By: Ben Scheffer contributing writer for Telegraph Local
Greta Thunberg has been named TIME magazine’s 2019 person of the year. The 16-year-old climate change activist is the youngest person to have been named person of the year. She has become one of the biggest leading voices in the fight against climate change and is one of the leading activists in a worldwide movement to prevent the worst case climate change scenarios from occurring. We are at a time where we are on the brink of a climate catastrophe where 11,000 scientists are now warning “untold suffering” if we do not make drastic and transformative changes to our planet.
Thunberg is most well known for her tearful speech at the UN climate summit bringing the issue of climate change to the forefront and has left many people left wondering how much time we have left before the effects of climate change become irreversible.
She began her journey at 15 when she would spend her school days standing outside of the Swedish parliament as she would protest by holding up signs saying “School on strike for the climate.” Other students would follow her lead as they would begin their own protests in their communities and together they organized a school climate strike. After giving her speech to the UN student strikes would take place all around the world. Thunberg’s parents don’t like her missing school but her father says that he would rather see his daughter be happy as she takes a stand to fight climate change rather than at home and unhappy. Thunberg has also said that her teachers are divided about her missing class so she can fight for what she believes in.
Thunberg has also been able to persuade her parents to agree to giving up air travel as well as eating meat. In August of 2018 Thunberg who had just started high school decided not to attend class until after the 2018 Swedish General Election. Her protests began a month later in September where her demands included that the Swedish government would reduce its carbon emissions in compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement.
Thunberg has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize which was later awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali. In May of 2018 Thunberg won a climate change essay competition that was being held by a Swedish Newspaper. She has also met the Pope, butted heads with President Trump, and inspired people all over the world to take place in a global climate strike.
This girl may be very young but she is incredibly passionate about what she believes and wise beyond her years. Thunberg has taken part in protests all over the world and travels from country to country on boats because she refuses to fly due to the carbon emissions that are produced during air travel. Thunberg urges Americans to “unite behind science and act behind science” She says that we must realize that we are in a crisis and that we must spread awareness and put pressure on public officials in order to drastically take on climate change. She also knows that an election in the US is coming up soon and that it is very important that people vote if they can. Knowing all the work and effort she has put into trying to keep our planet safe it is hard to think of someone more deserving of person of the year other than Greta Thunberg.