As I’m sure most of you know by now, Greta Thunberg is a 16-year old Swedish activist for climate change and environmental justice. She began gaining recognition for her commitment and sacrifice through a photo of her with the poster saying ‘school strike for climate’ and nothing else. In August 2018, she began skipping school on Fridays to sit outside the Swedish Parliament and protest until the policies provided a plan in line with the Paris Agreement.
Greta’s story went viral and many students and adults began to protest outside their local city halls and parliaments all over the world. Since then, Greta has become the face for the climate movement- being invited to speak at numerous rallies in London, Brussels, Stockholm, and the United Nations COP24 in Poland. She also spoke at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City, with a succinct and clear speech that apparently still couldn’t hold Donald Trump’s attention.
Her message is that “people are suffering, and people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing we are in the middle of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is the money, and fairytales of eternal economic growth” (Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN, 9/23/19).
The young activist took a zero-emissions yacht with her father and a crew on a two week journey across the Atlantic to reach New York City in late August, where she then met with Barack Obama and later spoke to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Select Committee in Washington, D.C. Not more than two days later, she was taking to the streets for the New York City Global Climate Strike, which soon became the largest climate strike in history. The next day, she spoke at the UN Youth Climate Summit.
Greta also opened up recently on social media and spoke about her recent diagnosis of Aspergers, saying that her differences can give her a certain sort of superpower. She spoke about how her diagnosis limited her in the past, but concluded with the fact that she is grateful to have found meaning and a purpose to direct her superpower.
Thunberg, with 15 other young climate activists, filed an official complaint on September 23rd stating that five countries (Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey) hadn’t honored their Paris Agreement pledges and had therefore broken the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Treaty.
By Brynn Sailing