A SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF GRETA THUNBERG
Great Thunberg is a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden.In May 2018, when she was 15, she won an essay writing competition on the environment held by a Swedish newspaper. This led to her attending meetings with an environmental group, Fossil Free Dalsland, who were committed to action against climate change. Greta decided that her contribution would be to lead a school strike to raise awareness on the issue. At first none of her schoolfriends wanted to join her, so on August the 20th 2018, she decided to petition the Swedish Parliament alone, demanding more action on the issue of climate change. In the weeks leading up to the Swedish election, she sat on the steps outside of the parliament building in Stockholm holding a sign that read “Skolstrejk För Klimatet” — which translates as “Schoolstrike for the Climate.”
She said at the time, “I am doing this because nobody else is doing anything. It is my moral responsibility to do what I can. I want the politicians to prioritize the climate question, focus on the climate and treat it like a crisis.”
When she was told that she should be at school instead, Greta responded, “I have my books here. But also I am thinking: what am I missing? What am I going to learn in school? Facts don’t matter anymore. Politicians aren’t listening to the scientists, so why should I learn?”
Greta Thunberg pledged that she would not return to school until after the Swedish Election. She also demanded that the Swedish government commit to reducing carbon emission to the levels agreed by the Paris Agreement of 2016.
Greta's protests spread quickly through social media and won widespread support from other school children, who joined her struggle. Her protests also received substantial media coverage. Before long the news of the school strikes spread across the world and made front page headlines.
FROM FRIDAY SCHOOL STRIKES TO GLOBAL CELEBRITY
Greta's school strikes were so successful that by March 2019, nearly two million students in 135 different countries had joined her in protesting against climate change. Having achieved world-wide renown, Greta Thunberg became a guest speaker at several high profile events across Europe. This included speaking at Davos – the World Economic Forum on 23 January 2019. She also spoke at the European Parliament and the Austrian World Summit.
At Davos she showed her characteristic bluntness;
“Some people, some companies, some decision makers in particular have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. I think many of you here today belong to that group of people.”
In June 2019, she travelled to the United Nations climate summits in New York. Faithfully holding to her ideals and principles, she did not fly, but travelled in a high-speed yacht, equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines, which generated zero carbon emissions.
During her visit she declined to speak with President Donald Trump, stating that it would be a waste of time. She did, however, speak briefly with former President Barack Obama.
During the meeting, Greta and Obama fist-bumped together, and he told her, “You and me, we’re a team.” After his meeting with her, Obama Tweeted, “Just 16, she is already one of our planet’s greatest advocates. Recognizing that her generation will bear the brunt of climate change, she’s unafraid to push for real action.”
Greta Thunberg recently teamed up with British writer, and fellow activist, George Monbiot to create a short film about the climate crisis. She opens the film with the words, “This is not a drill, My name is Greta Thunberg. We are living in the beginning of a mass extinction.”
Greta Thunberg and several teen activists from the U.S. and South America recently attended the Senate climate crisis talks. During the talks, Congress praised their commitment and asked them for advice on how govenments and leaders might proceed in terms of tackling the climate crisis.
Greta Thunberg responded in her characteristically blunt and honest fashion, “Please save your praise. We don’t want it. Don’t invite us here to just tell us how inspiring we are without actually doing anything about it because it doesn’t lead to anything.”
She then added, “if you want advice for what you should do, invite scientists, ask scientists for their expertise. We don’t want to be heard. We want the science to be heard. I know you are trying but just not hard enough. Sorry.”
This is a brief account of Greta's story so far. I'm sure there's lots more others can add to it, and there will certainly be lots more to come from this amazing teenage girl in the future.
Thank you for reading.
THE GLOBAL EARTH HEALING AND GAIA AWARENESS FOUNDATION