After being arrested in Germany earlier this week, the world's most well-known climate activist travelled to neighbouring Switzerland, just in time to catch the end of the World Economic Forum's annual summit.
Our team of seven Rebel News journalists has been on the ground in Davos, the exclusive Alpine resort town where the WEF holds its signature event, all week. We've been asking the questions that the legacy media would never dare — especially since many are paid members of the WEF itself.
Rebel Commander Ezra Levant, UK reporter Callum Smiles and Calvin Robinson, a commentator from Britain's GB News who is accompanying us this week, had the chance to grill Thunberg as she walked through the quaint streets of Davos.
While our team asked the majority of the questions during the impromptu scrum, a number of reporters from mainstream outlets were also there. You can see the contrast in difficulty of questions asked by our team compared to these outlets in the full, 18-minute long video below:
First to question Thunberg was Ezra, who pressed the activist on accusations her arrest in Germany was staged. After a question from Callum about how she knows so much about climate change, a reporter, defining himself as a “real journalist,” asked Thunberg if her visit to Davos was successful.
The self-proclaimed real journalist received no answer. Parodying the reporter's claims, Callum continued questioning Thunberg about the theatrics of her arrest in Germany.
Questions were put to Thunberg about whether she condones Antifa, given she previously wore a shirt with the anarchists branding on it; on if she approved of climate protesters breaking laws and causing damage in the name of the movement; on sky-high energy prices; on public relations companies running her social media; on if she listens to opinions that differ from her own; on who her advisers are; on how she defines herself; on Russia, China, OPEC and much more.
In total, our team asked the activist around 75 difficult questions. While we were mostly met with a heavy dose of sarcasm, strange smirks and awkward laughter, Thunberg did answer a few of our questions, telling us that she is the one who runs her social media accounts, doesn't have a PR firm backing her and that she's not a climate expert.
The legacy outlets, meanwhile, asked Thunberg about if she would be involved in a protest (she was), what her plan was (she met with the director of the International Energy Agency) and “how she deals with all of this,” referring to our team's tough questions. At times, they also seemed to assist Thunberg in answering our questions, with one defending her from accusations about the arrest in Germany.
Below is a list of every question we asked and the few answers we did get in italicized in brackets:
- Greta, how many times did you rehearse your arrest at the German coal mine?
- How many times did you rehearse it, because it looked staged. Is it true?
- How many times did you rehearse your arrest, Greta?
- How many times did you film your arrest and why was it staged that way?
- Greta, considering you've not spent much time in school, how do you know so much about climate change?
- Greta, as a “real journalist”, is climate change as real as your arrest?
- Greta, how far are you willing to go? You're willing to break the law, will you renounce violence?
- Do you support Antifa? You've worn an Antifa shirt before, are you in favour of Antifa?
- Greta, how did you get here today? What was your climate footprint in travelling here? (Greta giggles.)
- Greta, how would you feel discussing climate change with the delegates here when nearly all of them take private jets?
- Do you think the fact these delegates take private jets is a bad thing, against what you believe in?
- All of this could be done via Zoom, so surely you should be encouraging all of the delegates here, especially the likes of US special envoy for climate change John Kerry. You should be saying to all these people you should be doing this via Zoom with a much smaller carbon footprint, surely?
- Greta, avoid my questions if climate change is a con? (Greta smiles.)
- Greta, energy prices in Europe have never been higher. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
- Are you happy that natural gas is so expensive, so people can't afford it? Or do you think that's bad?
- Greta, it's getting quite cold in Davos, when can I expect some global warming? (Greta laughs.)
- Greta, would you say you're a child actor? Are you a child actor or an expert? How would you describe yourself? (More laughing.)
- Greta, are you used to gentler questions? Or do you ever talk to people who disagree with you?
- Greta, who was filming your arrest in Germany, because it looked like you did that in several takes? Didn't you? You were posing with the police. (Laughter, sigh, more laughter.)
- [After another man said she had an agency], he's answering for you, he said you have an agency. (“Sometimes I wish I had one, it would be much simpler then,” she replies to Ezra after nearly four minutes of questions.)
- Well, who was filming you then? ("I don't know, media?" Greta responds.)
- You don't know who was filming you in Germany? [The onlooker] said he knows, he said it was an agency? (“A news agency, you idiot” a man chimes in as Greta laughs.)
- Do you normally have reporters defending you? (“Yeah [sarcastic], it's very likely that the German police are WEF,” or that they would “stage an arrest” she says as she laughs.)
- How many times were you arrested, because you posed for it several times, didn't you? (“Sure,” she replies, rolling her eyes.)
- How come you never protest Saudi Arabia or Russia, you only protest Western energy?
- Why have you never criticized Vladimir Putin or OPEC? (“Yeah, I've never done that. Never ever,” she says sarcastically.)
- Will you do so now? Will you condemn OPEC energy? (Starts to reply, doesn't, laughs.)
- Greta, can you condemn every single delegate that's come here on a private jet? Surely that's something you should condemn? (“You can do it too,” she says.)
- Could you condemn them taking private jets to these meetings?
- Why won't you condemn private jets? Have you ever been on a private jet, even once? (“I own 100 private jets,” she quips.)
- Have you ever been on a private jet? (“All the time” she continues, “yes.”)
- I wonder, why won't you answer me with a straight answer?
- Why are you having secret meetings? Why are you having private meetings?
- Who are these secret meetings with?
- When it comes to solving things like climate change heading in a different direction, do you agree with criminal damage caused by groups such as Just Oil? Are they justified? ("Are they called ‘Just Oil’? That would not be a very good name for it.”)
- This is your opportunity to stop and tell us what you care about and what you're fighting against, you seem to be joining the establishment, not fighting them anymore? (Laughter.)
- Are you one of them? (“One of who?” she replies). The people on the private jets and helicopters telling how to live our lives. (“Yes,” she replies "because I have many private jets of my own.”)
- The point being that you have to condemn all of them equally, otherwise its hypocrisy, right? (Greta smiles, chuckles. “I don't take anything very seriously,” she says. “I laugh all the time, so don't take it personally.”)
- Greta, where did you learn everything you know about climate change? Where did you learn all that? (“That's a good question, I wish I knew," she says.)
- So if you wish you knew, how do you know so much? Surely if you know so much, you would know where you learned this from? (“Who has said that I know so much,” she replies with a laugh.)
- Because you are deemed as an expert worldwide when it comes to climate change, and ultimately some of the things you say lead global policy. (“If that was the case then the world would look completely different, I assure you.")
- What would you like to do to make the world look completely different? (“First I would like to eat lunch, maybe.”)
- Are you going to be eating bugs to save the planet for this lunch? (“I think I'm gonna take... I'll see.”)
- Greta, do you listen to different voices and opinions that differ from your own?
- Do you try to take challenge on board when it comes to climate? (“Sure.”)
- If you want to end fossil fuels, how did you get to Davos today? (“I came yesterday, I didn't come today.”)
- How did you get here? (“Several trains.”)
- Several trains or planes? (“I took a private jet, of course,” she says sarcastically.)
- You laugh about this, but surely if it's such a big issue it's surely no laughing matter. This is an opportunity for you to try and get people who don't agree with your message to try to see if from your side and maybe change their ways? (“Yeah, I wish I could tell that to make myself take things more seriously, but you know I'm just a young person, I tend to laugh at most things.”)
- Do you regret encouraging young people to miss school? (“No.”)
- Greta, who operates your Twitter account for you? (“Oh that's me, that's why it's so bad.”)
- Are you the only one that does it, or do other people help you? (“Unfortunately, I'm the only one.”)
- And all of your social media, do you write it or does a PR agency write it? (“It would be much easier if I had a PR agency that would write everything to be honest.”)
- I think you laugh when you're nervous, is that right? (“Then I would be nervous all the time.”)
- But you love it [being in the media], you're not a private person, you're a celebrity?
- Are you a celebrity or a child actor? How would you describe your self?
- Who do you count as your chief advisers? (“Shell, Exxon,” she says sarcastically.)
- Greta, who would you say is the biggest threat to climate change, whether that's one person, an organization or a country? (“Me.”)
- And why would you say you're the biggest threat to climate change? (Laughter)
- Who do you think is the worst culprit? (“Me.”) Is it your hundreds of private jets?
- Where do you stand on China and their climate/carbon footprint? (“Yeah, as a climate activist you love when people emit carbon dioxide, that's really our thing.”)
- This seems to be a big issue to you, unless it's just simply a job, in which case line your pockets with lots of money. Surely you actually have an adult opinion on the likes of China? (“I have opinions about lots of things, yes.”)
- Could you share your opinion on China with us? (“Obviously, I love it when people emit carbon,” she says sarcastically.)
- Every time a Western government implements a net-zero policy, it's common people that are suffering especially in a cost of living crisis? (“Yeah it's horrible that people are being affected by different things, like for example the climate crisis and people are being displaced and losing their lives.”)
- But they can't afford to eat or heat their homes because of the net-zero policies? (“Yeah, that's definitely why we are experiencing the cost of living crisis,” she says sarcastically.)
- Is the [climate protest] movement not turning people away from your cause? The tactics that are being employed? Do you agree with all of the radical tactics that people are taking in your name? (“I think the only one taking action in my name is me, I hope.”)
- You are the leader of this movement? (“I hope not.”)
- Would you condemn people taking radical action and encourage people to take democratic action rather than radical action? (“To protest is to take democratic action.”)
- Can you condemn everyone who has caused criminal damage to try and get their point across to fight climate change?
- Russia and China are building more coal-fired power stations. Why should those of us in the West suffer because of net zero when they are not doing their part?
- Greta you once stood on a stage and said how dare you passionately and emotionally, but now you don't seem to be taking it seriously?
- If you could say one thing to people who opposed you to convince them, what would it be? (“I wouldn't say anything.”)
- If you care about climate change that much, surely you would say something to want to get them to change how we're going in terms of climate change?