The Greta Thunberg Effect- A New Hope for Change


In August of 2018, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg organized a school strike for climate change recognition. Thunberg is a teenage Swedish climate activist who is diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, OCD and selective mutism. She does not let her diagnosis affect her. Instead of seeing it as a weakness, she calls it a “superpower\;” in fact, with selective mutism, she “only speak[s] when [she] thinks it’s necessary.” Her first knowledge of climate change was in 2011 at just 8 years old. Thunberg took small actions at first by encouraging her family members to join her in veganism and various others.
In addition to working alongside the Swedish parliament during school days, Greta Thunberg also led a global climate strike. This strike urged employees, students, and others to walk out in an effort to end the use of fossil fuels. These walkouts then became a recurring event, happening every Friday all across Europe. From there, Thunberg spoke at multiple rallies and at the United Nations COP24. Through the use of social media, Thunberg’s efforts spread quickly.
She was later asked to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit. In order to get there, Thunberg took a zero-emissions yacht, furthering her avid desire for climate activism. She spoke with President Obama and before the House, and walked the streets of New York City in a strike which became the largest climate protest in history (with 4 million people participating in all parts of the world!)
Thunberg is accredited for her unique speech skills. She is very real and draws the audience to a realization. Thunberg’s use of the phrase “How dare you” has left a lasting imprint on many. Recently, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize but did not win. Greta Thunberg continues to travel from country to country, delivering speeches and organizing more strikes to encourage the world to address her concerns. What started with a small protest sign in black ink is now a movement. Greta Thunberg may be young but she is wise beyond her years… and she is not backing down.