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Greta Thunberg – 4 important things to know about her global activism

Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old Swedish activist who has been protesting climate change. She began her activism at the age of 15 and was encouraged by her parents to speak out about what she believed in. Her goal is to expose the world’s leaders for their inaction on climate change and inspire people to take action for future generations. Greta became known as ‘The Girl Who Fights Climate Change’ after giving a speech that went viral with over 1 million views on YouTube, where she called politicians “the adults” who are failing children today. These 4 crucial facts will give you more insight into why this young girl has become an inspiration around the globe.

Greta Thunberg was born on January 3rd, 2003. Her mother, Malena Ernman, is an opera singer who represented Sweden in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. Her father, Svante Thunberg, is a famous actor and a descendant of Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius. 

Arrhenius was the first researcher to analyze elevated Carbon dioxide levels as a root cause of global warming. Despite sharing a lineage with a climate scientist, Greta’s father did not hint at an interest in environmentalism.  However, climate change documentaries at school intrigued the eight-year Greta to learn more about the matter. With time, her curiosity amplified until it wholly seized her mind.

As time moved, her interest in the subject became darker.  She continued to think, perhaps overthink on the subject as it is the story of one day at school that she was lost in a documentary long after it ended. But, too much thinking did compromise her health as she consequently faced problems speaking in some situations and suffered medical conditions such as Asperger’s and selective mutism.

In the subsequent period, increasing anxiety and overthinking made it difficult for Greta to pursue her studies. Unfortunately, three years later, her mental condition deteriorated to the extent that she finally quit school.

It was this time Greta first time opened about her worries regarding climate change before her parents. By talking about her fears, she realized that she could make a difference and overcome depression.

She put in the effort to change her mind to move ahead. So her next step was to go public, and she started participating in climate-related competitions. At the age of 15, Greta took part in a climate writing competition held by “Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.”

Her essay entitled ‘We know — and we can do something now’ landed among the winners. Her writings were disseminated in a newspaper, which inspired many people and brought her great popularity.

Thunberg’s activism started when she encouraged her parents to adopt certain lifestyle choices to lessen their carbon footprint. In August 2018, Greta began spending most of her time outside the Parliament, asking for swift actions on the climate crisis.

During all that effort, an idea of a school strike reverberated in her mind. She started engaging more people to join her movement, and within a few days, she began drawing media attention. More people, teachers, and parents started joining the eco-warrior’s fight against climate change.

In September 2018, Thunberg initiated a regular ‘strike’ every Friday to protest against climate issues. She also invited other students to join her weekly movement named “Fridays for Future.”

In the next 21 days, more people stepped on the board. At this point, people started recognizing her name, and she was also invited to make a speech at a People’s Climate March rally in front of thousands of people.

In November 2018, Greta began proclaiming her views to a wider audience spreading to the whole continent. This mass effort resulted in over 17000 students from 24 countries participating in Friday School Strikes. In February 2019, the protest encompassed more than 30 countries. From Sweden to Brazil, India to the United States, Thunberg’s weekly strikes involved millions of people.

As a result of her persistent efforts, she involved over two million people across the world. In March 2019, Greta was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for highlighting the issue of climate change on every forum.

Because of her passionate and expressive approach to dealing with the environmental crisis, Greta Thunberg is a role model for adults. Not only Greta, but we all need to struggle as we are the sole contributor to the climate crisis.

What’s Greta been doing during the last two years?

Before the onset of COVID -19, Greta drew millions of people worldwide to join her climate change movement. However, since the world plunged into COVID 19 crisis, all public’s demonstrations came to an end. People preferred staying at homes, and unfortunately, issues such a climate change have been pushed to the side.

But these restrictions could not dither Greta from her ambition. Just like the other activists, Thunberg’s switched to online platforms to keep up the pressure on the world’s leaders to deal with the climate crisis.

Not only climate change, but the Swedish activist has also actively been advocating children’s rights since the beginning of last year. Greta also filed a complaint and peers against the world’s leaders at the UN to allege their climate crisis policies. She said that they are responsible for putting the lives of children at risk by neglecting the long-awaited issues of climate change.

 “You are failing us,” she said in her speech at UN Climate Action Summit before announcing the complaint.

The complaint charged that five countries, including Brazil, Germany, Turkey, France, and Argentina, are not on track to meet their climate goals. Thunberg and her fellow activists demanded these countries to immediately meet the climate objectives that they set under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

In April 2020, Greta initiated a child rights campaign in collaboration with the Danish NGO Human Act. During the movement, she focused on addressing the pandemic caused by problems for children, including food shortage, healthcare, and lost education.

Thunberg also donated her $100,000 prize that she won from a Danish Foundation to UNICEF to support lockdown affected children. The donation will also help UNICEF launch emergency programs to provide masks, gloves, hygiene kits, and protective equipment, crucial for fighting Coronavirus.

Apparently, Greta’s climate activism did not directly influence any government’s policies regarding the climate crisis. But her struggles for drawing the world’s leaders’ attention towards global warming are acclaimed on every forum. At the end of 2019, a science magazine, “The Scientist,” said that thanks to Greta’s unprecedented efforts, 2019 proved to be a significant success in stirring people on climate change.

What are your thoughts on Greta’s mission on Climate change? Let us know in the comment section.

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