Greta Thunberg - School striking for Safe climate
Amidst global warming, increasing carbon footprint, deforestation, environmental degradation, pollution, resource depletion and melting glaciers, one teenager singlehandedly rose to the occasion and is now leading a worldwide movement to protest against the climate crisis. She is Greta Thunberg.
Who is Greta Thunberg?
Greta Thunberg is an environmental activist on climate change. She was born on 3rd January 2003 in Stockholm, Sweden and lives with her father, mother and younger sister.
She experienced a troubled childhood, wherein she slowly stopped laughing, playing the piano, talking and even eating. She had lost 10 kgs in two months and was almost hospitalized. After stabilizing her physical health, she met with psychiatrists and was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, Obsessive?Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Selective Mutism. In one of her first speeches demanding climate action, Thunberg described the selective mutism aspect of her condition as she ?only speaks when necessary.? Although, she was criticized over the condition, saying it makes her different, she is of the belief that being different is a superpower.
How did Greta become an environmental activist?
At the age of 8, Greta?s class was shown documentaries about climate change. When the documentary came to an end, the concerns of the rest of the class subsided. However, Greta was filled with anxiety and her mind started racing. This was attributed to the Asperger?s syndrome. This affected her so much that at the age of 11 she was experiencing depression.
With her parent?s support she opened up about the climate crisis that burdened her. She had opted for a vegan diet but her family stopped eating meat as well to support her. Her mother who was a famous opera singer stopped flying to reduce the carbon footprint. By opening up about her concerns, Greta found immense release.
She channeled her pain in a constructive way to bring about a global change. She knew that only a global change could make a difference.
In May 2018, she participated in a writing competition held by Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish newspaper. She was announced as one of the winners of the competition. Her written piece on the climate changes was titled ?We know ? and we can do something about it.? This was her first step in the public eye which caught the attention of Bo Thoren, an activist who shared ideas about how young children could raise awareness about global warming. On 20th August 2018, Greta Thunberg conducted her first school strike and thus an activist was born.
Here is all you need to know about the strike ?Fridays For Future.?
Greta skipped school and sat outside the Riksdag, the Swedish Parliament building with a large sign that read ?Skolstrejk for Klimatet? which translates into ?School Strike For Climate.? During her solo protest, she posted pictures on Twitter and Instagram about her strike with the #FridaysForFuture. This caught the attention of journalists, and the news spread all over. She went on to strike daily for several weeks, before switching to striking every Friday. She invited other students to join her weekly strike ?Fridays for Future? by walking out of their schools. She was supported by students, teachers and parents. By March 2019, more than 2 million people across 135 countries participated in the school strike. In the same month, Greta Thunberg was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. The strike had become a global movement in a year. Her protests were inspired by US students who staged walkouts to demand better gun controls in response to multiple school shootings.
Greta?s eco-friendly travel to the UN Climate Summit proves that she leads by example
In August 2019, Greta and her father, Svante Thunberg set sail on a racing yacht bound from Plymouth, UK to New York, USA, to participate in the climate summit to be held in September 2019. She refused to fly as aviation has an enormous carbon footprint. The racing yacht, Malizia II has been fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines to power its equipment. There is no kitchen, toilet or shower as it is designed for speed rather than luxury. The sail of the yacht is marked with #FridaysForFuture. Greta embarked on a 15-day long voyage to attend the summit in New York.
How did Greta Thunberg?s speech ?How dare you? shake the world leaders at United Nations?
On 23rd September 2019, Greta condemned world leaders in an emotional speech at the UN, telling them: ?You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. This is all wrong. I shouldn?t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you??
Greta outlined the stakes of inaction on climate crisis. She spoke of alarming scientific warnings that global warming is on a rapid increase. Her anger was directed at world leaders who have been robbing the children of their futures. She has questioned the leaders at UN about the progress of the Paris Agreement. (The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance, signed in 2016.)
The global temperature rise to 1.5