Greta Thunberg is the Change We Needed


By now you’ve probably heard the speech given by Greta Thunberg at the UN Climate Change Summit, but who is Greta Thunberg? An activist, TedTalk speaker, or maybe just a 16-year-old girl from Sweden.

            Greta’s story started when she decided to skip school one day and march to the Swedish parliament to speak on how much more her government could be doing to combat climate change. This is where she first gained recognition and projected her voice on the biggest platform, TedTalk. In her TedTalk speech, she revealed how her passion for climate change started. She shared that at the age of 8, she was so fixated on the issue of global warming and mass extinction, she became ill. It was at this point Greta was diagnosed with OCD, selective mutism, as well as, placed on the autism spectrum with Asperger’s. “Selective mutism, means I only speak when I feel it necessary, this feels necessary.” Greta first sparked national controversy when she made the choice to sail on a zero-emissions boat from her home in Sweden to New York for the UN summit. Many applauded her attempt to diminish her own carbon footprint by opting to sail rather than flying, others had less than nice things to say about her mode of transportation. 

      This leads us to Greta’s now, famous speech. On September 23, the 16-year-old stood in front of international leaders and demanded action for the climate change. We aren’t stressing climate change as much as we should, and by the time it seems urgent, it will be too late to do anything. She proposed that richer countries need to limit their emissions way more then they currently have planned. She knows it will cost a lot of money but she points out there’s no good in money if we and the planet will all be gone.

     Even with her powerful speech, a great deal of people disagreed with things said by Thunberg. Most notably, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said Thunberg has little grasp of how complex the situation is and how big of a factor money plays into these situations.

     That being said, people like Greta give hope with it comes to the issue of climate change. Hope that this new generation is ready to make the necessary changes happen. She’s also hope for other young people who might feel that they are too young to make a change. Greta is a prime example of just how much noise one person can make. Regardless of age, the future is in the hands of the youth, and it is looking bright!