greta thunberg and the school strike for the climate

Es­ti­mated reading time is 3 min­utes.

CLI­MATE AC­TIVIST GRETA THUN­BERG re­cently joined Naomi Klein for a con­ver­sa­tion on the cli­mate emer­gency. Klein is a well-published au­thor, se­nior cor­re­spon­dent at The In­ter­cept, and the in­au­gural Gloria Steinem en­dowed chair of media, cul­ture, and fem­i­nist studies at Rut­gers Uni­ver­sity. Thun­berg hasn’t grad­u­ated from high school yet she is cred­ited with raising global aware­ness of the risks posed by global warming and cli­mate change and politi­cians to task for their lack of ac­tion on the cli­mate crisis.

Thun­berg is a child of the 21st cen­tury, a Swedish teenager who was born in Jan­uary 2003. In Au­gust 2018, she took time off from her classes to demon­strate out­side the Swedish par­lia­ment. There she car­ried a sign that read “Skol­strejk för kli­matet” (“School strike for the climate”)

To­gether they or­ga­nized a school cli­mate strike move­ment, under the name Fri­days for Fu­ture. The FFF is now an in­ter­na­tional move­ment of school stu­dents who take time off from classes to par­tic­i­pate in demon­stra­tions de­manding ac­tion to pre­vent fur­ther global warming and cli­mate change.

After Thun­berg ad­dressed the 2018 United Na­tions Cli­mate Change Con­fer­ence, stu­dent strikes took place every week some­where in the world. In 2019, there were at least two co­or­di­nated multi-city protests in­volving over one mil­lion pupils each.


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The May 27. 2019, issue of Time mag­a­zine fea­tured “Next Gen­er­a­tion Leaders: The Teenager on Strike for the Planet.” It ad­dressed Greta Thun­berg, who also posed for the cover photo in an emerald green gown set off by deep blue sneakers.

The Thunberg Effect

Thun­berg is known for her blunt, matter-of-fact speaking manner, both in public and to po­lit­ical leaders and as­sem­blies, in which she urges im­me­diate ac­tion to ad­dress what she de­scribes as the cli­mate crisis.

In May 2019, Thun­berg was fea­tured on the cover of Time mag­a­zine, which named her a next-generation leader and noted that many see her as a role model Thun­berg and the school strike move­ment were also fea­tured in the doc­u­men­tary Make the World Greta Again. Some media have de­scribed her im­pact on the world stage as the ‘Greta Thun­berg ef­fect.’ ” (Wikipedia)


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Car­toon by Pat Bagley for The The Salt Lake Tri­bune (Sep­tember 20, 2019). Un­for­tu­nately, this is not how it works: These people con­sider sci­ence to be a vari­a­tion on voodoo placed here by Satan to tempt them away from righteousness.

I want you to panic

The con­ver­sa­tion with Klein can be found on The In­ter­cept as “If We Can Save the Banks, Then We Can Save the World.” The focus of the piece is a nine-minute video con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Thun­berg and Klein but in­cludes text by Klein:

“Greta Thun­berg is one of the great truth-tellers of this or any time. Let me re­fresh your mem­o­ries about some of her most iconic lines. To the U.N. cli­mate ne­go­tia­tors in Poland last De­cember, she said: “You are not ma­ture enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.”

To the British MPs who asked her to speak, she asked, “Is my Eng­lish OK? Is the mi­cro­phone on? Be­cause I’m be­gin­ning to wonder.”

To the rich and mighty at Davos who praised her for giving them hope, she replied:

“I don’t want your hope.

I want you to panic.

I want you to feel the fear I feel every day.

I want you to act.

I want you to act as you would in a crisis.

I want you to act as if the house is on fire, be­cause it is.”

She also told them that not everyone is to blame for the cli­mate crisis. No, she looked them in the eye and said that they were to blame. And we will al­ways love her for that.”

To read the com­plete ar­ticle, click HERE.

Time mag­a­zine named teenaged cli­mate change ac­tivist Greta Thun­berg a next-generation leader and noted that many see her as a role model. Click To Tweet

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FEA­TURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of the page is 16-year-old Greta Thun­berg. She is al­ready a for­mi­dable op­po­nent to people sev­eral gen­er­a­tions older than her and should be a force tom reckon with for years to come. Hope­fully, she will take some classes in de­bating in school to hone her skills.



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