Shining Star – Greta Thunberg

Imagine the future. Most people think of jet packs, rocket boosters, robots, and high level technology. But not Greta Thunberg; she says that if humanity stays on the same path it’s on now, the future will be landfills, factories, dumps, pollution, and extinction. If we don’t act now, there is no future, “All we have to do is wake up and change.”

Greta Thunberg has Aspergers, she views reality in very stark and direct terms.  We know the dire facts about climate change, so how can politicians refuse to take the bold actions needed right now? They have no alibi. Greta said, “When I was about eight years old, I first heard about something called climate change or global warming. Apparently, that was something that humans created by our way of living.” Right when Greta Thunberg heard this, she knew that it wasn’t right. After all, how could humans, who are just living creatures, change the planet’s climate? The answer is simply, because of our way of living. The truth is, this is human change not climate change.

“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope but I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”

-Greta Thunberg

To make people more aware of climate change, Greta decided to go on school strike. Every Friday, Greta would skip school and instead protest outside the Swedish parliament. When her actions got posted on social media, other kids got inspired – and joined. On March 15th, 123 countries and tens of thousands of students protested in the worldwide Fridays for future strike. She became the most important women in Sweden 2019, she is a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, she was one of the world’s top 25 most influential teenagers, she got the Young Role Model of the Year award, and many more.

“We have to understand the emergency of the situation. Our leadership has failed us. Young people must hold older generations accountable for the mess they have created. We need to get angry, and transform that anger into action.”

Greta Thunberg

People have an opportunity to make a choice between their gratification today, or their survival tomorrow. And it’s hard to make that choice now, when the benefit of the better option isn’t seen until many years in the future. So how can we create change? Some believe that the solution is in solar panels, wind power, and circular economy. But Greta Thunberg says that, “We’ve had thirty years of pep-talking and selling positive ideas. And I’m sorry but it doesn’t work.” Even though people are coming up with little supporting solutions, we need to look at the big picture and stop what we are doing to hurt the Earth in the first place. In only twelve years, we won’t be able to turn back and fix this, we are ruining our own home; climate change must stop.

“You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to. And the saddest thing is that most children are not even aware of the fate that awaits us. We will not understand it until it’s too late. And yet we are the lucky ones. Those who will be affected the hardest are already suffering the consequences. But their voices are not heard…. You don’t listen to the science because you are only interested in solutions that will enable you to carry on like before. Like now. And those answers don’t exist anymore. Because you did not act in time.”

Greta Thunberg
Author

Olivia Cohn is an eleven year old from Westport Connecticut. She is the 2018 winner of the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Exposition, she also won the I SEE HER INVENT award from CA Technologies.

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