Right now, 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg is sailing across the Atlantic on a quest to highlight the perils of climate change, a mission that has won her worldwide plaudits and inspired people around the globe.
But not from Leave.EU co-founder Arron Banks, who instead tweeted what appeared to be a veiled desire to see her drown.
The millionaire insurance tycoon yesterday tweeted a picture of Thunberg aboard her yacht with the caption: “Freak yachting accidents do happen in August...”
The tweet was widely condemned and among those to criticise his post was actress Amanda Abbington, who tweeted: “You’re wishing a potentially fatal accident onto a sixteen year old girl, why..?”
She had earlier written: “If you are a grown up, fully-fledged adult and you are mocking this young girl for trying to save the planet then I genuinely feel sorry for you.”
One Twitter user responded to Banks’ post by saying: “You know she’s 16, right?” while another described his comment as “despicable”, the Press Association reports.
Banks later defended his post and, in response to another tweet which highlighted the fact Greta was a child, he said: “Quite and one being used. Obviously I don’t hope she encounters a freak yachting accident! I just enjoy watching the ludicrous tweeter mob following the next outrage …”
Greta is embarking on a two-week voyage across the Atlantic on a carbon-neutral racing yacht, the Malizia II, so she can attend high-profile climate events without using planes or cruise ships which emit greenhouse gas emissions.
The Swedish teenager’s “school strikes” have inspired a global protest movement by young people demanding urgent action on climate change.