Greta Thunberg: An Inspiration To All


Anders Hellberg

This is Greta Thunberg standing in front of Parliment with a sign that translates to "School Strike for Climate"

Kylie McAllister

Greta Thunberg is a 17-year-old Swedish climate activist who not only spreads awareness of the climate crisis, but also practices what she preaches. Greta is a fighter for all things climate. Global warming and climate change is a serious and irreversible issue. This is what makes her fight so important. There is no “Planet B” we must preserve the Earth. This is our Earth and somebody has to fight for it, and even though she is young she is doing the job. She continues to try and get adults involved in this fight so that future generations and our generation can have a better life later on.

Thunberg was named the Time Person of The Year in December 2019 after she took a boat instead of plane to Madrid for the UN’s climate conference. She called out leaders who traveled by plane by saying they were hypocrites; “I think it is insane that people are gathered here to talk about the climate and they arrive here in private jets.” She reduced her carbon footprint while fighting for others to follow suit.

“For way too long, the politicians and the people in power have gotten away with not doing anything to fight the climate crisis… We are striking because we have done our homework and they have not.” ”

— Greta Thunberg

Thunberg also organized a school strike to bring awareness to climate change. She has missed school every Friday since August of 2018 according to Time Magazine. She instead stands outside Parliament with a sign that reads “School Strike for Climate.” In the 17 months since this has begun, she has met the Pope and the President of the US, but most importantly, she has inspired 4 million people to join, which makes this the largest climate strike in history according to Business Insider.

Thunberg also wrote two books before the age of 17. On was titled No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference, which is about her speeches and how, even though she is young, she is still calling for a change.

Making her accomplishments all the more impressive, Thunberg also has Asperger’s Syndrome which is a form of autism. In an interview for BBC, Greta said “being different is a gift;” she also credits her Asperger’s with her passion and fierceness. In 2015, Asperger’s was estimated to affect 37.2 million people, says Autism Speaks. Not many people talk about autism, and Greta brings a light to it and also speaks of it as “superpower” she tweeted once.

Greta’s fight to get Parliament to lower carbon emissions 15% a year has led to one of the most moving performances in history. On September 23rd, 2019 Greta went to the U.N.’s Climate Action Summit. She gave one of the most powerful speeches ever. She spoke about how she, a 16-year-old at the time, should not have to be calling for help from adults to save the Earth. In her address she said “This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean… You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I am one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying.”

Her passion was evident as she gave her speech, and one of the most moving parts of her speech was when she said, “A 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us – we who have to live with the consequences.” She is talking about our future. This was a call for action, which not many answered. But yet she still stood up in front of a room full of adults and said what needed to be said.

Taunts and threats are nothing to Greta. Daily, Thunberg receives threats from adults. She is mocked and even taunted for her Asperger’s. Grown men tweet horrible things about her, but we always see Greta standing tall and responding with calmness, or not even responding. She doesn’t waste any time on haters, and instead steers all her focus to the message. Attackers mostly ignore her mission but attack her appearance, autism, and her family.

From doctored photos to death threats, Greta has seen it all, yet she still fights for our future. She has been called “mentally ill” by a Fox News guest. She also has been said to have “anger issues”, referencing her Asperger’s, by a prominent member of the US. On a talk show called Skavlan, Thunberg was asked about her thought on haters, she responded, “It’s of course annoying that people spend their time doing things like this when they could be doing something useful instead. But there will always be people who find something to complain about.” Greta is very mature and deserves the greatest respect. She did and does what so many couldn’t. She fights for the planet and speaks out against those in power who are money hungry.