Since her protests and comments on global warming thrusted her onto the global stage in 2018, the teenager has had her share of comedic and appalling mentions online and in the media. Even when she’s striking from school, she would always respond to such comments with class.
Thunberg yesterday demonstrated once again that her finger is always firmly on the pulse when she changed her bio to read “bunny-hugger” – an apparent jibe at Boris Johnson after he told Joe Biden’s virtual climate summit that environmentalism “is not all about some expensive, politically correct, green act of bunny hugging, or however you want to put it.” She was never going to let that one slide, was she?
Here, we’ve rounded up some of her best moments when she put the ‘wit’ in Twitter.
1. When she told people to stop d**king around on climate change
If people needed a reason to take global warming seriously, then one article from Sky News last month certainly offered one.
Referencing a new book from climate scientist Dr Shanna Swan, the broadcaster reported that humanity is supposedly facing an “existential crisis”, with pollution causing a “growing number” of babies to be born with small penises.
See you all at the next climate strike:) https://t.co/4zgekg5gd0
A video clip went viral in 2019 after it showed a 16-year-old Thunberg glaring at the Republican politician as he arrived at the United Nations, and the pair have had the occasional spat online.
After Thunberg was crowned Time magazine’s person of the year in 2019 and not him, Trump tweeted: “So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, chill!”
Thunberg soon clapped back, changing her Twitter bio to read: “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”
Almost a year later, as Trump was struggling to accept the results of the US election in November 2020, Thunberg used the line again in response to his tweet calling on officials to “stop the count”.
3. Putin Vladimir in his place...
From one problematic president to another, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has also taken aim at the climate activist.
Speaking at the UN Summit in New York in October 2019, the leader said that while he is “sure that Greta is a kind and very sincere girl”, she was “poorly informed”.
Greta has changed her description on response to Putin's assessment that she means well but is poorly informed. 😁😁😁… https://t.co/pqNiGu5a44
Much like what Thunberg did with Trump’s criticism, she placed the comment in her Twitter bio, describing herself as a “kind but poorly informed teenager”.
4. Her sassy putdown to Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro
Because presidents from countries all over the world couldn’t stop criticising a young girl, it was only two months before Thunberg was once again changing her Twitter bio in response to criticism – the art of ‘biology’, if you will.
After Thunberg condemned the killing of indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest, Bolsonaro called her a pirralha, the rather unflattering Portuguese equivalent of the word ‘brat’.
The post is in reference to Trump’s remarks about the climate change activist following her speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January last year.
Completely – and most likely deliberately - misinterpreting the tone of Thunberg’s speech, he tweeted: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”
The teenager had the last laugh this time, though, as Trump couldn’t respond due to being permanently banned from the platform following the Capitol riot on 6 January.
6. When she effortlessly took down criticism from the rock singer, Meat Loaf
Even when Thunberg herself is vegan, it doesn’t stop a Meat Loaf (that’s Michael Aday, by the way) from criticising her.
In January last year, the Bat Out of Hell singer took aim at the activist by claiming she has been “brainwashed into thinking that what she is saying is true”.
He told Mail Online: “She hasn’t done anything wrong, but she’s been forced into thinking that what she is saying is true.”
Never one to let critics distract her from her work, Thunberg quickly addressed the criticism before continuing to bring attention to the climate.
It’s not about Meatloaf.
It’s not about me.
It’s not about what some people call me.
It’s not about left or right.… https://t.co/ft8shTuX2J
She tweeted: “It’s not about Meatloaf. It’s not about me. It’s not about what some people call me. It’s not about left or right.
“It’s all about scientific facts. And that we’re not aware of the situation. Unless we start to focus everything on this, our targets will soon be out of reach.”
7. Her “awesome” response to haters mocking her Asperger’s
Alongside her tireless campaigning on climate change, Thunberg has also spoken out on several occasions about her Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.
When vile critics chose to use the condition as a way to attack her, the teenager’s response was erudite as always.
She tweeted: “When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning!
“I have Aspergers and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And - given the right circumstances- being different is a superpower.
“I’m not public about my diagnosis to “hide” behind it, but because I know many ignorant people still see it as an “illness”, or something negative. And believe me, my diagnosis has limited me before,” she said.
Thunberg then went on to add that she had an eating disorder before she began her school strikes, saying that she had “no energy, no friends and I didn’t speak to anyone”.
“All of that is gone now, since I have found a meaning, in a world that sometimes seems shallow and meaningless to so many people,” she concluded.
No wonder Greta Thunberg is worried about climate change when she keeps having to roast her critics...