“It takes one person to change the world,” said someone a long ago. But it meant nothing more than a phrase to many of us until we saw it happen in front of our eyes. It came into fulfillment in the form of a 16-year-old girl from Sweden called Greta Thunberg. The young school girl who sacrificed her education and frolic to protest for something she believed in.
It all started in August of 2018. Greta skipped school every Friday and staged a “School Strike for Climate” outside the Swedish parliament. Her parents wanted their then 15-year-old to be at school but the young girl had a vision. She was a one-man army calling out her government to take actions to preserve and protect the environment. She encouraged young people like her to join hands to bring about a greater change. Soon, her lonely protests were joined by like-minded people who understood the severity of the problem.
In November 2018, the determined activist organized a two-week protest outside the Swedish parliament asking the government to cut down greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent. By then, Greta’s protest gained International attention. Her solo protest for the dying planet spread across the globe like wildfire. The ninth-grader became the voice of an entire generation with her dauntless opinions and feisty persona.
I find this picture so incredibly moving. This is @GretaThunberg aged 15, sat alone outside the Swedish Parliament Aug 2018 – the first school strike. In just one year, she’s created a wave that will change the whole world. Never underestimate the power of one young person 💜💚
Today, her efforts have inspired the biggest climate strike the world has ever seen. Millions of youngsters across 185 countries took to the streets on 20 September 2019, according to Forbes. They demanded leaders across the world to take urgent actions to combat the crisis. Apart from young protesters, thousands of adults from all walks of life joined the 16-year-old activist in the demonstrations.
Greta, who walked with the protesters in New York addressed the masses along with several climate leaders and said, “This is an emergency. Our house is on fire. We will do everything in our power to stop this crisis from getting worse. Why should we study for a future that is being taken away from us? That is being sold for profit.”
In her powerful speech, the young girl called out world leaders and politicians who make nothing but “empty promises.” “We demand a safe future. Is that really too much to ask?” asked the courageous activist.
The young girl, who sailed from Europe to America on a zero-emissions sailboat to address the UN Climate Action Summit said that it was time for the world leaders in power to show that they too are united for the cause. “They have a chance to prove that they too are united behind the science, they have a chance to take leadership, to prove they actually hear us,” said Greta.
At a time when environmental crises are evident in the form of catastrophic disasters such as floods and the recent Amazon fires, efforts by people like Greta is bringing out a revolution. Following the mass protests, a photo of her initial protest circulated on Twitter. The moving image shared Louise Macdonald, CEO of Scottish youth charity garnered 58.3K retweets. Moreover, it proved to the world that one determined individual can move mountains.