Every parent worries about their kid. But when your child is named Time’s Person of the Year and is subject to vicious online slander, that worry reaches a whole new level, at least according to Svante Thunberg. The father of Greta Thunberg spoke in a recent interview about the concern he has for his daughter, despite his immense pride in the work that she has done.
Svante told BBC that when his daughter first became interested in climate change activism, he was reluctant because he didn’t want her to have to take on so much. He said that he and his wife made it “quite clearly that we would not support it.”
But Greta could not be swayed and once her father saw how happy it made her, he was fully on board, even saying that it helped her get out of years of depression.
“She stopped talking… she stopped going to school,” he said.
Now, Greta is perhaps the most famous climate change activist in the world and while her father is proud to see the work she has done, he says he still has concerns. Not because of his daughter and her work but because of the way she has been bullied online, as even grown adults have taken shots at the 16-year-old.
Svante admits he gets worried about “the fake news, all the things that people try to fabricate her – the hate that that generates.” Fortunately, he says that none of it seems to phase Greta, who continues to work tirelessly to raise awareness about climate change around the globe.
“Quite frankly, I don’t know how she does it, but she laughs most of the time,” he says. “She finds it hilarious.”