Greta Thunberg: The Face of Climate Activism

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Can you imagine speaking in front of millions of people when you’re 16 years old, even if you are really passionate about the topic? Most people would say no… but that is exactly was 16-year-old Greta Thunberg did. Greta Thunberg is from Sweden. She was born on January 3rd, 2003. She grew up with her sister, Beata Thunberg, and both of her parents. She was born with Asperger’s syndrome, a mental disorder that affects the ability to socialize and communicate. She also has OCD and selective mutism (an anxiety disorder characterized by not being able to socialize and communicate effectively.) Greta has 7.5 million followers on Instagram and, over 2.8 million followers on Twitter. 

Greta Thunberg, as well as many well-known organizations and climate activists, encouraged people all over the globe to protest on September 20-27, 2019. The outcomes of this protest were amazing. Over 7.6 million people, including children and teens who were missing school, showed up. The main goal of the strikes was to get the message out that action needs to be taken to help stop climate change now before it’s too late. 

Recently Greta sailed for two weeks on an emission-free yacht across the Atlantic to New York. She didn’t want to add to her carbon footprint by flying there, so she got creative.  Once she arrived in New York she spoke at a news conference. When asked if she had a message for President Trump she said, “If no one has been able to convince him about the climate crisis — the urgency — then why should I be able to do that?” 

Since Greta Thunberg has Asperger syndrome and selective mutism she said, “That basically means I only speak when I think it’s necessary. Now is one of those moments.” This shows how important this is to her. She told National Public Radio that she first learned about climate change when she was 8 years old. Soon after she learned about it, she became worried about the future of our planet.

She is not the only one trying to get the message out. Many other climate activists and world leaders have spoken about the urgency of climate change. Francois Hollande, the president of France said, “We have a single mission; to protect and hand off the planet to the next generation.” Barack Obama said, “Climate change is no longer some far-off problem; it is happening here, it is happening now.” One last quote from Greta Thunberg is, “I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic … and act as if the house was on fire.”

 

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