Svante Thunberg thought it was a bad idea for his daughter to be at the forefront of the battle against climate change, but now she is “very happy”
The father of young weather activist Greta Thunberg has admitted that, at first, he “did not support” his daughter in her school strike every Friday for the weather, but thanks to her activism, the sixteen-year-old girl “is very happy”.
In an interview with the British broadcaster BBC, Svante Thunberg said that he thought it was “a bad idea” for his daughter to “put herself on the front line of the battle against climate change”, a struggle that has turned the young Swedish woman into the “character of the year” for TIME magazine and has taken her to New York and Madrid in two international Climate conferences, but that has also generated “much hate” in social networks.
Svante Thunberg has also admitted that the family made changes in their way of life to “save” their daughter because she did not want to eat or go to school, and not because of the climate crisis. The father acknowledged that his daughter had had depression problems for “three or four years” before starting her school strike.
“She stopped talking, stopped going to school,” Svante Thunberg admitted to BBC Radio 4, adding that his daughter’s situation was the worst “nightmare for a father” when she didn’t want to eat. To help her, he added, he began to spend more time with Greta and her younger sister, Beata, at their home in Sweden, while her mother, opera singer Malena Ernman, cancelled contracts to be with the family.
It was then that Greta began to express herself more and more passionate about the need to face the climate crisis, explained the father, who admitted that the family then began to change and take the environmental problem more seriously, such as the mother’s decision to not fly in a plane.
“I did all these things, I knew they were the things to do, but I didn’t do it to save the weather, I did it to save my daughter. I have two daughters and, to be honest, they are all that matters to me. I just want them to be happy”, he admitted.
He added that Greta is happy today and does what any other teenager does “dances, laughs a lot, has fun”.