Climate crusader and Internet sensation Greta Thurnberg continues to win hearts for her tough stand on climate change. But on Monday, she reached peak meme status as she appeared to give US President Donald Trump a side-eye at the United Nations.
The 16-year-old Swedish teen was attending the United Nations 2019 climate action summit which also saw the attendance of top international leaders, including Donald Trump — a staunch climate change denier.
After a rousing speech before the UN assembly, Greta finally came across Trump at the world body in New York. And her reaction is the stuff of legends. As soon as she set eyes on Trump, her childlike wonderment turned to abject scorn.
Cathal (@wharsmetoothpic) September 23, 2019
The death stare caught the internet’s attention and many lauded Greta for her conviction. Some made the moment into a GIF that seems straight out a TV mockumentary.
my respect for:
Greta Thunberg Donald Trump https://t.co/Z4LgBGH9rS
Micah ? (@micahfaulds) September 24, 2019
“The image of Trump, a grown man, swaggering into UN climate summit, swinging his arms & throwing his weight around, in stark contrast to a dignified 16 yr old Greta Thunberg standing behind him, but with a strength that puts him to shame, is a reminder of how wrong this all is,” said one Twitter user.
“With one look Greta Thunberg sums up an entire planets reaction when they see Donald Trump,” said another.
Many wondered if looks could kill.
For one Twitter user her glare gave them the energy to get through a dreary Monday.
Greta Thunberg’s glare at Donald Trump is giving me the energy to get through this Monday pic.twitter.com/xdM0rdI2ln
Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) September 23, 2019
Find yourself someone who looks upon your worst enemy the way Greta Thunberg looks at Trump. pic.twitter.com/euhZ51abAB
Joel Berkowitz (@JoelBerkowitz) September 23, 2019
How dare you: Greta slams climate inaction
Earlier, A visibly angry Greta Thunberg berated world leaders as she addressed a UN climate summit on Monday, accusing them of betraying her generation by failing to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and asking “How dare you?”
The Swedish teen, who has become the global face of the growing youth movement against climate inaction, began by telling her audience: “My message is that we’ll be watching you,” eliciting laughter.
But it was soon clear that the tone of the message would be very serious.
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back at school on the other side of the ocean,” the 16-year-old, who is taking a year off from her studies, said.
“You come to us young people for hope. How dare you?” she thundered.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing.
“We are in the beginning of mass extinction, and all you can talk about is the money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
“But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that, because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil, and that I refuse to believe.”
“You are failing us,” she concluded. “But young people are starting to understand your betrayal.
“The eyes of all future generations, are upon you, And if you choose to fail us. I say we will never forgive you!”
Trump mocks Greta
Late Monday, US President Donald Trump mocked Swedish 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, who had scolded the audience at the climate summit, repeatedly asking, “How dare you?”
Trump tweeted: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”
She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see! https://t.co/1tQG6QcVKO
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019
The US President has long been a climate change denier, once famously quipping that it is a “hoax made up by the Chinese”. He also pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord in 2017, inviting mass criticism.