Meet Greta Ernman Thunberg, The Youthful Voice For Climate Change
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The name Greta Ernman Thunberg is a name to be remembered. She is a 16 year old Swedish political activist seeking to stop global warming and climate change. In August 2018, she became a prominent figure for starting the first school strike for climate, outside the Swedish parliament building. In November 2018, she spoke at TEDxStockholm, in December she addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference and in January 2019 she was invited to talk to the World Economic Forum at Davos. She told the European Economic and Social Committee plenary session that “we are school striking because we have done our homework” on the dangers facing the Earth. Thunberg has become her generation’s voice on climate change after inspiring students around the world to go on strike to express their anger and angst over global warming.
More details about Greta, below, in italics, is excerpt from wikipedia:
Greta Thunberg’s mother, Malena Ernman, is a Swedish opera singer, and her father, Svante Thunberg, is an actor. In December 2018, Thunberg described herself as having been “diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), and selective mutism“. To lower her family’s carbon footprint, she insisted they become vegan and give up flying.
On 20 August 2018, Thunberg, who back then had just started ninth grade, decided to not attend school until the 2018 Sweden general election on 9 September after heat waves and wildfires in Sweden. Her demands were that the Swedish government reduce carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement, and she protested by sitting outside the Riksdag every day during school hours with the sign Skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for the climate). After the general elections, she continued to strike only on Fridays, gaining worldwide attention. She inspired school students across the globe to take part in student strikes. As of December 2018, more than 20,000 students had held strikes in at least 270 cities. Thunberg credits the teen activists at Parkland school in Florida, who organized the March For Our Lives, as the inspiration to begin her school climate strike.
Greta Thunberg participated in the Rise for Climate demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels. In October 2018, Thunberg and her family drove in an electric car to London, where she addressed the ‘Declaration of Rebellion’ organized by Extinction Rebellion opposite the Houses of Parliament.
On 24 November 2018, she spoke at TEDxStockholm. She spoke about realising, when she was eight years old, that climate change existed and wondering why it was not headline news on every channel, as if there was a world war going on. She said she did not go to school to become a climate scientist, as some suggested, because the science was done and only denial, ignorance and inaction was remaining. Speculating that her children and grandchildren would ask her why they had not taken action in 2018 when there was still time, she concluded with “we can’t change the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.”
On 23 January 2019, Thunberg arrived in Davos after a 32-hour train journey, in contrast to the many delegates who arrived by up to 1,500 individual private jet flights, to continue her climate campaign at the World Economic Forum. She told a Davos panel “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.” Later in the week, she warned the global leaders that “Our house is on fire” adding “I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. We owe it to the young people, to give them hope.”
On 21 February 2019, she spoke at a conference of the European Economic and Social Committee and to European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, where she demanded that to still meet the climate goals the EU must reduce their CO2 emissions by at least 80% until 2030. Later, she joined the climate protests in Brussels.
Greta Thunberg was one of the winners of Svenska Dagbladet‘s debate article writing competition on the climate for young people in May 2018. Thunberg was nominated for the electricity company Telge Energi’s prize for children and young people who promote sustainable development, Children’s Climate Prize, but declined because the finalists would have to fly to Stockholm. In November 2018, she was awarded the Fryshuset scholarship of the Young Role Model of the Year. In December 2018, Time magazine named Thunberg one of the world’s 25 most influential teenagers of 2018. On the occasion of the International Women’s Day Thunberg was proclaimed the most important woman of the year in Sweden in 2019. The award was based on a survey by the institute Inizio on behalf of the newspaper Aftonbladet. Three Norwegian lawmakers nominated Thunberg for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
After her student climate strikes gained momentum, Thunberg became a target of efforts to discredit her or take advantage of her high profile. In late 2018, Ingmar Rentzhog, founder of the non-profit We Don’t Have Time Foundation (WDHT), recruited Thunberg to become an unpaid youth advisor and used Thunberg’s name and image without her knowledge or permission to raise millions for WDHT’s for-profit subsidiary We Don’t Have Time AB, of which Rentzhog is CEO. Thunberg received no money from the company. She terminated her volunteer advisor role with WDHT, stating she “is not part of any organization… am absolutely independent… [and] do what I do completely for free.”
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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