Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Deutsche Bahn apologised for allegedly making Greta Thunberg sit on the floor for part of her journey, while travelling on an overcrowded train in Germany.
Greta Thunberg in first-class Twitter spat with German rail firm
Deutsche Bahn says activist’s tweet implied she had not been offered a seat on journey home
Kate Connolly in Berlin
Mon 16 Dec 2019 05.51 AEDT
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has been criticised by a German rail firm for what it said was her implication that she had spent a journey without a seat on an overcrowded train.
The teenager tweeted a photograph of herself looking pensively out of the window of her German train on Saturday, writing: “Traveling (sic) on overcrowded trains through Germany. And I’m finally on my way home.”
Greta travelled by train from the COP25 UN climate conference in Madrid via a climate protest in Turin, Italy, on Friday. She is due home in Stockholm to celebrate Christmas with her family after a year travelling the world by rail, sea and road to highlight the threat of global heating.
Traveling on overcrowded trains through Germany. And I’m finally on my way home! pic.twitter.com/ssfLCPsR8o— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) December 14, 2019
Greta later clarified her position, by suggesting she never said there was a problem, because overcrowding shows how popular trains are.
It could have been worse. If Greta was attempting to travel through France, they’re all on strike, though there has been some talk of interrupting the strike during the Christmas holiday period.
And if Greta was attempting to travel long distance by train in Britain, my personal experience there’s a good chance she would have been sitting in a puddle.
At least that German train floor looks clean.
Update (EW): Some people have suggested Greta travelling on the floor was a publicity stunt, perhaps there was a seat available.