Being daughters day in India, let us learn about an inspiring young lady, the one who is behind the Climate strike movements going on in about 163 countries with more than 4 million people participating.
Thunberg was born on 3 January 2003 in Stockholm. Known for her straightforward and blunt manner of speaking, this young lady says she first heard about climate change in 2011. The 8 yr old Thunberg was anxious by the fact that enough was not being done for it. And as a result, she started persuading her parents to change their ways which would reduce their own carbon footprint. Her parents gave her hope that she could make some difference by choosing a vegan lifestyle and avoiding airplane flights completely.
2014 was the year when Greta became depressed and lethargic. Even after being diagnosed with autism, she started seeing it as her superpower rather than an illness. On 20 August 2018 Thunberg announced her decision of taking a break from school, just after stepping into ninth grade, until the Swedish general elections. She demanded reduced carbon emissions from the Swedish govt. Her protest began when she started sitting outside the Riksdag every day for three weeks with a sign Skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for the climate). She got the idea for climate strike after she had heard about many children refusing to go to school after the school shooting incident in the US in support for greater gun control.
She wrote”we are in the greatest crisis in history of mankind and I want to feel safe” for which she won an essay competition held by a Swedish newspaper. This led to her contact with the Fossil Free Dalsland. After attending a few of their meetings, the group tried to influence other young students but no one was really interested so Thunberg decided to take the lead all by herself. She posted her actual picture of the strike on all of her social media handles which got a lot of attention. After general elections, she protested only on Fridays. Eventually, this inspired school students and they would join her at her strike at times which gave rise to a movement called “Fridays for Future”.She has not let this activism come in her path of studies, the only thing affected is her spare time.
Recently Thunberg completed a 15 days sea voyage across the Atlantic ocean to attend the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City and the COP 25 Climate Change Conference in Santiago, Chile. Thunberg chose to sail to avoid carbon emissions caused by the flight and prepared herself for a rough and not so comfortable journey. Boris Herrmann, the 38-year-old German captain appreciated the courage shown by the teen.
Using graphic analogies to highlight her concerns, she told a panel of prominent businessmen and political leaders at Davos: “Some people, companies, decision-makers in particular have known what values they are sacrificing to make unimaginable amounts of money. I think many of you belong to that group of people.”
Thunberg’s work has been documented in a 30 min movie by Vice “Make the World Greta Again”. The impact this 16 yr. old has on other school-going peers as well as the world as a whole is being referred to as the “Greta Thunberg effect”. On 20 September 2019 was marked as the Global Climate Strike Day which is being considered as the biggest climate strike in the history of the world with over 4 million people participating, to which Greta said “if you belong to that group of people who feel threatened by us, then we have
very bad news for you . . . because this is only the beginning