‘Children Shouldn’t Be Used As Political Props’: Pundits Respond To 16-Year-Old Greta Thunberg’s UN Address

On Monday, 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg shared a passionate speech before the United Nations where she discussed the apocalyptic conclusion of humanity continuing to ignore its effect on the environment.

Her speech was laced with emotional and hyperbolic language as she described a world where “people are dying” and “entire ecosystems are collapsing.”

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!” she scolded the body of international leaders.

Her defiant speech quickly made its way across the internet where both proponents and critics responded.

The Washington Examiner reports political reporter Ryan Saavedra tweeted: “This speech by far-left activist Greta Thunberg is absolute madness.”

Ian Miles Cheong of Human Events similarly said: “Am I a bad person for thinking children shouldn’t be used as political props like Greta Thunberg?”

David Harsanyi of the Federalist tweeted: “The idea that they can use a kid as a political shield, give her immense coverage, and then no is allowed to talk about the substance of her arguments because she is a kid … is just silly.”

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Check out these other responses, per the Washington Examiner:

In an op-ed with the Daily Wire, conservative pundit Matt Wlash called the 16-year-old climate change activist the “poster child of climate alarmism.”

Walsh went on to describe the push by Thurnberg’s parents and adult friends to have her speak out as “child abuse”:

What we’re being told is that an obsessive, mentally troubled young girl came to believe — mistakenly — that the apocalypse is upon us. Rather than calm these terrible fears, and redirect her in a healthier direction, the adults in her life have only encouraged her paranoia. And now the media is only too happy to exploit her fear in order to stoke even more fear. Creating fear with fear. That is the media’s specialty.

This is child abuse. If any grown up in Thunberg’s life really cared about her psychological and emotional well-being, they would sit her down and explain that climate change is not going to destroy human civilization. Yes, the climate is changing. Climates tend to do that. But whatever role humans play in that process, and to whatever degree, it is not going to result in the end of all life as we know it. Talk of a 10-year, or 12-year, or 20-year, timeline before planetary catastrophe is all an invention of politicians and media personalities. Scientists don’t speak this way.

Not all of the responses were negative as Former Republican presidential candidate John Kasich described Thunberg’s speech as “an amazing accomplishment” and said, “she should be praised.”

American actress Mia Farrow also defended the 16-year-old online:

And, the Rolling Stone’s Jamil Smith tweeted: “The people at the UN didn’t seem to truly listen to @GretaThunberg. They giggled at her warning as if regarding a cute child. Applauded her as if thinking their praise mattered. Sentimentality is secondary. Care only about the cause. May we learn from her.”

Here are some more responses: