A British media personality tried to mock teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg—and got promptly ratioed

British media personality and journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer taunted Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg in a tweet on Wednesday with the long haul flights Hartley-Brewer had booked for her winter family holiday. “Level of guilt being felt: 0%,” she wrote, along with a photograph of Greta.

People were a bit astonished.

With a lot of users reminding Hartley-Brewer that she is in fact a full-grown adult criticizing a teenage girl.

https://twitter.com/MavenOfMayhem/status/1161743922936328198

Unfortunately, there also seem to be a lot of people who either don’t believe in the reality of climate change or have decided to deliberately harm the environment in an attempt to score points against the left.

The comebacks are funny.

But the number of people refusing to take climate change seriously because of political tribalism absolutely isn’t funny.

It’s also disturbing how many other adults are taking delight in mocking and imagining the distress of a teenager, as well as displaying bigoted attitudes towards autistic people.

While autism is a spectrum and some autistic people struggle more than others, every autistic person is affected differently and, importantly, autism does not equal a lack of capacity or understanding. Additionally, comparing autistic people to robots (which would include cyborgs) has a very nasty history. Greta, 16, has Asperger syndrome.

Climate change is undeniably real. According to NASA, “The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.”

The consequences, listed on the same website, are acidified oceans, massive rises in sea level, and catastrophic weather events. A failure to take action now will be catastrophic.

And taunting a child is an ugly thing to do, no matter how you look at it.

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Siobhan Ball

Siobhan Ball

Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org