Greta Thunberg proves that small can be mighty. In August 2018, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist refused to go to school on Fridays, demanding that her government act immediately on human-caused climate change. Her weekly Friday protests continued throughout the year, gaining media attention and eventually leading to thousands of young people joining her strike, now called ‘Fridays for Future’.1
Greta’s ongoing activism has earned her a nomination for the 2019 Noble Peace Prize. And she certainly practices what she preaches. For example, she no longer flies due to the aviation industry’s high carbon emission. On her trip to the U.S. this past week, she sailed a zero-emissions sailboat.2
After arriving on the sailboat, Greta appeared in front of the U.S. Congress where her message was short and sweet. She handed out the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on global warming and remarked that the government doesn’t need to listen to her – they need to listen to the scientists. Her exact words were, “And I want you to unite behind the science. And then I want you to take real action.”3
Today, Thunberg will lead her largest demonstration yet – The Global Climate Strike – where she will lead over one million New York City public school students in a protest. Additionally, her actions have spurred 2,500 events scheduled in over 150 countries to support her mission in protesting school in demand for government action. Even businesses, like outdoor equipment company Patagonia have committed to closing for the day and joining the strike. This Global Climate Strike comes just days before the United Nation hosts the Climate Action Summit on September 23rd.4
Greta’s powerful achievements will hopefully inspire government officials to follow in her footsteps.