By Shelby Otto
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, encourages school-age students across the globe to join her Climate Strike on Sept. 20.
For those who don’t know who Thunberg is, in the past year she has become a catalyst for the involvement of today’s youth in the protest of climate change. Her movement has inspired thousands of school children.
Her story begins with her solitary strike outside the Parliament building in Stockholm, Sweden, in August 2018. According to an article published on the NPR website, she handed out fliers detailing why she was striking with a list of facts about the climate crisis.
“Thunberg tries to live a low-carbon life. Therefore she is vegan, and she doesn’t fly,” states the TED website in Thunberg’s speaker bio.
She demonstrated her refusal to fly and reduced her own carbon footprint last month when she arrived in the U.S. via sailboat.
Thunberg’s image appeared across multitudes of publications last Friday after she held a strike outside the White House.
Thunberg stated she hadn’t been invited to speak with anyone in the White House at that time and that she has no intention to, underscoring that she does not want to talk to those that “don’t accept the science” (npr.org). Instead, she plans on demonstrating through her upcoming International Climate Strike on Friday.
“The international protest that’s planned for [this] Friday will likely be large. New York City’s public school system recently announced that it will excuse the absences of any students who participate in the climate strike,” said NPR.
“Climate depression,” as Slate Magazine referred to it as, is one of many reasons Thunberg was inspired to combat climate change. The article states that this kind of depression consists, generally, of feelings of impending doom and extreme anxiety about climate change and then later followed by periods of soothing denial.
The same article, however, states that Thunberg does not experience those periods of denial and that prior to her efforts to reduce climate change began, she was often very depressed. Her activism has allowed her to combat her depression while simultaneously working for a global cause.
NPR states that Thunberg plans to lead the Climate Strike in NYC this week after kick-starting the protest in D.C.
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