Dropping bars: A look at Greta Thunberg’s punchiest quotes to date

Story by CBC Kids News • 2019-09-27 08:36

Swedish teen climate activist is known for packing words with punch

While rappers like Lizzo and Cardi B have been dropping clever rhymes and bars all year, Greta Thunberg has taken a different approach in showing her chops as a wordsmith.

The 16-year-old climate activist has given many inspiring speeches in the last year, through which she’s become known for her direct, “tell it like it is” way of speaking.

And, of course, for her ability to create a #MicDrop moment.

Today, youth across Canada will gather for yet another #FridaysForFuture climate protest.

And for the first time, Greta will be striking in Canada with protesters in Montreal.

To mark the event, here’s a look at some of the punchiest quotes Greta has said so far.

How dare you

Speaking to world leaders at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Sept. 23, Greta asserted that she should be in school rather than leading a global movement.

A teen speaking: You call come to us young people for hope. How dare you.... If you really understood the situation, and still kept failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.

(Justin Lane/EPA-EFE)

Being different is a ‘superpower’

Greta has been vocal about having Asperger’s, saying it is actually one of her biggest strengths.

In this Twitter post from earlier this month, Greta tried to shut down the haters by pointing out that coming at her for having Asperger’s seems like a last resort.

Twitter post: When haters to 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. #aspiepower

(Greta Thunberg/Twitter)

Children are the future

Greta has continued to find power in pointing out what she believes to be simple contradictions.

At the United Nations’ COP24 plenary session last December in Katowice, Poland, Greta reminded global leaders that the decisions they make are decisions for their children, too.

A teen speaking: You say you love your children above all else and yet you're stealing their future in front of their very eyes.

(Greta Thunberg/Twitter)

Don’t feed the trolls

Sometimes you don’t need bars at all to make your point.

Sometimes the best move is to use someone else’s words.

And that’s exactly what Greta did with U.S. President Donald Trump after he commented on her “how dare you” speech to the UN from earlier this week.

A tweet from Donald Trump: She seems lie a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!

(Donald J. Trump/Twitter)

Of course, Greta’s whole message is that she is actually very fearful of the future — a future that she doesn’t see as being bright at all.

But instead of sending a message directly to Trump, Greta took his words and played along, using them briefly as her Twitter bio.

Twitter bio: A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.

(The Guardian)

Perhaps, in this case, actions speak louder than words.

Change is coming

Also at the COP24 conference in December 2018, Greta spoke directly to UN secretary general António Guterres.

Her quote here about “not begging” speaks to the spirit of her movement, which is all about kids taking charge of their own futures.

So we have not come here to beg the world leaders to care for our future.... We have come here to let them know that change is coming whether they like it or not.

(IISD Reporting Services)

The house is on fire

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this year, Greta turned up the heat with this matter-of-fact analogy that has become one of her most memorable quotes yet.

A teen speaking: I don't want your hope, I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic, I want to feel the fear that I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as if you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house was on fire, because it is.

(Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

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