Climate change is a huge problem. It’s going to become an even bigger (and more noticeable) problem in the coming years. At this point, the fact that things are going to hit the fan is out of the question. All we can do now is to control how much of it will hit the fan and how dire the consequences are going to be.
Needless to say, a lot of people are very angry about it. Especially the younger generation, which is going to be around for long enough to really feel the effects climate change is going to have on their lives. One of these people, and one of the most noticeable activists in the “youth” category, is Greta Thunberg.
Here are 9 facts about Greta Thunberg.
Greta is 16 years old
Greta has managed to accomplish so much in the sphere of talking about climate change, and yet you might be shocked to find out that she’s just 16 years old. That’s right, she’s still in high-school and already she’s spoken to leaders of world governments and addressed them directly on the floor of the United Nations. This is proof that you don’t have to be a certain age or weird a specific minimum amount of power to be heard. Small steps can take you a long way.
Greta started the first ever climate change school strike in August 2018
The educational system is tailored towards making kids into good rule-followers and employees for the corporations that are causing damage to the environment. So, if you want to strike where it hurts — take all the kids out of school for a day. That’s exactly what Greta did in August of 2018. She started a climate change school strike in which she and students from schools all over the country (and world) joined in to show that they are well informed about the problems of climate change and they are furious that the older generations, the ones in power, aren’t doing anything about it.
Greta has experienced periods of depression
It’s important to note that fighting for change in the world is a difficult task. It’s also important to understand that dealing with a problem as big as climate change is going to cause problems. And, for Greta Thunberg, these difficulties have been compounded by the fact that she has gone through periods of depression. Nevertheless, she persisted in her fight for concrete steps towards alleviating the negative consequences of climate change.
Her parents are impressive too
No single kid can do everything alone, and Greta has been extremely fortunate to have very supportive parents. Greta’s mother is Malena Ernman, and she is one of Sweden’s most famous opera singers. Her father, Svante Thunberg, is an actor and author. Both of them have been instrumental in helping Greta fight for a cause that she is deeply passionate about.
Greta wants as all to panic
Panic can lead to pain and hatred, but it’s also a great motivator that people can use to their advantage. Greta wants people to panic. Greta wants people to truly understand how devastating the effects of climate change are going to be (and already are). She wants people to be more than just “aware”. Climate change has gone past the “awareness” stage decades ago. Now it’s time to panic and fight for change as soon as possible!
In a column for the Guardian Greta wrote, “Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire. Adults keep saying: ‘We owe it to the young people to give them hope.” But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”
It’s time to act!
Greta spoke at the People’s Climate march rally in Sweden
Even though Greta has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, OCD and selective mutism, she still worked hard to address thousands of activists all over the world in perfect English. And this includes speaking publicly in climate change rallies in Sweden.
Greta has met world leaders
Speaking to people is great to create change and encourage “power in numbers”. However, the power to truly change the way nations approach climate change lies in the hands of… well… the people in power. Greta has been able to speak with French president Emmanuel Macron, the European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, and UK politicians including Jeremy Corbyn.
Greta doesn’t think the UK is doing enough for the climate crisis
On the aforementioned visit to the UK (where she spoke with Jeremy Corbyn), Greta also commented on the fact that the United Kingdom’s response to climate change is “beyond absurd” and “irresponsible”.
She is Not the Only Kid on the Block
Even though Greta Thunberg gets a lot of media attention, there are thousands of other kids and teenagers that are fighting the negative effects of climate change. Native Americans in the United States have been advocates for fighting climate change for decades. Children in countries that are suffering from the real, current effects of climate change have also been vocal about their discontent online and within local governments.
Even though it seems like we have very few public spokespeople fighting climate change, the truth is that there are millions of people that care, and it’s time that we make “millions” into “billions”!