrome. In principle, however, I find it extremely problematic when your radical, critical attitude is associated with Asperger's and thus discredited.

4. Greta allows herself to be abused by the climate lobby and the media and is manipulated

It is clear that climate protection organizations like to refer to Greta and sometimes even try to co-opt her. So far, I have not been able to determine from the outside that climate protection activists actively “abuse” or “manipulate” young people.

"I don't have the feeling that it is being controlled in any way"

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SRF climate expert Klaus Ammann on his encounters with Greta Thunberg:

«I reacted cautiously when Greta Thunberg appeared at the climate conference in Katowice in December. It is part of the ritual that children speak in front of the gathering at climate conferences. The appearance of Greta Thunberg was especially special because she is not the nice girl, does not ask, but radically opposes the politicians (and business leaders), even telling them to be ashamed.

In the meantime, however, she has become a figurehead of the climate protection movement and a role model for the many climate-striking students around the world. It is understandable that such radicalism does not go down well with everyone. However, the criticism of Greta Thunberg so far has not convinced me. When I met her at the WEF, I didn't have the feeling that she was being controlled in any way. She is protected from too much hype, including by her father, and she is of course supported, but she seems to be voicing her own opinion. This can also be seen in the fact that a lot of things are not very differentiated, so what she says is black and white. "

5. She has no idea about the climate and no solutions

I would disagree with that. She seems to have understood the basic problems of climate change very well. She is also able to ask informed questions in exchange with climate researchers. She also has ideas for solutions, albeit radical and politically unrealistic. Greta wants the immediate reduction in CO2 emissions. She tries to lead by example. According to media reports, she is vegan, does not fly and has kept her consumption to a minimum.

6. Allegations to the parents: "Mother is a left-wing extremist, father deals with CO2 certificates"

I have not been able to find confirmation for allegations in such a pronounced form. Greta's mother has allegedly given up flying for a few years and only appears as a singer in Sweden. She also wrote a book about her daughter. According to media reports, the father works with the climate protection platform “We don't have time”. However, he is listed there neither as an employee nor as a partner. Obviously, he seems to share his daughter's opinion and encourage her commitment. To derive an allegation of manipulation from this seems risky to me.

SRF 4 News; 9:00 a.m. / schp / maiu; reia

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  • Comment from Mattias Derungs (Mattias Cristian Derungs)
    I have already dealt intensively with this topic myself, among other things due to a presentation work on the subject of "Gren City" and the associated study of statistics on population development over the last 50 years as well as future forecasts up to 2050. The concerns of the young Swede Greta Thunberg are quite justified and also very easy to understand. She lives in a latitude where you can notice this to a different extent! (E.g. ice melt in the polar region etc.)
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Jens Stadel (jena)
    Yes, always these cheap attempts by climate opponents to discredit people and sow doubts. I suspect that most (not all) people who deny KW are self-interested & know that KW is a problem. They know that there are people who represent an idealistic worldview and do not chase after money (as they probably do themselves), but they try to discredit them with unfounded arguments (see article) (as I said, probably out of self-interest).
    Agree agree to the comment
    1. answer from Beppie Hermann (A right green)
      You're just sick of it! Since then there has been a summit + summit, talked + talked, also all year round by Greens + Funicellos, we should do this and that, you know it by heart, a few stick to it, the great crowd does not, and it grows alone in the CH every 10Y at 1Mio! And while I try to reduce my ecological footprint to 2 toes, habitats in fauna + and flora are being destroyed, overbuilt, overused, overfertilized, cut down, cleared by fire, overfished, littered, poisoned ...
      Agree agree to the comment
    2. answer from Jens Stadel (jena)
      There are 2 things that a normal person can do for the climate: 1. Consume consciously 2. Convince / sensitize people. Greta does both ... why you criticize her & make false accusations makes no sense to me. Unless you are 1. not particularly intelligent or 2. pursues self-interest, or 3. just likes to nag ... that little is happening politically (their summit) has to do with the fact that too little pressure is put on politics. This is exactly what Greta can change as a climate influencer.
      Agree agree to the comment
    3. answer from Werner Christmann (chrischi1)
      What climate opponents? Bullshit. But I am clearly an opponent of those disciples who think that one can influence the climate by reducing CO2 to zero (what a tremendous illusion). Education is needed.
      Agree agree to the comment
    4. answer from Jens Stadel (jena)
      I'm excited about it. Educate me, until now I always thought CO2 was a greenhouse gas and more or less makes a difference ^^
      Agree agree to the comment
    5. Show answers
  • Comment from Stefan Huwiler (huwist)
    Why not just renovate the heating and get rid of the oil despite your advanced age. In addition, cut the meat consumption in half and at least think twice before the next vacation whether closer would be at least as good. Then everyone here could applaud this girl with a clear conscience and would not have to fearfully bark with absurd arguments at someone who does nothing but hold up a mirror.
    Agree agree to the comment

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