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Greta Thunberg as a Model Global Citizen

by manilla


A/N: A global citizen has many definitions, but UNICEF defines it as "someone who understands interconnectedness, respects and values diversity, has the ability to challenge injustice, and takes action in meaningful ways.” What could be helpful for the review is how to shorten this (it can only be one page with in-text citations), and to connect back to the UNICEF definition on how Greta Thunberg is a global citizen. Thank you and enjoy!

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Many people have heard about a Swedish teen on the news, the girl rallying with thousands to protest against inaction for climate change, an issue in hers and many’s eyes that threatens us all. She is just sixteen years old and her name is Greta Thunberg, and she wants us to panic and live the fear that she does every single day. Yet not only is she a climate activist but a global citizen, one who understands interconnectedness, respects and values diversity, has the ability to challenge injustice, and takes action in meaningful ways.

Greta Thunberg was born on January 3, 2003. She was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, and selective mutism (Watts). But when she was eleven years old, Greta learned about something new - Climate change. She viewed a film alongside her peers featuring the keystones of this event - Deforestation, plastic in the oceans, and melting ice caps. This discovery plunged her into a deep depression that stopped her from going to school, talking, and eating, which stunted her growth. Greta finally decided that not doing something would “kill her”. In this “day and night” transformation, as described by her father, she addresses crowds of people routinely on the cause that matters to her the most. One of her quests is making sure governments worldwide abide the 2016 Paris climate agreement and to make policies that will help cut emissions in half by 2030. She adamantly dislikes the hope adults may place on her, because hoping is not acting (“Greta Thunberg’s climate crusade”).

One of her major accomplishments is beginning the school climate strikes. It began with Greta sitting alone next to the Swedish parliament in August, with a hand-painted banner saying “School strike for the climate”. In this, she was alone - Her parents discouraged her and her classmates declined, and she received pity from the passerby. But several months later, school strikes for climate have been done in over 71 countries (Watts). Anna Taylor, another young climate advocate, says the “power of grassroots” cannot be underestimated. People holding positions of power will have to notice these massive uprisings that unite people, specifically children, to fight for a better world (Taylor). As a result, Greta has been nominated by three Norwegian MPs for the Nobel Peace Prize. Freddy Andre Ovstegard, one of these MPs, says that if nothing is done to stop climate change, it will lead to wars, conflict, and refugees; To launch a mass movement for this is to be a “major contribution to peace” (“Greta Thunberg Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for Climate Activism”). Lastly, she was on 2019 Time’s 100 Most Influential People, with an entry written by Parkland’s Emma González. Greta drew her motivation from them, and in turn, Emma and the survivors said that “we in turn see our power in her” (González). This is only more evidence supporting that Greta inspires youth to a pollution-free future.

Greta is extremely persuasive in her speeches, but it started out with her parents. Her father became a vegetarian. Her mother, a famous opera singer, gave up flying even though it would severely limit her career. Yet both of her parents agree that their daughter’s reasoning is solid. According to her father, who has run out of arguments, Greta has changed them and will change many more people unlike anything before in her childhood (Watts). She is also bold in meeting with many world leaders. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, she boldly told corporate executives and political leaders that their greed was robbing her generation of their futures (Thunberg). Greta is influenced by her Asperger’s, which makes her brutally logical and literal in her arguments (“Greta Thunberg’s climate crusade”). She even skips school every single Friday to speak at climate strikes (Watts).

At Davos, Greta issued a warning: “Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire...I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if your house is on fire. Because it is.” Even in this short line from her two minute speech, she urges for the progression of change to happen fast. Greta has taken initiative through public speaking to fight for the issue that matters to her, and inevitably, the rest of us. With the population that she has united, more people are joining her cause to leave an impact on the world.

Greta, through all odds, has united students across the globe through her speeches on combating climate change. Although she is only two years older than I am, Greta Thunberg has given me the knowledge than anyone can express their voice and fight for the issue that matters to them. So the kids of this generation aren’t kids, but now, rather equals to the adults whose voices, when so critically needed, are comparatively silent.

Works Cited

González, Emma. "Greta Thunberg Is On The 2019 TIME 100 List | Time.Com". Time.Com, 2019, http://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2019/5567758/greta-thunberg/.

“Greta Thunberg Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for Climate Activism.” BBC News, BBC, 14 Mar. 2019, www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47568227.

“Greta Thunberg’s climate crusade.” The Week, 4 May 2019, theweek.com/articles/839011/greta-thunbergs-climate-crusade.

Taylor, Anna. “Our School Climate Strikes Have Been a Success and We're Only Getting Started | Anna Taylor.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 26 Apr. 2019, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/26/school-climate-strikes-success-forced-uk-politicians-healthy-planet.

Thunberg, Greta. “'Our House Is on Fire': Greta Thunberg, 16, Urges Leaders to Act on Climate.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 25 Jan. 2019, www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/25/our-house-is-on-fire-greta-thunberg16-urges-leaders-to-act-on-climate.

Watts, Jonathan. “Greta Thunberg, Schoolgirl Climate Change Warrior: 'Some People Can Let Things Go. I Can't'.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 Mar. 2019, www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/11/greta-thunberg-schoolgirl-climate-change-warrior-some-people-can-let-things-go-i-cant.


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Sun May 26, 2019 11:45 pm
ShadowVyper wrote a review...



Hey manilla,

I saw this kicking around in the Green Room and it looks like an interesting topic, so I thought I'd go ahead and leave a review! I suspect you've already turned this in with how long it's been so I won't be anal about grammar/spelling as I otherwise might have been but instead will try to focus on the overall thematic parts of the essay. Let's get started...

and she wants us to panic and live the fear that she does every single day.


You might want to be careful about the phrasing here. I assume this essay is supposed to paint her in a positive light since you chose her as a global citizen, but this kind of sounds like she's a fear-mongerer, with "she wants us to panic and live in fear" coming across as more negative. I'd suggest if you do revisions that you try to find a way to phrase it more like she wants the seriousness of climate change issues to be understood etc.

According to her father, who has run out of arguments,


I'm not entirely sure what you mean that he's run out of arguments. Arguments about what? Her choosing to lead the protests that he originally discouraged? I'm just not clear what this is trying to go for.

Greta, through all odds,


I think the expression is "against all odds" not "through all odds"

~ ~ ~

Overall, I think this was a really good essay! I really like her and I think you did a great job of summarizing her work, why it's important, and why you admire her. I really enjoyed this essay and I hope your teacher did as well!

Keep writing!

~Shady 8)




manilla says...


Thanks for the review!



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Mon May 13, 2019 5:17 am
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EternalRain wrote a review...



Hey, manilla! I hope I'm catching this before it's due, but it's been quite a while so I'm not sure if you've turned it in already. It's in the green room, though, so let's review!:D

grammar/syntax stuff:

Greta learned about something new - Climate change.


Reads better, to me, as "something new: climate change".

This is only more evidence supporting that Greta inspires youth to a pollution-free future.


Mmmm.... the "this is only more evidence" sounds a bit forced in an essay - maybe saying "Greta's determination in the strikes supports ...." This way it connects back to the general idea of the paragraph.

Although she is only two years older than I am, Greta Thunberg has given me the


Is your teacher okay with first person? Usually in essays it's better to leave it out, unless the teacher has specifically said it's okay.

She adamantly dislikes the hope adults may place on her, because hoping is not acting (“Greta Thunberg’s climate crusade”).


I... kind of get this? I'm not sure I understand the "dislikes the hope adults may place on her". I do like the "hoping is not acting" part, though - I think that's really powerful.


Now, to address your concerns:

- Shortening

She is just sixteen years old and her name is Greta Thunberg, and she wants us to panic and live the fear that she does every single day.


I'm not quite sure I understand this line? It almost sounds a bit negative, which I'm sure isn't the intent, but I think is a bit damaging to the argument of the essay.

Also, I think you could possibly shorten the paragraph talking about her parents? Even to one sentence or two. Her parents changing is great, but overall isn't very vital to the essay - I don't think it's the strongest evidence you have and could be dwindled down to just a sentence to connect to her persuasiveness.

- connect back to UNICEF definition

So the kids of this generation aren’t kids, but now, rather equals to the adults whose voices, when so critically needed, are comparatively silent.


I REALLY like this last line. It packs a punch. I like how this concluding paragraph extends a bit more outside of the essay but doesn't divert too much from the main point. This last sentence may not connect as strongly as it could to the prompt (UNICEF), so maybe to incorporate that idea more, reflecting back on the global citizen definition could help!

Also, at the end of each body paragraph the concluding sentence could connect back to one of the aspects of the definition (like, in the second to last paragraph, a strong sentence at the end could state how she is taking action in a meaningful way).

I hope this helps (hopefully you haven't turned this in yet, lol. If so, maybe it's helpful for future essays). I've never heard of Greta but it was very interesting learning about her. I'm also loving this fight for change teens are demanding - it's just very inspiring in general. :) Thanks for sharing!

~ EternalRain




manilla says...


Thank you for your amazing review! I have turned this in but this can help for future essays.



EternalRain says...


Aw man, that%u2019s too bad. Glad it helped anyway though!




The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
— Marcel Proust