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!
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.
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.