Climate change is one of the most discussed topics of recent times. But what does 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, with Asperger syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, know about global climate change, that the rest of the world doesn’t?
Climate change is basically the random increase and decrease in temperature, i.e., unpredictable climate change due to human as well as natural factors acting in the environment. This is something that people have noticed with the increasing population in the last 2 centuries. It is a very serious issue, one that cannot be completely avoided since it is inevitable. But it’s effects can be reduced, or adapted to, if people come together and start treating it like the major crisis that it really is. Since the government of Sweden was another ignorant party that did not initiate anything to combat climate change, a ninth-grade student, Greta Thunberg took it upon herself to bring about some kind of awareness.
In August 2018 Greta skipped her school lectures to protest every day, outside the Riksdag, the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm. She continued until the Sweden general elections on 9th September 2018. Her demands from her government were to reduce carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris agreement, 2016. After the general elections, she continued to go on strike, on Fridays, thus gaining global attention.
Greta’s story is truly inspiring, as she is diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and selective mutism. At the tender age of 8, Greta realized the catastrophic symptoms of climate change and was surprised to find out that no one was taking this seriously. When she was 11, she became depressed and stopped talking. Once she began protesting, she said that due to her selective mutism, she only speaks whenever necessary, and that “now is one of those moments”.
A terrible heat wave and forest fires raged in Sweden during July 2018. Greta realised that there was very little discussion of climate policy in the elections in Sweden just 2 months later in September 2018. Despite Sweden’s scientific consensus that rich countries need to reduce their emissions by fifteen per cent a year, the actual emissions there had gone up 3.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2018.
Greta participated in the Rise for climate demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels. She also addressed the ‘Declaration of Rebellion’ in October 2018, opposite the houses of Parliament in London. All of her efforts were successful in raising awareness not only in Sweden but also across the world, as an estimated 1.4 million students across 112 countries joined her call in striking and protesting on March 15, 2019. Three members of the Parliament nominated her for the Nobel Peace Prize during this period. She was also featured on the cover of Time Magazine in the month of May 2019.
She currently has around 1.7 million followers on Instagram, and she has become a sensation in the field of global politics.
Sources: The New Yorker, BBC News, and Wikipedia