Greta Thunberg's father is worried about the "hate" she faces

The BBC interviewed Greta Thunberg’s father, Svante Thunberg, on a broadcast of Radio 4’s Today program. Young Greta guest-edited the program. During his interview, Thunberg was intent on saying he was “not supportive” of Greta skipping school for the climate strike protest movement she began, known as Fridays for Future – and that wasn’t even the strangest part. He was interviewed by Mishal Husain, a BBC presenter.

For whatever reason, he is coming forward now to tell the story of Greta’s journey into activism. He said that Greta was depressed for three or four years before becoming a community organizer. He said she stopped talking, stopped eating and going to school. Ironically, she is still not going to school. She even encourages students across the world to skip school, too, every Friday. As we have been told repeatedly, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of twelve. He went on to tell how he and Greta’s mother dealt with their struggling child.

To help her get better, Mr Thunberg spent more time with Greta and her younger sister, Beata, at their home in Sweden. Greta’s mother, opera singer and former Eurovision Song Contest participant Malena Ernman, cancelled contracts so the whole family could be together.

The family also sought help from doctors, Mr Thunberg said. Greta was diagnosed with Asperger’s – a form of autism – aged 12, something she has said allows her to “see things from outside the box”.

Over the next few years they began discussing and researching climate change, with Greta becoming increasingly passionate about tackling the issue.

As “very active” human rights advocates, Greta accused her parents of being “huge hypocrites”, Mr Thunberg said.

“Greta said: ‘Whose human rights are you standing up for?’, since we were not taking this climate issue seriously,” he explained.

He said Greta got “energy” from her parents’ changes in behaviour to become more environmentally friendly – such as her mother choosing not to travel by aeroplane and her father becoming vegan.

That’s all well and good but that story doesn’t quite add up to what has previously been reported. As I’ve written, Greta’s parents began her education on climate change at the tender age of eight and the subject was so disturbing to her that she was broken by the age of eleven. By twelve she was diagnosed with Asperger’s. Her father and her mother were activists and Greta was suffering for it. Mr. Thunberg, though, never connects those dots. He acts as though Greta’s emotional and mental health deteriorated spontaneously and organically. Does he really not see his own part in Greta’s difficulties? You’ll have to excuse me as I call b.s. on his trip into martyrdom. Working parents routinely make adjustments in their work schedules to accommodate their children. It is all a part of parenthood.

Thunberg says the protests have made his daughter happy. Now he worries about the “hate” she encounters. Again I have to wonder about Thunberg’s thought process. Did he not realize that by thrusting his sixteen-year-old daughter into the adult world of professional protesters and allowing her to be used by opportunistic adults that she might encounter some ugliness? He says his daughter is normal now and happy but faces abuse from people who “don’t want to change.”

“She dances around, she laughs a lot, we have a lot of fun – and she’s in a very good place.”

However, since Greta’s school strike stunt went viral online, Mr Thunberg said she has faced abuse from people who “don’t want to change” their lifestyles in order to save the environment.

Greta has said previously that people abuse her for “my looks, my clothes, my behaviour and my differences”.

Her father said he was particularly worried about “the fake news, all the things that people try to fabricate her – the hate that that generates”.

But he added that his daughter deals with the criticism “incredibly well”.

“Quite frankly, I don’t know how she does it, but she laughs most of the time. She finds it hilarious.”

I do not blame the child for any of the craziness. She doesn’t know any better. She’s been raised to do what she is doing and she is living with a neurological disorder. I lay her difficulties at the feet of the adults in her life. I feel sorry for her, frankly, and I hope she will be able to cope when the spotlight fades. Of course, she is happy now. She is living the life of a rock star.

During the BBC program, she called Sir David Attenborough using Skype and told him that he inspired her activism.

The broadcaster and naturalist told Greta she had “achieved things that many of us who have been working on the issue for 20 years have failed to do”.

He added that the 16-year-old was the “only reason” that climate change became a key topic in the recent UK general election.

We are fans of Attenborough’s nature programs in my house but there is never any doubt that he is a climate alarmist with an agenda. I am not surprised that he inspires Greta.

Mr. Thunberg travels with her – the latest adventure was on the sailing trip to Madrid for the U.N. climate change summit. She will turn 17 soon, though, and he expects she will be traveling without him then. She won’t be needing to be accompanied by an adult guardian. You’re on your own, kiddo.

I’ll end with a little nugget from the BBC article. The BBC presenter who traveled to Sweden to interview the Thunbergs flew from London to do so. That left the network with some explaining to do to the environmental purists like young Greta who now refuses to fly. This provided some inconvenient truth about climate alarmism. The solutions like just eliminating air travel are impractical and simply not possible in many instances.

On the decision to fly, Today editor Sarah Sands said: “We just did not have time for other means of transport. But we met our cameraman there and the interview between Greta and David Attenborough was conducted by Skype, which felt the right way for the two of them to communicate.”

Good luck going forward to Miss Thunberg. With a parent as unable to obtain any self-awareness as her father, she’ll need it.