Following Thunberg’s lead


Elizabeth Franklin

Elizabeth Franklin, Editor

Climate change has been a widely debated topic for years, and as the issue intensifies due to growing wildfires and melting glaciers, many are speaking out in hopes of inspiring others to change their ways. 

One of the biggest faces of the climate change topic has been a 16-year-old girl from Sweden: Greta Thunberg. She has amassed a following of 8.2 million people on Instagram, and is using her platform to inspire young women to become “eco-warriors” and take action for the environment. 

In Aug. 2018, Thunberg founded Fridays for Future, a school strike aimed at climate change mitigation. One message behind the strikes that can be found on the organization’s website is that some students think, “why study for a future that may not be there?” These strikes are non-violent, peaceful protests intended to gain support and attract attention from political leaders with the hopes of creating legislation for the cause. 

Thunberg has also met with political leaders about the issue, as well as speaking at the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York City, where she called out past generations for the destruction they’ve caused to the environment. She criticized their refusal to step up and take action and for coming to young people for hope when they destroyed the environment in the first place. 

This powerful young girl has gained supporters worldwide, and even Prince Harry spoke about Thunberg and her immense dedication to saving the world. During a speech at the OnSide awards, he expressed his admiration for how “she had a belief, a mission, and a desire… (and now) the whole world is paying attention.”

This has never been more true. More attention has been brought to the climate crisis in the past decade than ever before, mostly due to the rising intensity of the situation. While Thunberg is pushing for big, political changes to help save the environment, there are hundreds of little ways that anyone can help out. Many people don’t believe that making small changes will have an effect, but that couldn’t be further from the truth: Recycling and taking public transportation are two simple ways that you can make a difference in the world around you. 

Thunberg has set her mind on making a difference, and she’s putting in the work to make it happen. She’s inspiring not only young girls, but also all kinds of people worldwide to fight for a change to save our planet.