Media darling Greta Thunberg has agreed that she’s “just saying blah blah blah” on climate change in a BBC interview, arguing “that’s the role of an activist”.
The autistic teen, whose otherwise unremarkable refusal to attend school on Fridays to protest climate change was elevated to global prominence by world leaders who took it upon themselves to have her address the United Nations and national parliaments when she was just 15, is enjoying a resurgence in her public visibility ahead of the United Nations COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
“I don’t see myself as a climate celebrity, I see myself as a climate activist — but I don’t know. I don’t think my own life, my future, is that interesting,” the now-18-year-old Swede told the BBC in a ‘Greta on Greta’ video segment; the latest in a long run of profile-boosting media outings up to and including Hulu hagiography I Am Greta: A Force of Nature last year.
“What would you say to critics who say it’s much easier to preach to the world about the fact it’s not doing enough about climate change rather than fixing the problem?” BBC global science correspondent Rebecca Morelle asked Thunberg, in a rare effort to pose a somewhat challenging question to her.
“You’ve accused politicians of just saying ‘blah blah blah’; aren’t you just saying ‘blah blah blah’ to some extent?” Morelle added.
“Yeah,” agreed Thunberg, with a perhaps surprising lack of hesitation.
“But that’s the role of an activist: to organise marches, to have speeches, to organise events. That’s the role of an activist. That’s kind of what we do. That’s what activists have been doing since forever,” she added, slightly peevishly.
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The Swede did indeed accuse politicians of “just saying blah blah blah” last month at the Youth4Climate summit in Milan, Italy.
“Build back better, blah, blah, blah. Green economy, blah blah blah. Net-zero by 2050, blah, blah, blah,” she mocked.
“This is all we hear from our so-called leaders. Words that sound great but so far have not led to action. Our hopes and ambitions drown in their empty promises.”