Margaret Atwood: Greta Thunberg Is the ‘Joan of Arc of the Environment’

greta thunberg and writer Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood has declared Greta Thunberg the ‘Joan of Arc of the environment.’

The Canadian novelist, best known for her dystopian feminist fable The Handmaid’s Tale, was speaking on the podcast of the environmental extremist action group Extinction Rebellion.

Atwood said:

“She’s wonderful and she’s impervious to people slagging her off.”


“She’s sort of the Joan of Arc of the environment. I think she needs a big white horse.”

Like Thunberg, Joan of Arc was a visionary teenager who appeared to have supernatural powers. Thunberg – at least according to her mother – can see carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, even though it’s invisible. Joan of Arc, aka the Maid of Orleans, also had visions – of figures she claimed were Saint Michael, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret, who told her to drive the English out of France during the Hundred Years War.

Joan of Arc was illiterate.

Thunberg isn’t illiterate – but she is a 16-year-old school drop out, which almost counts.

Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake for heresy by the English.

Thunberg is currently stuck in Los Angeles, trying to work out how she can cross the Atlantic to reach the next United Nations climate conference in Madrid, Spain without the use of an aircraft.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.