Time magazine has named Greta Thunberg, a Swedish environmental activist whose campaigning about climate change has gained international recognition, as its Person of the Year. Thunberg is known for her straightforward speaking manner as she urges immediate action to address the climate crisis.
Thunberg first became known for her activism in August 2018 when, at age 15, she began spending her school days outside the Swedish parliament to call for stronger action on global warming. She held up a sign saying “Skolstrejk för klimatet” or “School strike for the climate”. Other students engaged in similar protests in their own communities. Together, they organized a school climate strike under the name “Fridays for Future.” After Thunberg addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change conference, student strikes took place every week somewhere in the world.
Thunberg inspired four million people to join the global climate strike on September 20, 2019, in what was the largest climate demonstration in history. Canadian author Margaret Atwood compares her to Joan of Arc. Thunberg has called on Canada to block any new oil and gas projects and move quickly to phase out existing production, saying that to do so would blaze a trail that other countries reliant on fossil fuel industries could follow.
“We can’t just continue living as if there was no tomorrow, because there is a tomorrow,” Thunberg said to Time Magazine. “That is all we are saying.”
Thunberg’s Asperger diagnosis was made public by her mother in May 2015, in order to help other families in similar situations. While acknowledging that her diagnosis has been limiting at times, Thunberg has said that she does not view her Asperger’s as an illness and has instead called it her “superpower.”
To read the complete article in Time, click here.