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I will admit, I am a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to doing my part to care about the environment. Like most of the general population, I care about the environment only when it is advantageous for me. Sure, I recycle, but only when there is a recycling bin located very conveniently near me. I try my best to cut back on meat products, but after a night at the bars, I find it almost impossible to resist some take-away Goonman. And yes, I do feel very guilty about driving my car everywhere I go, but I would never choose to walk somewhere when I have the wonderful option of driving. Don’t get me wrong, I am very aware that we are in the midst of the climate crisis but I really don’t think that the dire reality of the world’s dismal situation has fully hit me yet.

I personally find it really hard to change my ways because the climate crisis doesn’t really feel like a crisis. The media isn’t putting headlines in the news, and aren’t they the ones who are supposed to inform us of necessary information like a crisis?  Our political leaders aren’t changing laws, and aren’t they the ones who are supposed to help fix big problems like a climate crisis? The people in power who are supposed to be doing their jobs aren’t. The large task of fixing the climate crisis right now is largely resting on young people like Greta Thunberg. Greta is a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden who is calling out politicians by begging them to do their jobs, begging them to treat this like a crisis. She has even been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her role in creating a climate change movement. 

I have recently become fascinated with Greta’s activism, as she has managed to make headlines around the world and raise awareness about climate change in a way that no political leaders, climate scientists, etc. have managed to do at this date. She has gained international attention by skipping school on Fridays and striking in front of the Swedish parliament, leading the way for millions of students around the world to follow suit. The Fridays for Future Movement has, in a very short amount of time, held political leaders accountable and forced them to take action and to actually do something about the climate crisis that the whole world is so content with turning a blind eye to.

Greta’s whole issue with the climate crisis is that no one, absolutely no one, is treating it like a crisis. If they were, then our televisions and computers would be filled with headlines, and the public would be panicking. When Greta learned that we already have the facts and of the solutions to solving the climate crisis yet our emission levels are still continuing to increase, she became very depressed. She soon after was diagnosed with Aspergers, and now only speaks when she feels it is absolutely necessary. Her passion with the climate crisis stems from her being on the spectrum and seeing this crisis as absolutely black and white; the world either acts now, or the consequences of our choices will hinder our survival. Greta is begging people like me, people who care about the environment but aren’t doing enough about it, to wake up and actually change.

If Greta has managed to make headlines around the world by skipping school, what would we be capable of if we all worked together?


Alexa Pedersen

Augustana '20

Communication and Women & Gender Studies | Feminist-in-progress.
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