Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden who just became GQ Magazine's "Game Changer of the Year."
She began her career as an activist in 2018 protesting the Swedish Parliament and since then, has become known for her "school strike for the climate." At just 16-years-old, Thunberg has accomplished more than most her age. She is Sweden's "Woman of the Year" in 2019, has published two books, and is a TED Speaker (watch her TED Talk here). She was on the cover of Time Magazine and more recently, was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. She's even making an impact in the United States and is currently sailing to New York on a solar-powered boat.
Thunberg, her father, and two others took on the journey in order to meet with US politicians. The boat, Malizia II, has solar panels and wind turbine generators to ensure a carbon-neutral trip. From the boat, Thunberg has been updating her followers regularly. This online tracker shows her progress. The Guardian wrote an article on her progress. She's been posting to Twitter and Instagram with her coordinates and statuses.
She's well-spoken, well-educated, and incredibly motivated. Thunberg also has Asperger's. Though there are plenty of people who doubt her because of her age, her claims and beliefs are rooted in science. She's also facing criticism for her choice to sail across the Atlantic, but she's determined to take whatever measures necessary to show the world that we can cut down on our carbon footprints.
As for her school strikes, Thunberg has been utilizing this form of protest for a year now. Each Friday, she has skipped school to hold a climate strike outside Parliament. Her hashtags #FridaysForFuture and #SchoolStrike4Climate have inspired thousands of posts on social media, and likewise, she has inspired thousands of students to take part in school strikes around the world.
Despite the backlash she's received from some politicians and celebrities, Thunberg has found an extensive group of supporters. Recently, The 1975, a British indie band, recorded a song featuring Thunberg. The track includes Greta voicing an excellent essay on the topic of climate change. It begins with: "We are right now in the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis, and we need to call it what it is: an emergency."
An inspiration, to say the least, Greta Thunberg continues to go above and beyond in order to fight for her future and the future of the planet. Backed by science and thousands of supporters, she has made a significant impact on the world. I, for one, can't wait to see where she goes from here.