Men slammed for ‘sad, nasty’ Greta rants
Teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg stood on the global stage this week and was praised for bravely standing up to world leaders.
Speaking at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday, Ms Thunberg told leaders they had "stolen my dreams and my childhood".
"How dare you," she said. "People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing.
"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us for hope. How dare you!"
The 16-year-old's fierce speech was broadcast around the world, resonating with millions but also rubbing a lot of people the wrong way.
One of the latter was Queensland politician George Christensen who, immediately after the 16-year-old's speech, changed his Facebook page's cover photo to a picture of the teenager with a red cross over her mouth.
"Greta Free Zone," the Liberal MP declared.
Despite declaring his page a "Greta Free Zone", Mr Christensen went on to post about the 16-year-old a handful of times.
"Back by popular demand just for the Lefties who thought I backed down by replacing this pic as my Facebook cover," he wrote.
"I replaced it because I preferred the flag over Greta Whingeberg. But since it triggers so many Lefties, I'm leaving this here a while!"
"What an inspirational young woman. Only a very insecure person would be threatened by a 16 year old trying to make the world a better place for herself and future generations," Jo Gibbons replied to Mr Christensen's cover photo.
"Imagine feeling so threatened by a little girl you need to do something like this. Conservatives are such snowflakes," Ripley Newbold added.
I had a look at George Christensen’s FB, he shared a nasty meme about Greta. The comments there are overwhelmingly nasty, vitriolic anti Greta comments. The LNP are really jacked off about this movement.— 💧🌱IJA (@flickafaida) September 24, 2019
Former AFL player Sam Newman was also deeply offended by Ms Thunberg's speech, calling her an "annoying little brat" on Twitter.
"This annoying little brat addressed the UN on the so-called climate crisis. WHO lets this s**t have a platform? Mendacious, inbred sycophants, that who. #ClimateChangeHoax," Newman wrote.
His rant was also dragged by his Twitter followers.
"You're a sad excuse of a man, picking on a 16 year old girl with Aspergers, all because she and millions of her peers care about the future of our planet," one commented.
"A female minor has a voice and she's a 'little brat', if it was a male would you feel less threatened?" another added.
"Perhaps try and do something different, soften a little, be kinder, maybe even demonstrate respect to an opposing opinion with out degradation, who knows, it might feel good."
Former Today host Karl Stefanovic was yet another public figure who decided to weigh in.
"She's being managed and her stance is being used by activists," he said while hosting radio 2GB yesterday afternoon.
"She was very fired up wasn't she? I thought 'what are my kids doing on school holidays next week?' Not doing that."
Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd earlier speculated Ms Thunberg's rant would anger people, suggesting her fierce speech would "incense a whole lot of middle-aged white guys".
Stefanovic admitted he was one of those triggered.
"I'll tell you what, I'm an incensed middle aged white guy this afternoon," he said yesterday.
"Kevin Rudd, give it a rest. There's anger out there - but there's anger at this kind of activism as well.
"I can't believe (Mr Rudd) would go and say that. Actually, I can believe it - it's Kevin Rudd."
But the teenage activist seems to be taking the criticism in her stride.
US President Donald Trump, who pointedly ignored Ms Thunberg as he arrived at the UN, later shared a video of her tearful speech with a mocking tweet, "She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!"
Ms Thunberg has since updated her Twitter bio to sarcastically counteract the president's tweet.