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Greta Thunberg : The Next Generation Youth Icon

September 23, 2019. The day of the United Nations Climate Action Summit, New York. The stage was all set amidst of which Greta Thunberg held the mike and uttered the most powerful words ever heard. Her one question and her challenge to the leaders of today has forced the world to contemplate on their decisions and actions. One of the strongest sentence in her entire speech was, “We are at the start of mass extinction and all you are doing is to discuss capital and economic growth! How dare you?”  I have to say, let us take a moment and introspect within ourselves. Am I the Greta Thunberg or me am, on the other hand, not Greta Thunberg and hence can’t relate with her words, her feelings, and her vision.

Image result for Greta Thunberg at the United Nations Climate Action Summit

Greta Thunberg is a woman of her words. She travelled to America in a solar power-driven boat and didn’t opt for an air journey as aeroplanes consume a large amount of fuel and cause pollution in the environment. And she, being a true environmentalist, wouldn’t have let that happen! She is one of those who have significantly voiced against climate change. She came into observation when she started protesting in front of the Sweden Parliament with a banner in her hands with a strong determination of continuing the protest until the Parliament of Sweden took relevant steps against water and air pollution in the country. The banner read- “School strike for climate“. Her picture became an icon, thereafter.

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Who is Greta Thunberg! She is the daughter of an International Opera singer Malena Ernman and Svante Thunberg. As per the sources, she was eight years old when she first came across the term Climate Change and a huge realization struck her mind.

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She wondered if this was such a serious issue, why isn’t anyone doing anything about it! She followed the famous proverb -“Charity begins at home” and she wanted to be the change she wanted to see in the world and hence started the process from her home. She encouraged her parents and made changes in their lifestyles. Small examples including abjure of meat and abandonment of air journeys. Her parents also cooperated and in that process, her mother’s career was restricted. She couldn’t travel abroad for her performances and hence quit that idea itself. Greta was true, great! She missed her school for several days to protest in front of the Parliament of Sweden with a demand for dogging the ideology and principles of the Paris Agreement.

Friday, was her day devoted to the brighter future! Seeing her, the students of her school also accompanied her for the protest every Friday by missing their classes and slowly this one-woman protest turned into a mass movement. Greta was being recognized globally by now. Students of her age were motivated and they also started participating in rallies on Fridays with a demand for sustainable development and action against climate change. This was also called the GRETA THUNBERG EFFECT!

The shocking part is yet to know! Greta has the “Asperger syndrome”- A developmental disorder affecting the ability to effectively socialize and communicate. A person having the disorder is not confident about interacting with the public and can only think and act in one specific aspect of life and has, either no interest or no thought in other aspects simultaneously. But look at the optimism this supergirl possesses. Great considers her syndrome as her superpower, her special ability and also requests others to not consider it as her weakness. She also has the problem of “Selective Mutism“, a condition in which the victim is sometimes unable to speak or express his/her thoughts. Highlighting her elation, she says that this shortcoming defines a beautiful attribute about me. I speak only when situations demand her expression, signifying the importance of her speech!😉

  Greta as the youth iconImage result for Greta as the youth icon

Why is it so important to talk about Climate change or global warming…

Well, the truth is that the talks have been continuing for a long time. Several sectors including industries, automobile sector, travel etc contribute to high carbon emission which has been increasing the temperature of the earth. Paris Agreement was signed in this regard in 2016 and the participating nations took the pledge to reduce carbon emissions in their individual countries so that the overall temperature of the planet can be reduced to minimize climate change. Melting glaciers, polluting rivers and oceans, extinction of species and degrading the quality of air are some of the major consequences of climate change that are in a highlight and are burning issues across the globe.

Greta has been voicing her opinions time and again in various International conferences and summits. She was also on the cover of the renowned magazine “TIME” and was titled as the “Leader of the Future generation”. The young environmental activist addressed the UN Climate Action and gave an impassioned speech which is going viral and making all of us to self introspect! Her speech dwarfs attention towards the alarming rates of global warming and other environmental issues that the world is facing along with figures specifying the damage done and still happening loaded with specific terminology like chain reactions! Wow, that was one strong speech indeed!
She questioned the inaction of the world leader and said that the politics and solutions required aren’t visible anywhere.
She challenged the world leader saying that they won’t be pardoned if the future generations have to face crisis and challenges because that will depict their inability to analyze the problem and change the current situation!

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It is high time that we, the youth of the present world and the leader of tomorrow realize our roles in the betterment of both the present and the future. We need to understand the ideology of Greta and work with the best of our abilities towards making the world a better place to live!

The satisfying fact, a good news is that Greta isn’t alone!

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