The 17-year-old leading the global climate change movement


Activist Greta Thunberg speaks at United Nations Climate Action Summit Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Lucy Cook

 The new face of the ever-growing climate movement is not someone anyone expected. Greta Thunberg is a 17-year-old Swedish climate activist. Her globally renowned reputation began in August 2018 when Thunberg skipped days of school to protest in front of the Swedish Parliament building. Her movement inspired students across the world to skip school to protest climate change; these protests are aimed at adults who youth activists allege are actively ignoring the issue of climate change. 

   Following Thunberg’s protests in 2018, the young activist has addressed the United Nations, spoken to Parliament, met the Pope and engaged in a Twitter clash with President Trump. Thunberg’s speech to Parliament and protests with Extinction Rebellion, a British environmental group, urged the United Kingdom to enact a law requiring the country to eliminate its carbon footprint. 

   Much of Thunberg’s ever-growing fame comes from her uniquely honest message: she does not sugarcoat Earth’s situation or give people false hope. Instead, she uses facts and figures to awaken a society that continues to be ignorant and blind to Earth’s deteriorating condition.

   During the final day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Thunberg had some ideas regarding her stance on global climate change.

   “But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is,” Thunberg said.

  Thunberg has captured the world’s attention despite all odds. She is not a scientist nor a politician; she is simply a teenage girl with a deep love for the Earth. 

   Thunberg recently became the youngest individual winner of Time magazine’s Person of the Year award. The magazine cover features Thunberg posing heroically on a rocky cliff side.