“I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, OCD and selective mutism. That basically means I only speak when I think it’s necessary. Now is one of those moments.”— Greta Thunberg in her TEDx Talk,Stockholm, November 2018
“…now is one of those moments.” These words of 16 year old Greta Thunberg in reference to the need to raise a voice against climate change implies the seriousness of the issue that all of us earthlings are facing.
Greta Tintin Eleonora Thunberg, born on 3rd January 2003, is a Swedish environmental activist on climate change. Thunberg despite being so young has been able to voice her opinion regarding the issue, climate change which we humans have brought upon ourselves. She has also been brave enough to convey her dismay at the world leaders for not taking proper actions to address this crucial issue which Thunberg describes as the climate crisis. Owing to her unique style of speaking and the sincerity she shows in her mission to save the world, Thunberg has been able to gain international recognition drawing the attention of many world leaders towards the importance of taking immediate action against climate change. Thus making Thunberg one of the most influential people who has shaped the year 2019, which is why Time magazine has chosen Greta Thunberg as person of the year. She also happens to be the youngest individual to be recognized as Time person of the year.
Thunberg started to gain public attention for her activism in August 2018 when she began to spend her school days outside the Swedish parliament as a sole protester, to call for urgent action on global warming by holding up a hand painted sign saying (in Swedish) “School strike for the climate”. Through this she was able to inspire a number of peer students all over the world in what has been known as “The Greta effect”, motivating other students to engage in similar protests in their own communities. Subsequently students around the world collaboratively organized a school climate strike movement called the Fridays for Future, under which student strikes took place every week somewhere in the world. In 2019, there were at least two coordinated multi-city protests involving over one millionstudents each.
“Thunberg has become the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet—and the avatar of a broader generational shift in our culture that is playing out everywhere from the campuses of Hong Kong to the halls of Congress in Washington,” Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal has written.
Staying true to her mission and proving that example is better than percept, Thunberg convinced her parents to lower the family’s carbon footprint(carbon cost) by changing their life style and also to give up air travel and not eat meat and thereby not contribute to the hazardous climate change which endangers the planet.
Thunberg has been awarded with numerous honors and awards, including fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, and in 2019, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people and the youngest individual Times Person of the Year. Thunberg was also nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
No one is too small to make a difference is a book written by Greta Thunberg. It consists of a collection of eleven speeches about global warming and climate change which she has presented in front of a number of platforms including the UN, the EU and the World Economic Forum.
Greta Thunberg who I would like to describe as the voice of hope has done her part and is continuing to do her best to save the world. What about the rest of us? Are we going to sit back and watch or take Greta’s example and do our duty as responsible citizens of the Earth?