Greta Thunberg’s father, interviewed by the BBC, returned to the reasons that led his daughter to become involved in activism. As a parent, he is also concerned about the media frenzy that she has suffered for several months.
A few weeks ago, young environmental activist Greta Thunberg was chosen along with five other people to organize and program the radio program Today. This very popular show is broadcast every year from the day after Christmas until New Year’s Eve. The other four speakers are Baroness Brenda Hale, first woman President of the Supreme Court, journalist Charles Moore, visual artist Grayson Perry ( Turner Prize winner) and artist George The Poet.
On the sidelines of the show, BBC presenter Mishal Husain traveled to Sweden to interview the teenager and her father, Svante Thunberg.
In May 2018, the young girl distinguished herself in a competition offering young Swedes to write an article on the climate. His words then touched many people. A few weeks later, on the day of her re-entry into the ninth grade, she then went on strike in front of the Swedish Parliament, explaining that she would not go back to school until her government put in place means to fight global warming.
It was then that his story began to really catch the attention of many journalists. However, this environmental awareness was not without consequences. During this interview, Mr. Thunberg said that his daughter had fought depression for “three or four years” before starting her school strike.
“She stopped talking … she stopped going to school,” he said. Her parents really started to worry when the girl started to refuse to eat. To accompany him, his father spent more time at home with Greta and her younger sister, Beata. The mother, Malena Ernman, for her part canceled her contracts so that the whole family could be reunited.
Support from parents
Over the next few months, both parents began to discuss these environmental changes with their daughter. The latter, who has a slight form of autism, tends to focus attentively on a single subject. Here in this case, the climate emergency. She then became more and more passionate, going so far as to call her parents “big hypocrites”.
“We didn’t take this climate problem seriously,” said his father. The two parents finally started to adopt behaviors more respectful of the planet. For example, her mother no longer flies and her father has become vegan. He also accompanied his daughter on her sailing expeditions to the United Nations climate summits in New York and Madrid.
“I did all of these things because I knew it was the right thing to do … but I didn’t do it to save the climate, I did it to save my child,” he said. he declares. “I have two daughters and to be honest, that’s all that matters to me. I just want them to be happy. “
Thunberg also noted that his daughter Greta has since “changed” and that she later became “very happy” because of her activism. However, he recalls that since his picketing, his daughter has regularly been the target of harsh criticism from his opponents. He says he is particularly concerned about “the fake news that people are trying to make – and the hatred that it generates”.
However, he also added that his daughter is handling these attacks incredibly well at the moment. “Frankly, I don’t know how she does it, she laughs at it most of the time”. He hopes, however, that things will become “less intense” for his family in the future.