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The Sixteen-Year-Old Fighting For Our Future

Greta Thunberg. I want you to read this name, memorize it and maybe have it tattooed on your forehead. After you read about how she slammed global leaders for failing to address climate change, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t yet.

On Monday September 23, the 16-year-old Swedish Climate Change activist took the stage at the UN climate summit and left the world in awe. Her chill-inducing speech confronted political, business and civil leaders and made international headlines. It’s 4 minutes of pure ass-kicking, but at the centre of it all is a simple warning: we will be watching you. 

Her emotional speech aimed to make us all aware of the nightmare that our planet earth is currently facing. She discusses the alarming rates of collapsing ecosystems and the urgency to cut down our fossil fuel consumption. Her purpose is much greater than just raising awareness though, as she also lets us know that we are not doing enough to solve this issue. She bashes world leaders for their empty promises and adamantly insists that they start doing more.

So, how did this sixteen year old end up as a key speaker at one of the world’s largest climate change conferences?

Greta’s story began in 2018 when she protested in front of the Swedish Parliament for two weeks. Instead of attending school during this time, she sacrificed her education for her steadfast commitment to the planet.  Her protests became globally recognized, eventually forming the “Fridays for Future” movement. On Friday, September 27th, Fridays for Future made global impact when millions around the world took to the streets to march for climate justice.

Okay, so now that you’re convinced Greta Thunberg is a living queen against climate change, you should be asking: what can I do to help? 

There is no single way to support the fight for climate justice. Making an impact doesn’t mean you need to be speaking in front of millions of people; your actions can be as simple as walking rather than driving or supporting sustainable brands (see examples here). Although seemingly small, these individual changes can have a significant impact. 

Greta’s message is clear: the time to act is now. So, what are you going to do to join the fight?

Megan Farrell

Queen's U '21

Third year student at Queen's studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. You can always catch me doing one of three things: eating pickles, obsessing (a little too much) over bachelor drama, or actively learning the single ladies dance routine.
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