Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old Swedish student who rose to fame for her vocal criticism of politicians for failing to take serious action over climate change. She demonstrated outside the Swedish parliament to protest and essentially began the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement which has gone on to receive international recognition with thousands of children and young people all over the world joining the movement. She has made a strong stance on an issue that will have a devastating effect on us all. While the peoples whose job it is to make the important changes have sat idly by while the planet is burning, Greta has spoken out and taken action.
It’s easy to criticise children for striking school and trow out the same tired and lazy accusations that the children are just ‘looking for a day off’. Sometimes, though, there’s more important things than going to school. The world needs radical action and young people, lead by Greta, have been at the heart of this radical action. It’s wrong that young people have been driven to take such drastic action and be deprived of their education but when the leaders fail like they have so far, they really have no other option. The young students are going to be most affected by the consequences of climate change. Its completely disingenuous for middle aged, middles class people who will, in all likelihood , not experience the most severe results of climate change to spout their ignorant viewpoints and direct criticism towards teenagers such as Greta. Media personalities such as Julia Hartley-Brewer and Aaron Banks are the embodiment of ignorance and display their disregard for Greta and climate change, through either pure stupidity or a deep lack of concern.
It is a testament to Greta’s character and courage that she continues to fight amid a torrent of abuse from supposedly grown adults. Mrs. Hartley-Brewer, in tweet directed at Greta, said:
‘Hi Greta, I’ve just booked some long haul flights for my family to enjoy some winter sun on the beach this Christmas. Level of guilt being felt: 0%’.
Other than the fact that this middle aged, wealthy woman is essentially picking on a 16 year girl who is trying to make the world a better place, which is itself pretty distasteful, she is also displaying a clear denseness when it comes to the threat of climate change. Realistically, people cannot stop taking planes to their destinations altogether, but to celebrate it so publicly and direct it at somebody taking enormous sacrifices to avoid contributing to pollution is completely wrong. However, the fact that Greta’s actions are enraging people like this show that she is doing a good job. Greta also arrived to Davos by train, a journey which took 32 hours rather than taking a private jet. When others have talked the talk, Greta has walked the walk.
Greta’s movement started at home with the demand that Sweden reduce it’s carbon emissions but she has gone on to inspire thousands and her actions have made a genuine difference. She has gained the international support of people such as American presidential hopeful Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. She has made enormous personal sacrifices for the benefit of the planet and the people that live on it.
The Climate is burning to the ground and it’s our fault. If we do not take drastic action then we as young people, as well as future generations will suffer. Greta has been a leader and a voice of millions when they really needed it and we should commend and support her more. Government’s should show her and other young people the respect and recognition they deserve. Ultimately, If the planet we live on survives, than we will have Greta Thunberg to thank.