Days after inspiring tens and thousands of youth to take part in a Global Climate Strike, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist is once again making headlines. This time, however, it's video of Greta Thunberg supposedly glaring at U.S. President Donald Trump from afar that's making waves across the internet. While the two are not reported to have had a face-to-face meeting, their paths did cross briefly Monday during the United Nations Climate Action Summit.
Cameras caught Thunberg standing in the lobby of the United Nations as Trump arrived, and while it's impossible to tell if her facial expression is a direct result of the American politician, she looked far from pleased. "If a picture is worth 1,000 words then this GIF is worth 100,000," NowThis, a progressive, youth-oriented media company, wrote in a tweet featuring a quick clip of Thunberg's apparent reaction to Trump. Similarly, BuzzFeed News described Thunberg's expression upon seeing Trump as "instantly memeworthy."
But media companies weren't the only ones to have hit upon the moment, many on social media have also commented on the young activist's apparent reaction. "This image of @GretaThunberg staring down Trump and Pence is a fantastic metaphor for our times, and now one of my favorite pictures ever," writer David Atkins tweeted.
In fact, many were quick to zero in on how Thunberg's expression appeared to morph from neutral to fierce anger in a matter of seconds when President Trump appeared in the U.N. lobby. "Greta side eye is the BEST side eye," writer Kathleen Smith observed.
Youth activist and March For Our Lives co-founder Matt Deitsch jokingly described the moment as, "A hero and a criminal walk into the UN."
A number of other Twitter users said they felt Thunberg's apparent reaction to Trump was understandable given the circumstances, with some even noting how much they related to her reaction. "We are all #GretaThurnberg," comic Janey Godley tweeted.
"Greta Thunberg mad-dogging Trump at the UN is my entire mood board for the next ten years," investigative journalist Summer Brennan tweeted Monday.
And indeed, within hours images of Thunberg spotting Trump had been given the meme-treatment. "Find yourself someone who looks upon your worst enemy the way Greta Thunberg looks at Trump," one Twitter user wrote under a screenshot of the young activist starring down Trump.
While Thunberg has had a busy few weeks since arriving in the United States in late August (along with leading kids in a Global Climate Strike on Friday, she addressed world leaders at Monday's UN Climate Action Summit), it's unlikely that she made time for a face-to-face with Trump. In fact, the young activist has previously told CBS News that she felt a meeting with the U.S. president be a "waste" of time. "Why should I waste time talking to him when he, of course, is not going to listen to me?" Thunberg said in a CBS News interview last month.
Although it wasn't too long ago that Trump argued global warming was an "expensive hoax" that was "created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive," he's changed his tune slightly since becoming president. "I think something's happening," Trump said of climate change during a 2018 interview with 60 Minutes. "Something's changing, and it'll change back again. I don't think it's a hoax. I think there's probably a difference, but I don't know that it's man-made."
Still, Trump remained unwilling to dedicate funds toward mitigating climate change, telling 60 Minutes, "I don't wanna give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don't wanna lose millions and millions of jobs. I don't wanna be put at a disadvantage."
Speaking before the United Nations on Monday, Thunberg blasted world leaders like Trump for putting profit ahead of what she deemed much-needed climate action. "We are in the beginning of a mass extinction," she said, according to a transcript of her speech provided by The Guardian. "And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!"
While Thunberg reportedly didn't speak with Trump during the roughly 15 minutes he spent at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, Bloomberg reported, she made her thoughts about him crystal clear without saying anything at all.