This short Guardian video proves the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. It shows Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg scowling at U.S. President Donald Trump. Her silent scowl quickly went viral as it reflects the sentiments of millions of people around the globe.
Trump has been criticized for systematically dismantling environmental protections and climate action in the U.S. Trump’s preoccupation with short term economic growth undermines the health and long term well being of Americans.
Trump ignored the climate component of the summit, he did however make a sarcastic remark about Greta on Twitter, he also used the summit to make a pitch for national sovereignty which is a thinly veiled swipe at UN support for global climate action.
As Greta said in her speech, “People are suffering. 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 fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
Greta maybe an icon but she is not beyond reproach, in the same speech she said, “if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.” Something noble in Greta prevents her from describing leaders like Trump as evil, however, they are harbingers of disaster and as such they are not worthy of her restraint.