Article by Mollie McNicolas
The Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, first arrived in the headlines after her campaign against Climate Change became a global phenomenon for the younger generation. The sixteen-year-old was initially noticed by the press when she stood in front of the Swedish parliament in August 2018 and held a ‘School Strike for Climate’. After speaking at the U.N. Climate talks in Poland, Thunberg achieved international attention and has continued to raise awareness of the disastrous threat of Climate Change ever since. Thunberg’s school strike has inspired students from Japan, the UK, Australia and other countries around the world to join her demonstrations.
Thunberg has become an icon, through her sheer force of personality, and admirable for her determination to change how people continue to live on our planet. Here are some tips we should all be learning from Greta Thunberg:
- The teenager is the perfect example of how you are never too young to achieve anything. Thunberg used her young age to gain attention from politicians when she began striking on days she was meant to be in school. The reason for this political movement was to emphasise the impact that Climate Change will have on future generations, and that the actions of big companies will fail young, vulnerable children.
- She does not let criticism hold her back. Thunberg was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, which some opponents of her activities have brought up in an attempt to discredit her campaign. The broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer referred to Thunberg as a ‘deeply troubled child’ who is ‘exploited’ by her parents. Despite the disapproval, Thunberg has maintained her strength of will, claiming that her Asperger’s has given her the ability to ‘see things from outside the box’.
- Recently Thunberg chose to sail rather than fly across the Atlantic to attend a Climate Summit, taking two weeks to do so. Now I’m not saying we have to be this extreme ourselves, but her bravery and determination is what makes Thunberg admirable. Whereas some could see her journey as something minuscule in the huge prevalence of Climate Change, it is important for us to appreciate how the small steps of many people can give rise to a significant, positive impact on our planet. These can be changes such as eating less meat, using public transport or buying food without plastic packaging.
Greta Thunberg herself was inspired by Rosa Parks and explained to Rolling Stone Magazine that ‘one person can make a huge difference’. I believe that if all of us made just a few small changes, we might just be able to save our planet.