It was a storm that pulled over Greta Thunberg at the beginning of the week. The daily newspaper "taz" had recalculated how much CO2 Thunberg's trip across the Atlantic actually caused - including the flights for the crew, which should sail back the yacht. The result: If Thunberg had flown itself, it would have been more climate-friendly.
The malice in social media was huge: right-wing conspiracy theorists thought they had finally found evidence that behind the Greta hype just a huge PR machine stuck - with the aim of making as much profit as possible. It circulated pictures of SUV with the sticker "Fuck off, Greta" on the tailgate of an SUV had someone attached Thunberg's iconic braids with the words: "problem solved". Other users sent photos of aircraft and wrote about how much they were looking forward to their long-haul flight. "Thanks, Greta." And British ukip financier Arron Banks warned Thunberg of "terrible yacht accidents" that could happen in August. Later, in a talk show, he explained that it was a joke.
In front of me today was an estimated 60-year-old man with his BMW 525D at the traffic lights. What kind of ignorant and pathetic guy do you have to be to put such an awkward sticker on the car? There is no trace of age-old wisdom here. So pitiful! #GretaThunberg pic.twitter.com/5Aw3rrUbmf- ❥ ✦ ∞ (@Sunstormed) August 22, 2019
Thunberg says to all: nothing.
On Twitter she posts updates on the progress of her trip, otherwise you do not hear much about her at the moment. The 16-year-old is silent on the allegations about the carbon footprint of her trip, but the criticism does not diminish. Thunberg's behavior testifies to a size that makes her look more grown-up than all those who approach her in the debate.
No anger, only the essentials
Thunberg's silence is strategy. While her critics host her, the Swede remains on the subject. On Thursday, she sends a tweet to the devastating fires in the Amazon rainforest. "Our war against nature must end," she writes. A response to the hatred that hits her is nowhere to be found.
While Greta Thunberg sails across the Atlantic, she casually shows how to meet populism and unjustified criticism - and win over them with ease. Thunberg completely withdraws herself and her emotions in the debate. Any anger she may feel left out. So she manages to concentrate on the essentials and convince with facts at least well-wishers. This culture of debate would probably help many a debate in the present time to more substance.
Thunberg has clear requirements when it comes to choosing its direct contacts. A meeting with US President Donald Trump described it as a waste of time. "If he is not ready to listen to science and experts, how should I convince him?", She said in an interview with the Swiss public broadcaster RTS before the start of her trip. She would rather encourage local people to put more pressure on their president.
Thunberg's attitude is clear: she does not want to meet the world's most powerful populist, her time is too precious for her. With this attitude she also meets her critics. In the early days of the "Fridays for Future" movement, when Thunberg still sat alone in front of the Swedish parliament in Stockholm week after week, many people laughed at her. She would hardly hold out her protest, it was said at that time, and anyway: these are the parents who were holding the strings in their hands. A 16-year-old was not trusted to be responsible for worldwide mass demonstrations.
An effective strategy
Thunberg was left relaxed even then. She could "understand that many people think it looks strange, what I and thousands of students do," she wrote in a tweet. "If you are not aware of the consequences of the climate crisis, a school strike does not make sense for the climate, of course, which does not surprise me." Thunberg takes their opponents seriously only when they have factual, scientifically verifiable facts - all the other punishes them with disregard.
A few months later, she proved that she is pursuing an effective strategy in the fight against climate populism. In a few days, Greta Thunberg will arrive in New York, where she wants to attend the UN climate summit. In the past, the student used such events for admonishing performances, in which she pointed out very clearly how our planet is - disastrous, to say the least.
Thunberg's critics are ready. Patrick Moore, representative of the lobby group "CO2 Coalition" tweeted recently: "Greta = Evil". Thunberg is a "teen puppet" and an "air-bed wetter," said Steve Milloy, a commentator for Fox News. So far, Thunberg has not yet commented on the hostilities.