Jeremy Corbyn‘s brother today branded environmental activist Greta Thunberg an ‘ignorant brainwashed child’ who is being ‘abused by manipulative adults’.
Reposting a BBC News article titled ‘Teen tells UK politicians ‘listen to climate scientists’, he tweeted: ‘Listening to an ignorant brainwashed child is deranged.
‘I am an actual scientist of physics, meteorology, astrophysics and climate and say Greta Thunberg is wrong and suffers mental abuse by manipulative adults.’
Piers Corbyn, the brother of Jeremy Corbyn, protests against climate change activists as people queue to see Greta Thurnberg speak on Euston Road in London on Easter Monday
Piers labelled Greta an ‘ignorant brainwashed child’ being ‘abused by manipulative adults’
It comes a week after Piers called protestors who glued themselves to his brother’s house ‘deranged’, as he staged a counter-protest at the Waterloo Bridge occupation.
The meterologist, whose office is in South London, waved one banner denouncing global warming as a ‘hoax’ and another calling carbon dioxide a ‘gas of life’.
Piers, who is the Labour leader’s older brother, believes that accepted science on man made climate change is a ‘cover up’ that exists to push up fuel prices.
Condemning the protests, he added last Friday: ‘This is disrupting traffic and stopping people going to work, the police should have moved them on ages ago.’
Piers runs WeatherAction, which has been questioned for its unusual methods of forecasting patterns, but he is adamant that man-made climate change is a hoax.
Yesterday, Labour leader Jeremy, 69, met with Greta, who is visiting the UK to express her support for the ongoing Extinction Rebellion protests in London.
Greta meets Green Party leader Caroline Lucas (left) and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (right), at the House of Commons in Westminster yesterday
Mr Corbyn posted this tweet after meeting Greta at the Houses of Parliament yesterday
Jeremy described the meeting as ‘absolutely fascinating’, saying they had discussed issues around pollution, emissions and agriculture.
‘We agreed that we would continue those discussions when we put forward policy so that we are measuring our policy against the environmental impact,’ he said.
Greta at the House of Commons yesterday
‘We have to have a much more focused and serious approach towards climate change and the damage we are doing to our natural world.’
The Swedish Nobel Peace Prize nominee has sparked a wave of youth climate protests around the world and yesterday met political leaders in the Commons.
She told a politician’s roundtable: ‘We just want people to listen to the science.’
Greta also met Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable, Caroline Lucas from the Green Party and the Westminster leaders of the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru, Ian Blackford and Liz Saville Roberts.
Prime Minister Theresa May was ’empty-chaired’ at the meeting as she was attending Cabinet at the time.
Speaking at an event in the Palace of Westminster, Miss Thunberg later said her future and those of her fellow children had been ‘sold’.
She said: ‘We probably don’t even have a future any more. That future has been sold so that a small number of people can make unimaginable amounts of money.’
Environment Secretary Michael Gove (left) and former Labour leader Ed Miliband (second right) are among those listening to Greta (right) at the House of Commons yesterday
Greta speaks at the Houses of Parliament yesterday as Extinction Rebellion protests continue
Environment Secretary Michael Gove told Greta she had been heard and admitted ‘we have not done nearly enough’.
Greta addresses the Extinction Rebellion demonstrators at Marble Arch on Sunday
He said: ‘Suddenly in the past few years it has become inescapable that we have to act. The time to act is now, the challenge could not be clearer, Greta you have been heard.’
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott tweeted that Greta gave a ‘great speech’ and was ‘showing adults the way forward’.
She added that the activist’s climate change message is ‘so powerful and important for all our futures, and especially for the youngest generations.’
XR is urging the Government to declare a climate emergency to avoid what it calls the ‘sixth mass extinction’ of species on earth.
Dozens of police officers lined the fringes of the Parliament Square demonstration yesterday – with Scotland Yard earlier saying it had a ‘robust’ policing plan in place.
Greta poses for a photo at the Extinction Rebellion camp at Marble Arch in London on Sunday
Extinction Rebellion demonstrators listen to Greta speak at Marble Arch in London on Sunday
Piers Corbyn (right) takes part in a tiny counter-protest at Waterloo Bridge on Good Friday
More than 1,000 people have been arrested during XR protests which started on April 15, while more than 10,000 police officers have been deployed.
XR action has seen Waterloo Bridge and Oxford Circus blocked and a ‘die in’ at the Natural History Museum.
Elsewhere, activists have glued themselves to trains, chained themselves to objects, and some could even be seen perching in hammocks up trees overlooking Parliament Square.
Members of XR have previously indicated temporarily ending disruptive tactics to focus on political negotiations.
Who is activist Greta Thunberg, 16, and what is she trying to achieve?
Climate activist Greta Thunberg attends a session of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on January 25
Six months ago, a then-unknown Greta Thunberg camped outside Sweden’s parliament next to a hand-written sign that read ‘Skolstrejk för Klimatet’ (School strike for the climate).
She skipped school every Friday to sit on the steps of the Riksdag and soon became a global success following her first TED talk – which now has more than a million views.
The 16-year-old climate crusader has already been immersed in her specialist subject for seven years.
Last year Greta described herself as having been ‘diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, OCD and selective mutism, saying ‘I only speak when I have something important to say’.
She added: ‘I see the world a bit differently, from another perspective… I can do the same thing for hours.’
She comes from an eminent family. Her mother is the beautiful blonde Swedish opera singer Malena Ernman who was the country’s entry in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.
Her father is actor Svante Thunberg, who was named after a distant relative, Svante Arrhenius, a Nobel-prize-winning scientist who in 1896 first calculated the greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide emissions.
Greta holds a placard next to students at a ‘strike for climate’ in Davos on January 25
Greta explained that she first learned about climate change in school, aged nine.
‘They were always talking about how we should turn off lights, save water, not throw out food,’ she said in one interview. But she was baffled and frustrated by what she saw as a lack of action.
‘If humans could really change the climate, everyone would be talking about it and people wouldn’t be talking about anything else,’ she said. ‘But this wasn’t happening.’
She started researching climate change herself, giving up other extra-curricular activities along the way – and became a vegan, stopped buying anything that was not essential and refused to fly anywhere.
By 2016 she had convinced her mother to give up flying, and the family cut out all meat and dairy. They installed solar batteries, started growing their own vegetables, went vegan and cycled everywhere, keeping an electric car for emergencies.
In August last year, her private personal protest went public when she walked out of school and plonked herself outside the Riksdag, handing out leaflets saying ‘I’m doing this because you adulting are sh**ing on my future’.
Her demands were simple — that politicians reduced carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement of 2015.
In November 2018, still aged just 15 and dressed in a blue hoodie and hair in long plaits she gave her first TED talk, which has now been viewed more than a million times.
Some have questioned whether her rise to global fame has been as accidental as it appears, but Greta and her family have hit back hard at anmy suggestion of media manipulation.
PR consultant Ingmar Rentzhog’s We Don’t Have Time climate change PR agency used Greta’s image to gain funds for his firm, according to Climate Change Dispatch.
But the publication said the teenager’s family deny being aware that she would be used in this way, and the family have since cut ties with Mr Rentzhog’s organisation.
Her school strike coincided with the launch of a book about climate change written by her mother, according to Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche, but Greta denied that the book launch had anything to do with her.
Greta’s mother is Swedish opera singer Malena Ernman. She is seen performing during the Eurovision grand final in Moscow on May 16, 2009
Greta delivered a stern rebuke to attendees of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland in December 2018, accusing them of leaving the burden of climate change with future generations.
‘I don’t want your hope. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day,’ she told them.
And she told business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January ‘our house is on fire!’, after piously camping in the snow in temperatures of -18C rather than accepting luxury accommodation.
She arrived at the out-of-the-way location after a 32-hour train journey, eschewing the jet planes used by most attendees.
On February 15 and again on March 15 school students around the world, inspired by her example, played truant from school in a ‘strike’ to protest climate change.
In the UK last month, thousands of placard-waving youngsters ditched their lessons and flocked to London’s Parliament Square to try to grab the attention of MPs.
Students in Canterbury, in Kent, join the schools strike in March – including one boy in school uniform who appears to have walked straight out of school
They chanted ‘this is what democracy looks like’ while primary school children, who were at the protest with their parents and holding handmade placards, shouted ‘climate change, boo!’
The walkouts took place in more than 100 UK towns and cities, including Kent, Edinburgh and Bristol, as part of a global day of action inspired by Greta.
In response to the protests in March, United Nations climate change chief Patricia Espinosa said: ‘What we’re seeing is a clear message from youth throughout the world that nations must significantly increase their efforts to address climate change.
‘Given the urgency the world faces, it’s vital nations come up with more ambitious plans both this year and in 2020 as stated in the Paris Agreement.
‘This is how we will not only reach our collective climate goals, but how we will build a cleaner, greener and more prosperous future for all people.’
While recognising the importance of climate change in response to the first UK strike, Downing Street said the disruption increased teachers’ workloads and wasted lesson time, and Education Secretary Damian Hinds said missing class was not the answer.
The children’s demands for urgent action to treat climate change as a global emergency come in the wake of a UN report last year which warned that limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, beyond which climate impacts become increasingly severe, requires unprecedented action.
That includes cutting global carbon dioxide emissions by almost half within 12 years, and to zero by mid-century.