An Alberta energy company’s apology for distributing a sexually explicit sticker depicting a teen climate activist isn’t good enough, said the organizer of a petition calling for company executives to resign.

The image ⁠— a black and white decal meant to be placed on oilfield workers’ construction hats ⁠— showed a cartoon of a female figure labelled “Greta,” presumably depicting 16-year-old Swedish climate Greta Thunberg. After the image sparked outrage online last week, the company, X-Site Energy Services, put out a statement accepting “full responsibility” and pledging to “do better.”

But Fionnuala Braun, a 19-year-old climate activist who organized a petition calling for the X-Site employees behind the sticker to resign, said the apology feels like a “token gesture” that fails to address the broader problem. Young female climate activists are often on the receiving end of misogynistic and sexually explicit messages, she said in a phone interview Tuesday.

“I have gotten rape threats before,” she said. “This happens to young female activists all the time. If we spent time reporting every single time someone said something sexualizing or threatened us online, we would spend all our time in the police station.”

Braun’s petition had racked up nearly 40,000 signatures on as of Tuesday evening. A request for comment to Doug Sparrow, who was listed last week as X-Site’s general manager, wasn’t immediately returned.

The person who first posted the sticker online, Michelle Narang of Rocky Mountain House, Alta., previously told the Canadian Press she called X-Site to raise concerns about the sticker’s depiction of a minor. She said Sparrow told her Thunberg is “not a child. She is 17."

Sparrow later denied X-Site had any involvement with the sticker. But the company released an apology on Monday, saying it had “made organizational changes,” committed to recovering and destroying copies of the sticker and starting working on a code of conduct and “respect in the workplace” sessions for employees.

Braun said she feels that the apology rings hollow, especially considering the company’s previous denials and how long it took for it to take responsibility.

“To me it just felt like they were doing what they had to do to get over it and get back to work without it affecting their reputation,” she said.

Fionnuala Braun, a 19-year-old climate activist who organized a petition calling for the employees responsible to resign, says violent threats against young female climate activists are all too common.

Braun said she doesn’t want to generalize — she’s a lifelong Albertan who moved to Saskatoon last year, and she says she knows plenty of people in the oilpatch don’t support the sticker and the message it sends. But the prevalence of violence speech against female climate activists means it’s especially important that people who participated in or passively allowed the making of the decal be publicly held accountable, she added.

“A lot of the hyped-up masculinity culture of the oilsands doesn’t discourage people from sexualizing women in ways that are disturbing and inappropriate,” she said.

Though the petition calls for senior staff at X-Site to step down, Braun said she’d settle for a public investigation into what happened and transparency about how the people involved are being held accountable.

“Greta is so young,” she said. “It makes us all feel a little unsafe.”

Alberta RCMP have said the sticker doesn’t qualify as child pornography and police won’t be investigating.

In a tweet Saturday, Thunberg responded to the graphic sticker: “They are starting to get more and more desperate. This shows that we're winning."

Braun said although the RCMP’s response is disappointing, she agrees with Thunberg’s message.

“They wouldn’t go to all that effort if they didn’t feel threatened.”

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It may be more typical of the right wing of the oil and gas sector than we imagine. If we read the details of Kenny's new bill criminalizing protest and support for protesters, you see the same disregard for human rights and diversity of opinion. For sure, they feel threatened. Turns out fossil fuels are the major contributor to climate change and if we want a liveable world for our daughters and sons, we need to transition off of them.

But extracting the carbon stored from the ancient past of the earth has been profitable...for all of us. And very profitable for a few. In Alberta you didn't need to finish school or suffer through university to make a 6 figure income......when oil was king.

It's a dying industry now. But those men, some in their 40's and 50's, see a grim future.

It's hard not to feel compassion; until you realize the alley oop philosophies they endorse, almost like a rough "in joke". We can just abuse, violate, rape our opponents. Ya. That'll work.

It often has in the past. That the RCMP don't find the image abusive enough to prosecute tells us we're still in a culture whose ground zero is sexual violence. Perhaps the ecofeminists were right.

They said we treat the earth the way men often treat women.......we rape her.

All Albertans should be shocked; Albertan woman enraged. Greta is everyone's daughter. ENOUGH.

It may or may not be child pornography. But it is certainly hate literature. And the RCMP should investigate and lay charges where appropriate.

Good story, but a poor headline. The company's weak apology is not good enough, period. The company called the sticker “careless” and a “mistake.” That's baloney. There’s noting “careless” about creating, printing, and distributing an image of Greta being sexually assaulted. Anyone who made or condoned this loathsome sticker should be driven out of business.

For a Province that pretends it has few rednecks, it sure blew it with this. Oil workers, not unexpectedly, seem to be incapable of looking at real facts about fossil fuels, CO2, the climate crisis, a d the real causes of oil workforce reduction. Combine that with a ultra conservative Premier who foments discord, this is what happens. Remember when Notley was elected Premier, these same alt--rights put her face on a target as if she should be one. Then in October, 2019, same for Trudeau as well as the 2020 billboards. The Thunberg incident just shows how much redneckness is ingrained in ordinary oil workers who keep on shooting themselves in the foot with what they think is appropriate. An apology isn't enough!