Congratulations to all the young people who are marching in cities around the world today to support action to solve the climate change crisis. It is inspiring that it is students—including Greta Thunberg—who are leading this movement to help save our planet. We provide this profile of Thunberg in our spring issue.
Greta Thunberg, a dog-loving 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist, is on a mission for the good of humankind and for our planet. As she described in her 2018 TEDXStockholm talk, she learned about climate change when she was only eight and saw that no one was really doing much about it. After going into a deep depression at age 11, she says, she was “diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, OCD and selective mutism.”
But last year, she decided that even one so young can do something. So she did: she began a “school strike for climate.” Every Friday, she and others she inspires stage a protest in front of the Swedish parliament building. She caught the attention of the world media last year as well, when she addressed the COP24 UN Climate Change Summit. This year, she took attendees of the Davos World Economic Forum to task for not paying enough attention to our climate crisis. She masterfully noted, “You are never too small to make a difference.”
As the New York Times recently reported, Greta is glad people are listening to her message, but is less enthusiastic about being lauded for her youth: “It’s sometimes annoying when people say, ‘Oh you children, you young people are the hope. You will save the world,’” she said, after several grown-ups had told her just that. “I think it would be helpful if you could help us just a little bit.”
Watch Greta’s TED talk and COP24 address on YouTube, and join her and her Swedish schoolmates in their effort to focus the world’s attention on climate change via the nonprofit FridaysForFuture.