16-year-old Greta Thunberg is quite literally taking the world by storm. The Swedish climate activist is nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. If she wins, she will be the youngest winner yet.
Greta garnered a lot of attention after she began her Fridays for Future protests back in August 2018. Every Friday for three weeks, she sat outside Swedish Parliament during school hours due to their lack of action on the crisis.
Greta pledged that she would continue her protests on Parliament’s grounds until they agreed to keep the temperature rise below two degrees Celsius. That equates to roughly 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
During these protests she was very active on social media sharing her message with the masses. Eventually she became a viral sensation. Not only did she gain attention by the media, students across the world took action by following her walk-out styled protests.
The biggest one yet took place March 15th, spanning 120 countries with more than 1.6 million students protesting in the name of climate change.
All of these mass demonstrations started by a 16-year-old young woman who found her calling early. Her passion for climate change started at the age of eight when she first learned about climate change in school. This would be the turning point of her future.
“I remember when I was younger, and in school, our teachers showed us films of plastic in the ocean, starving polar bears and so on. I cried through all the movies. My classmates were concerned when they watched the film, but when it stopped, they started thinking about other things. I couldn’t do that. Those pictures were stuck in my head.”
She then soon began implementing climate friendly actions into her and her family’s daily life. They’ve given up flying and Greta and her father have taken meat out of their diet.
Greta’s activism comes at a unique time across the world. Youth everywhere are realizing the power they have when it comes to politics. Here in the United States we’ve seen that first-hand with the March for Our Lives protests, which inspired Greta for her own grass-roots movement.
Inspiring mass protests, speaking at a UN Climate Talk, and garnering attention of high ranking politicians is just the beginning. Winning a Nobel Peace Prize will help elevate Greta’s hard work to the next level. I only hope its influence spreads to the United States.
Nobel Prize winners will be announced October this year.
Cover image via Wanted in Rome