The vivacious, courageous and thoroughly determined teenager Greta Thunberg reminds us of everything that a meaningful education should be about, especially in one’s most crucial and formative years. She is a teenager who has shaken the world with her passion for the climate and her awareness about how ecologically unsustainable the present models of development are. She has urged global leaders and institutions take notice of her voice and acknowledge her presence as the most widely known teenage environmental activists the world knows of.
The young Swedish climate activist shot to fame when in August 2018, she began a school strike for the climate outside the Swedish parliament that has since spread all over the world and now involves over 100,000 school children.
The movement that she had begun is now known as “Fridays for Future.” Thunberg has been a key speaker at varies climate rallies across Stockholm, Helsinki, Brussels, London etc. It was in December 2018 that she made a plenary speech at the United Nations COP24 in Poland and the speech went viral and was shared millions of times across the globe. In January 2019, when she was invited to address the World Economic Forum in Davos, her speeches again left a worldwide impact. One of the most remarkable things about this inspirational teenager is that she leads a low-carbon, ecologically sensitive life herself. She is a vegan and does not fly.
Greta is a fearless speaker, she is bold and amusingly aware of the world’s take on climate change, she is reminding the world of the urgency of taking urgent action against ecological damage and climate change by adopting more sustainable choices in life and resorting to more ecologically sensible political choices globally. What began as a teenager’s school strike against climate change in August 2018, has now lighted up a whole new movement of young people throughout the world as the new advocates of environmentalism.
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be standing here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you! 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. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales f eternal economic growth. How dare you! For more than 30 years science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you are doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are nowhere in sight.”
(An excerpt from Greta Thunberg’s speech delivered at age UN Climate Action Summit in New York/23rd September 2019)
Look at her eyes, there is a spark of awareness and concern for the world, listen to her speaking and you would know how passionately she feels about the injustices being perpetrated on the climate globally and look at how she is leading her life as a climate-crusader and you would know that unlike most young girls her age, she doesn’t care about how “attractive” she looks to the opposite sex or whether she is the most popular girl at school. Instead, Greta Thunberg chooses to live her life differently and dedicate it from this tender age onward to a cause she strongly feels about.
She just finished travelling across the Atlantic all the way from Virginia, US to Lisbon in Portugal. The 16-year old has created a storm across the world as she speaks fearlessly against the politics over climate change and the lack of will shown by nation-states globally to tackle such extensive destruction of the ecology. She boldly tells the world that it is underestimating the force of “angry kids” like her and that they should listen to the clarion call against climatic destruction and ecological devastation before it is too late to reverse such patterns.
The 16-year old Greta Thunberg is going to attend the COP25 Climate Summit in Madrid and to make her voice more strong in the preservation of the climate, she has opted for less polluting forms of transportation to reach all the way to Madrid from her home state. She has chosen to sail rather than to fly or travel in a car.
She is quite unapologetic about the fact that on many social media platforms and news reports she has often been seen as excessively emotional, impulsive and too angry, she feels that all her anger and frustration is justified, given the fact that adults have left the planet in a terribly bad shape and that they are still adamant about not taking up any concrete corrective steps in this matter.
Moreover, she feels that if the adult world can call her “angry”, they should in fact be working towards making her “less angry” by actually working for the environment.
She had originally planned to travel from the US to a UN Climate Summit in Chile but the South American nation had to give up the event due to civil unrest.
The venue changed to Spain, and so Ms Thunberg hitched a ride on a 48ft sailing catamaran called La Vegabonde. The boat on which she travelled uses solar panels and hydro-generators for power.
She has been a leader who has never shied away from speaking openly about climate change and against the world super powers for extensively mis-utilising the natural resources without once thinking of its implications on the ecology, she has been able to inspire and give many young people throughout the world the courage to speak up and take to action.
After a three-week long journey across the Atlantic, climate activist Greta Thunberg has finally arrived in Lisbon. She is soon to head to Spain to attend the UN Climate Conference in Madrid.