Greta is a 16-year-old girl who has inspired thousands maybe even millions of people to stand up for both themselves and the climate. She thought everything was going in the wrong direction. And now she’s become a really big role model for a lot of people.
Young people have said:
I look up to her a lot ’cause I think it’s so cool what she’s doing.
It’s time that we actually stood up for the climate and did something instead of just sitting around.
The climate crisis is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced. And yet it has been ignored for decades. Greta says:
people usually say that we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But we don’t want you to be hopeful, we want you to panic. They say that they love their children above all else, and yet they are stealing their future in front of their very eyes. The leaders who know that change is coming whether they like it or not.
One in four Americans are skeptical of all the effects of climate change and think this issue’s been exaggerated. Environmental annihilation is coming because we’ve been evil.
Some people don’t believe in the climate crises, they don’t understand that it’s real. And I have to say that I understand them in a way because in the beginning when I first found out about this I doubted that it was true. Because if it was true, then we wouldn’t be talking about anything else. That would be our first priority. But it’s not.
People say it’s like an abstract threat in the future, but it’s happening now; we can already see the changes. We already have increased the temperature above pre-industrial levels 1.2 degrees. And everything’s happening very fast now. We need to do something and act as if we were in a crisis because otherwise people won’t understand that we are in a crisis.
Greta was once like an invisible girl before. But now she is very famous, she is in consideration for the Nobel prize. How did Greta reach this?
In August, last year Greta decided that this was enough. She sat herself down on the ground outside the Swedish parliament. And she school-striked for the climate. She said that she will continue to school strike every Friday until Sweden is in line with the Paris agreements. That may take a long time. she will have to be patient and to remind herself of why she’s doing this.
The symbolism of the school strike is that since adults don’t give a damn about the future Greta won’t either. Why should we care for our future when we might not have one? And why should we bother to learn facts when facts don’t matter in this society. It’s absurd that young people will have to skip school. And risk their own education because they are scared of not having a future. Greta thinks that is a very strong message.
At first Greta was all alone, and then people started joining her. And then it started spreading to different places and then different countries and then different continents. And then it became global. In December the UN had a climate change conference, and there she held some speeches.
We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time. Greta thinks that was also when more people started to find out about the school strikes. And then at the end of January she was invited to the World Economic Forum. Greta also attended “Our house is on fire”, at which she spoke, which is also when things went viral, and she thinks those two, were tipping points of this movement. Things are escalating so fast now she can’t even keep up with it anymore.
Now there is hundreds of thousands of children who are striking from school for their future. When Greta was 11, she became very depressed. She stopped eating and stopped talking, and she stopped going to school. It had a lot to do with the climate and the environment. Greta started making changes in her own life. Like deciding not to flying, stop eating meat and dairy. And to stop buying new things when not needed.
In order for Greta to look at herself in the mirror, she needed to do something herself. She started talking with her parents. After awhile they decided to do that as well. Before she started the school strike she was that person who was invisible. she never spoke unless she had to.
Greta has Asperger’s syndrome. She’s a bit different from everyone else. When you have Asperger’s you also tend to have the capacity of being very focused and interested in some subjects. And that allowed her to focus on one thing for a very long time. Greta feels that if she wouldn’t have had Asperger’s, she wouldn’t have started the school strikes. And she doesn’t think she would have been interested in the climate at all. Because if she would have been like everyone else, she’ed just continued like before not thinking twice about this, but now she can’t do that.
Greta’s conscious doesn’t allow her to do that. Greta thinks this movement could become very big; and she thinks that we have just seen the beginning because, more and more people are going to start realizing the emergency of the situation, and they will get angry. They will want to do something about it, especially young people who will understand how eventually their future is being taken from them.
Many people say that we are too young to do this, we shouldn’t do this. And I agree, we shouldn’t have to do this. But in the situation we are in now. We feel like we have to do this because we won’t accept you risking our future. If the adults won’t take responsibility, then we will have to.