Since the young age of eight, climate activist Greta Thunberg has made it her mission to challenge world leaders to take immediate action for climate change mitigation. Her life as an advocate first began when she started making more sustainable choices like opting for a vegan diet and encouraging her parents to do the same, and she’s been going strong ever since.
Reasons We’re Inspired by Climate Activist Greta Thunberg
As a climate activist, 19-year-old Greta Thunberg has made waves both figuratively and literally — she has sailed from Europe to the U.S. in the past to avoid high emissions from air travel. Here are seven more reasons Greta Thunberg is one of the most inspiring climate activists of her generation:
1. She Launched the Global Fridays for Future Movement
At the age of just 15, Thunberg initiated Fridays for Future, an international climate strike for young people everywhere. The global movement has inspired an entire generation to skip school on Fridays to take a stand against climate change and protest the widespread inaction on the part of the world’s governmental bodies and corporations. Today, over 14 million people across 7,500 cities in all continents have participated in Fridays for Future.
2. She Made Headlines With Her Famous “How Dare You” Speech at the U.N.
Thunberg became well-known for the incredible speech she gave at the U.N.’s 2019 Climate Action Summit, which made headlines around the world. “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” Thunberg said during the speech. “And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
3. She Was Named Time’s Youngest-Ever Person of the Year
In 2019, Thunberg became Time Magazine’s youngest-ever “Person of the Year” for her incredible contributions to humanity. With this achievement, the now 19-year-old activist demonstrated that no one is ever too young or too old to make an impact, and we all hold the power to change the world.
4. She’s an Advocate for Those Living With Asperger’s
Both Thunberg and her younger sister have been diagnosed with ADHD and autism, specifically Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism spectrum disorder. On Twitter, she stated that while her diagnosis has limited her before, she considers it to be her superpower: “When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning! I have Aspergers [SIC] and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And — given the right circumstances — being different is a superpower.”
5. She Makes Learning About Climate Change More Relatable
It’s common for people to shy away from learning about climate change because of the complex jargon that’s often used to explain the issue. However, Thunberg communicates the information in a way that’s clear, digestible and relatable for people of any age.
6. Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Calls World Leaders on Their Lies
It’s no secret that as a climate activist, Greta Thunberg isn’t afraid to call the world’s leaders on their lies and “blah blah blah,” in her own words at the 2021 COP26 Summit in Glasgow. While most people are willing to take government promises at face value, Thunberg goes beyond the surface to expose the truth.
7. She’s Set to Launch a New Guide for Combatting Climate Change
One of Thunberg’s most recent initiatives is The Climate Book, a comprehensive guide for combatting climate change featuring contributions from over 100 writers, scientists and activists including Margaret Atwood, the novelist and climate activist, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization. The book is set for release in Britain at the end of 2022, and in the U.S. in 2023.
Check out her previous books, No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference and Our House Is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis here.
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