Greta gives the globe a voice

Through her compelling speeches and seemingly unlimited devotion to environmental protection, Greta Thunberg has become one of today’s most prominent environmental activists. 

Thunberg started her fight for change in August of 2018 by striking and skipping school every Friday. Now, she is taking a year long sabbatical from attending school in Sweden, her home country, to travel around the globe and influence millions with her activism.

Her accomplishments are mind blowing for a 16 year old. She has attended environmental strikes in over 100 countries and spoke at the United Nations climate summit last month. 

“The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say – we will never forgive you,” Thunberg said. Through this speech, Thunberg proves that she is a force to be reckoned with.

Thunberg has a condition known as Asperger’s syndrome, which is characterized by repetitive patterns of behavior and difficulties in social interaction. She has already proven that it  does not impair her ability to think logically. Those who are reluctant to make environmental protection a priority have responded with brutal comments, often pointing out her mental disability.

On Sept. 23, a conservative podcast host for Daily Wire known as Michael Knowles was invited to speak on Fox News. To everyone’s surprise and dismay, he called Thunberg “a mentally ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents and by the international left” in a segment dedicated to the issue of climate change. 

Two days after Fox News apologized for Knowles’ behavior, Thunberg responded to the incident on Instagram. Her maturely crafted caption reads, “I honestly don’t understand why adults would choose to spend their time mocking and threatening teenagers and children for promoting science, when they could do something good instead. I guess they must simply feel so threatened by us.” 

It is a scary thought that adults have no intention of prioritizing climate change when it is clear how vital it is to the future of our planet. Thunberg spoke for countless people of our generation when she said, “You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you.” Because the older generations will not live to see the harshest backlash of environmental damage they have caused, they are indifferent. 

This is why people like Thunberg speak. She speaks for those who care about the environment and have a long time before they pass away from old age. This is the group who is not indifferent, and wants to create change for the better. 

Thunberg is not the only teenage activist who has spoken about environmental protection. In 1992, a 13 year old girl known as Severn Suzuki spoke at the Rio Summit to bring awareness to the importance of protecting the environment. 

History is repeating itself. How long will we resort to children speaking for the environment before world leaders actually create change for the better?

While Greta Thunberg has been a strong advocate for environmental protection at a young age, she is only one of many. We must acknowledge the importance of everyone who fights for a positive cause, and the world needs to listen, regardless of how much time they have left on Earth or how much they profit off of the destruction of our environment.

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