Widely known for attending the 2019 UN Climate Action, Greta Thunberg is an influential 17-year-old Swedish activist who speaks about climate change.
Along with other activists, she organized a school strike dedicated to climate change and named it ‘Fridays for Future’ and gained a spot in the 100 Most Influential People.
Five Facts About Greta Thunberg
She is a Swedish activist for climate change
Organized the Fridays for Future, a weekly strike movement in school for climate
Attended the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019 and called out the public for the abusive behavior towards nature
Her influence was hailed as the ‘Greta Effect.’
Hailed as the youngest Person of the Year of Time
Inspirational Quotes from Greta Thunberg
“You are never too small to make a difference.”
“I don’t want your hope, nor do I want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic and act as if the house was burning.”
“If you continue to say that we are putting time for education to waste, then remember that our government leaders wasted decades with their lack of action and denial.”
Greta Thunberg Biography
Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg was born on January 3, 2003, in Sweden. She made a name for herself as a passionate activist for the environment who continues to persuade leaders to take actions to combat climate change.
She first learned about climate change when she was eight years old, and ever since, she questioned why little to no action had been taken about this threat.
This had a massive effect on her psychological state. As a result, she was diagnosed with selective mutism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and Asperger Syndrome.
She struggled with these disorders for three to four years until she decided to do something about it herself. It was then that she organized the school strike for the environment.
Greta’s father, in particular, was not fond of her constantly missing school for the protests. However, he supported her in her endeavors. He said that he could not do anything to stop what makes Greta genuinely happy.
According to Greta, she struggled with her Asperger’s Syndrome at first. However, she soon came to accept it as her ‘superpower.’
On the other hand, her selective mutism only tells her to speak when necessary, which is why she chooses to speak for the environment that cannot speak for itself.
Greta is a woman of her word and immensely influenced her family by convincing them to reduce their carbon footprints, go vegan, stop flying, and upcycle. Her mom, an opera singer who often goes on international flights, had to give up her career for Greta.
Greta continues to make public speeches and lead movements to persuade lawmakers to make solid climate change plans.
After Sweden’s hottest summer in 262 years, with numerous wildfires and heatwaves, Greta stopped attending classes until the Swedish elections in 2018. She did so to protest and demand the government to take the necessary steps to reduce carbon emissions.
After posting a photo of her first-day strike on social media, other activist accounts started to ally with her, join, and support her movement. Greta’s name spread like wildfire and attracted reporters in a short amount of time.
However, a social media company focusing on climate change named ‘We Don’t Have Time’ took advantage of Greta’s influence and monetized her name without paying her a cent.
Greta was a voluntary youth adviser of the company until she terminated her connections with them after finding out about them monetizing her name.
She started to join demonstrations, mobilize her social media allies, and make high-profile speeches after October 2018. In December, she gained over 20,000 student allies and held strikes in over 270 countries every Friday.
She was subjected to a lot of criticism at such a young age. However, she faced all of these without fear. Her speech at the UN Climate Change Conference in 2018 gave her the attention she needed to make her plans work.
In her speech, she frankly criticized the adults, leaders, and lawmakers for their poor actions on climate change. She also called out the French, British and European parliaments.
“The Greta Effect”
Greta’s massive influence on the youth is popularly hailed as the ‘Greta Effect.’ Because of her speeches and activism, many political leaders acknowledge the dire need to counter climate change.
In February 2019, after sharing a stage with Jean-Claude Juncker, he emphasized that every euro in the EU budget for 2021 to 2027 will be spent on climate change mitigation.
Greta’s Effect also involved public concern for the environment in the UK, and the sales on books about climate change doubled.
Greta became one of the most influential people of all time. Several works of art like Greta and the Giants inspired by Greta and her life were published.
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