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Greta Thunberg is creating change the right way

Greta Thunberg is creating change the right way

Greta Thunberg is creating change the right way
October 01
21:06 2019

Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist, has garnered a lot of attention this past month for her passionate fight for environmental change.

Thunberg has inspired a movement of young activists to strike the climate crisis and even led a worldwide walkout with millions of participants in mid-September. She has gained an avid following on Twitter and has even gained support from many celebrities like actor Chris Evans and pop singer Billie Eilish.

Most importantly, Thunberg is known for being direct and straightforward when it comes to addressing world leaders.

For example, Thunberg stated at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in a powerful speech that, “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. Yet I’m one of the lucky ones.”

She is brutally honest and the language she uses is more direct than what we’re used to from climate activists, especially from one so young. There’s no denying her presence. In fact, Thunberg’s leadership gives activists more power because they can target the more reluctant older generations by making them think of their future children and grandchildren.

On the other hand, Thunberg also attracts a lot of hate from people who do not see the urgency of climate change.  

President Trump left the U.N. summit after only 15 minutes of being there and later mocked Thunberg by tweeting, “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

Also, conservative pundit Michael Knowles received backlash after calling Thunberg “mentally ill,” which was a jab at her Asperger’s syndrome.  

In response to the recent influx of hate, Thunberg said, “We’ve become too loud for people to handle so people want to silence us.” She doesn’t hold back her criticism either, stating that she doesn’t “understand why grown-ups would choose to mock children and teenagers for just communicating and acting on the science when they could do something good instead.”

Her approach is undeniably effective because it’s blunt and based off of research. 

“I don’t want you to listen to me, I want you to listen to the scientists,” Thunberg said at a congressional hearing. “I want you to unite behind the science and I want you to take real action.”

Thunberg argues scientific facts and is praised for her bravery and resilience. She stands up to the leaders of the world and has zero tolerance for meaningless action which helps drive her points deeper than surface level.

In response to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mission to plant 2 billion trees over the next decade, Thunberg stated that he “wasn’t doing enough.” She challenges world leaders to go above and beyond and do more to create change, something many adult officials are simply not doing.

She gives a voice to other young children and inspires them to speak up. She doesn’t back down and that tough demeanor shows kids that their voices do indeed have power, setting a precedent for young children.

Thunberg doesn’t just inspire the younger generation to take action. She also inspires adults who have typically been less understanding of climate change. With her speeches, Thunberg has the ability to spark up the emotions of her audience by stressing the deadly consequences of denying climate change.

“People are suffering,” Thunberg said at the U.N. “People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.”

Thunberg and this new movement of young activists give me hope that we might start to see change in legislature. They are relentless, which is key for trying to convince right-wing politicians to pay attention to the climate crisis. Her arguments are factual, hard-hitting and emotional, and that is why higher-up officials are afraid of her.

The most important thing right now is to put pressure on government officials and Thunberg is doing that effectively. People in power need to stop demeaning Thunberg and start listening.

Featured Illustration: Kylie Phillips

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Vivian Berreondo

Vivian Berreondo

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