Environmental activist Greta Thunberg, of Sweden, addresses the Climate Action Summit in the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Since her arrival to the U.S. in August, Greta Thunberg has taken the American left by storm. Perhaps it’s because of the constant sour look upon her face which resembles the Grinch before his heart grew, or what I consider to be the undeserved glory she receives, I’ve developed an aversion to all things Greta Thunberg.

A recent headline in The Daily Mail tells us that Thunberg is “tipped to win” the Nobel Peace Prize next week. I’ve wondered what this 16-year-old girl, who has quickly become the face of climate change worldwide, has accomplished that might qualify her for such an honor.

On Friday, Thunberg made headlines for a speech she delivered at the Iowa City Climate Strikers. She drove there in a Tesla. That’s about as virtuous as her trip across the ocean in a £15 million sailing yacht.

After being introduced, Thunberg appeared humbled by the turnout of young, like-minded students who gathered on short notice to attend her speech, which surprised me. I hadn’t thought her capable of humility. “Wow. It’s just so many people I don’t think any of us expected this many people. This is real hope, so many people gathering on a weekday at such short notice. This is real hope to me.”

Then, as if a switch was flipped, she turned into the Greta we’ve come to know. She told the crowd, “And we realize we are on indigenous Iowa land, the land of Sioux and Meskwaki.” I guess she thinks that’s our fault.

She continued:

We told world leaders to act on the science and we demanded a safe future for us and for everyone. But they didn’t listen. As we all know, the human climate action summit was a faliure. That was, unfortunately, what we had expected. To stand behind and speak the science is still too uncomfortable for them. That needs to change.

We teenagers and children shouldn’t have to take the responsibility, but right now the world leaders keep acting like children and somebody needs to be the adult in the room.

We promise we will go on every Friday for as long as it takes and the next Global Climate Strike is on November 29. But of course, we strike every week. And we have to prepare ourselves to go on for a very long time. For years. But that will not stop us. We have reached a tipping point where enough people have had enough. Together we are unstoppable.

And we will not beg world leaders to care and to act. They have ignored us in the past and they will ignore us again. We will instead tell them that if they won’t do it, then we will.

Because the world is waking up and we are the change and change is coming whether they like it or not.

This generation believes all they need to do is demand something and they will receive it.

Action to Thunberg and her followers is holding a strike or delivering a speech. She reminds the crowd of the date of the next Global Climate Strike and tells them, “of course, we strike every week.”

They can strike all they’d like, but striking is not action. Action is organizing a team of 200 volunteers and spending the day cleaning up a filthy homeless camp in Los Angeles as activist Scott Presler did last month. He and his group donned hazmat suits and removed over 50 tons of garbage. Prior to that, they spent a weekend cleaning up a sliver of Baltimore. And he has a second clean up scheduled this month in Baltimore. Presler knows that participating in a strike every Friday for the rest of his life won’t clean up American cities. That’s how it’s done Greta.

Action is not standing on a stage and being applauded for talking the talk. Real action involves rolling up your sleeves and walking the walk like Presler.

After listening to her remarks in Iowa and at several other venues, I realize my first impression of this young woman was correct. She is disrespectful, disdainful and ungrateful. Why so many Americans have become so captivated by this hypocrite baffles me.

In her closing remarks, Thunberg channeled a speech delivered by then-candidate Barack Obama. She tells the crowd, “we are the change.” On the campaign trail, Obama told his supporters, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

And the two share another distinction. They were both nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize based on their speeches alone. The deadline to submit nominations for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was February 1, 2009. Obama took office on January 20, 2009. As we all know, he won the award.

Recently, Sky News Australia’s Alan Jones delivered a scathing monolog in which he referred to Thunberg and her supporters as “selfish, badly educated, virtue-signaling little turds.” He concluded by telling them to “wake up, grow up and shut up until you’re sure of the facts before protesting.”

My colleague, Brandon Morse, wrote a post which has since gone viral about Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson’s response to Thunberg’s speech at the United Nations. It’s very amusing. If you haven’t read it, here is the link.

Here’s an idea, Greta. Go home. Go back to school and learn something about how to combat climate change. Then you can take real action to make it happen.

Watch the video.

Full transcript of Thunberg’s speech (via Iowa City Press-Citizen):

I’m incredibly proud and honored to be here in Iowa City and in beautiful Iowa with all of you — and it’s just so many people. I don’t think any one of us expected this many people. 

Special thank you to the organizers and the strikers who have been striking Friday after Friday not giving up: Shoshie (Hemley), Esti (Brady), Yardley (Whaylen), Diego (Biggers), Alex (Howe), Massimo (Biggers) and everyone else. Thank you. I think every one of us owe you a great–we owe you so much. You have really done so much for everyone of us. And we realize we are on indigenous Iowa land, the land of Sioux and Meskwaki. We thank Dawson Davenport and all the Meskwaki people here with us today. 

This is the real hope. So many people gathering here on a weekday with such a short notice. 

This is real hope to me. Last week and the week before that well over 7 million people joined the climate strikes. Over 7 million people in more than 180 countries. That is not something you can continue to ignore. We told world leaders to act on the science and we demanded a safe future for us and for everyone. But they didn’t listen. As we all know the human climate action summit was a faliure. That was unfortunately what we had expected. To stand behind and speak the science is still too uncomfortable for them. That needs to change.

No matter what, we need to continue. No matter how hopeless this situation may seem like, we must always carry on. We must never allow ourselves to give up. That is simply not an option. 

We teenagers and children shouldn’t have to take the responsibility, but right now the world leaders keep acting like children and somebody needs to be the adult in the room. 

We promise we will go on every Friday for as long as it takes and the next Global Climate Strike is on November 29. But of course, we strike every week. And we have to prepare ourselves to go on for a very long time. For years. But that will not stop us. We have reached a tipping point where enough people have had enough. Together we are unstoppable. 

And we will not beg world leaders to care and to act. They have ignored us in the past and they will ignore us again. We will instead tell them that if they won’t do it, then we will.

Because the world is waking up and we are the change and change is coming whether they like it or not. 

Thank you once again and have a great day. Continue and never give up.