Nothing is permanent! Not even Mother Nature. And perhaps, this is something that the next generation leader, as cited by Times magazine earlier this year is up to since past couple of years. A teenage environmentalist is a ray of hope for the generations to come as her ideas, aspirations and commitment towards the environment is commendable. Born in Sweden to an Opera singer mother and a writer father, Greta suffers from rare Asperger Syndrome which is a condition on the autism spectrum. But, that doesn’t stop her from saying things she believes in – out loud and honestly blunt. Perhaps, this is the reason why world media is taken on a Thunberg storm.
Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Greta recently organized what could be called the largest climate change demonstration in the world – Global Climate Strike. The government’s inaction against climate change globally took the centre stage on Friday. Over the last year, the teenager has entered the global spotlight as the leader of a youth movement that’s pushing governments and corporations to address the climate crisis.
The Early Beginnings
What started as a School Strike for Climate in 2018 is now turned to “Fridays For Future” movement. Initially, it motivated students to skip the school and join the demonstration as a way to demand action on climate change from the governments across the globe. It was her essay on the climate-change for Svenska Dagbladet in May 2018 that caught everyone’s attention. And within a mere three months, she launched her first protest right outside the Swedish parliament with a demand to cut down the emissions by 15% a year. The sign she was holding a post the In November, when she was a ninth-grader, Thunberg staged a strike for two weeks outside the Swedish parliament, demanding that the government cut emissions by 15% a year.
Thunberg will make her voice heard again on Saturday at the United Nations Youth Climate Summit in New York City, then speak at the UN Climate Action Summit on Monday. To get to these events, she chose to sail across the Atlantic on a zero-emissions boat, rather than rely on emissions-heavy aviation.
In May 2018, Thunberg won a climate-change essay competition for the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. It was the genesis of her. She started the School Strike for Climate effort three months later and launched her first protest three months after that.
The Thunberg Storm
And then, there was no looking back. Soon other students came out filling the streets to join the greater cause. This lead to the massive consequence as further it went, the serious it got for Greta. She decided not to attend the school until the General Elections were concluded in Sweden (9th Sept. 2018). This was due to the wildfires and heat waves that Sweden experienced in past 260+ years. It is quite fascinating that she was well aware of the Paris Agreement and demanded the Swedish government to reduce the carbon emissions as decided in that agreement.
For this, she led the protest by sitting outside the Riksdag, every day within the school hours. Her board read “Skolstrejk för
The Rising Daughter
The massive support pushed her to evolve further from mere protests to taking part in climate change demonstrations across Europe. She started making public speeches, caught the eye in several other countries through social media and mobilized her followers over there as well.
And after so much, she’d still stage the protest outside Swedish parliament where other students joined her. And within a few months, my March 2019 he had more than 1 million students around the world walking out of their Friday classes as a way to protest for the climate change.
It is something way too mature for the then 15-year-old Greta to be well-aware of the environment and everything that led to the climate crisis. Her global rise tells a story of raising the problem where it matters. Coming up against the world leaders and blatantly telling the truth like “You are stealing our future…” empowers the student to be sensitive towards the environment. And this is something a middle-year teenage girl thinks and holds the adults responsible for giving her generation the “false hopes”.
Her drive, hunger, desire and passion for the environmental concern is bringing a lot of media attention. Her speeches are full of emotion, loaded with bluntness but well backed by the truth. Even at the parliament in London, she said “You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future is something to look forward to…. But the situation is dire and we should all be panicking”.
Her speeches were full of conviction such that it got her featured in the Time Magazine as one of the most influential teenagers of 2019. And earlier this year in March a couple of Swedish parliament deputies and Norwegian parliament proposed her candidature for the Nobel Peace Prize. And if she grabs this honour, she’ll be the youngest person ever to receive it. She is in the list of 100 most influential people of 2019 according to the Time Magazine. Quite recently, in September 2019, the Amnesty International conferred her one of their most prestigious award – Ambassador of Conscience Award to acknowledge her climate movement leadership.
While being humble, Greta dedicated all her prizes to all those students who’ve been supporting in the Friday for Future Movement. The Royal Scottish Geographical Society awarded her with the Geddes Environment Medal granting her its honorary fellowship. There are plenty of other media outings displaying Greta as a role model for the future with Time even stating her as the role model and the next generation leader.
Recently, on 27th September, her global Friday for Future saw a massive development with people flooding the streets with protests across the nations. Nearly half a million of people turned up in her rally at Montreal. In Germany too, 100,000 people joined the moment and continued the protests. Italy witnessed over 1 million people and such mass protests were held in countries like Russia, Israel, and plenty others. She also met the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make him understand the consequences of ignoring the science when it comes to precautions to be taken for the climate change.