A Clap of Thunberg: Climate Activism in Our Generation


Time Magazine

16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg attends a climate change protest.

Ariana Alvarez , Staff Writer

With the rising awareness of climate change and its impact on today’s world, many people—especially young students—want to help slow its effects but are not sure how to do so. However, one young person knows exactly what needs to be done and how; 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg has been working hard to raise global awareness about climate change.

Greta Thunberg was born in Jan. 2003 in Stockholm, Sweden and was was diagnosed with autism in 2014, but instead of seeing that as barrier, she thinks of it as her “superpower.”

Thunberg first heard of climate change and global warming around the age of eight and was immediately appalled by the lack of action being taken to reverse its damaging environmental effects. She started off by trying to make better decisions in her daily life that could better benefit the earth.

Thunberg became vegan, cutting out all animal products from her diet and even convinced her parents to stop traveling by plane. Although that meant that her mother, an opera singer, would have to give up her job, her parents have been fully supportive of her throughout her journey.

Thunberg was first officially televised at the age of 15 when she was protesting outside the Swedish Parliament, allowing for her first taste of national media attention.

One thing she has become well known for, as she has acquired international recognition, is the school strike for climate. This is when a group of students, usually holding signs with phrases such as “There is no Planet B” or “System Change, not Climate Change,” leave their classes and do not attend school for the day.

In Thunberg’s own words, “Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago.”

These protests have gained popularity in recent years. In fact, there is probably one that will be taking place near you. In the Miami area, there is a climate protest set to take place on Friday Sep. 20 in front of the town hall in Miami Beach.

Greta has a great passion for climate because it takes her all over the map. She is always learning more and more about her world and the effects of climate change on the people on the other side of the globe, not just those who surround her.

“I think Greta is an amazing and advanced young lady. She is really trying hard for this world, and she really gives me hope for the future,” freshman Grace Urbita said.

Thunberg recently arrived in New York on Labor Day weekend. There, she attended a climate meeting, but Greta didn’t travel by plane, she traveled on a zero-waste boat equipped with solar panels and powered by green energy.

Thunberg, though she as only just begun her journey, has already made such an impact and inspired the young generation to work harder to save our planet.

“She is an inspiration to all of us because she’s a student, just like us, who is protesting and getting people to acknowledge climate change,” freshman Valerian Galeano said.

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