Greta Thunberg – The Teenage Environmental Activist Who’s Changing the World 

Last week Greta Thunberg completed what many sceptics thought would be impossible, at least for a 16-year-old student from Sweden: crossing the Atlantic on a zero-emissions yacht.

Her unconventional method of traveling was motivated to raise awareness about climate change and the impending dangers that are continuing to rise for this planet, such as the most recent fires in the Amazon rainforest. On this journey specifically she wanted to highlight the fact that “the climate change crisis is a real thing” and to thank those who are fighting this battle with her; also mentioning “I want to thank everyone… who is involved in this climate fight, because this is a fight across borders, across continents.” Greta made the two-week journey from Plymouth to Lower Manhattan with her father, Svante; Nathan Grossman, a Swedish documentary filmmaker, and Pierre Casiraghi, from the Monaco royal family. The yacht was also captained by Boris Herrmann.

Just in case you’re wondering, this isn’t Greta’s first plunge into saving the planet. Her ongoing work in Sweden encouraging local school strikes on climate change has inspired youths around the world and led to similar protests; motivating others her age to open up conversations about the climate crisis not only to their older friends and relatives, but to world leaders and other important figures in government. She was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize earlier this year.

In a recent interview with the Guardian, Greta spoke about her frustrations of the obvious lack of concern for global warming: “It’s insane that a 16-year-old has to cross the Atlantic in order to take a stand, but that’s how it is… It feels like we are at a breaking point. Leaders know that more eyes are on them, much more pressure is on them, that they have to do something, they have to come up with some sort of solution. I want a concrete plan, not just nice words.”

Just because Greta’s main voyage is over doesn’t mean she’s done and ready to go back to Sweden. On the 23rd of September she will be at the U.N. Climate Action Summit, where she will also be speaking; then in December she will be at the COP25 Cimate Conference in Chile. In between attending those important conferences and trying to save the world, I mean, NBD; she also hopes to get some exploring done and cross Canada and Mexico off her travel bucket list.

Despite all the recognition and latest praise, Greta is only “one of many, many activists who are pushing for climate action… I don’t see myself as a leader, or icon or the face of a movement.” Well Greta, you’re certainly making a difference, and the whole world is watching. We can only hope others like you will continue the fight and push forward to save the environment and not only our planet’s future, but our children’s as well.

Words By Nia Alavezos – 02/09/19

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