*This is part of a summer blog series written by an anonymous member of our alumni community. The opinions expressed here are independent of GREEN Program and do not necessarily represent the views of our organization.*
Big Greta Energy.
I am not sure if you have heard the glory that is Greta Thunberg. She is a saint. An activist. A 16 year old. Someone who is — wait what — 16 years old? Yeah, you read that right. Let me just say, if we don’t end up baking ourselves into this Earth it will be in part to Miss Thunberg.
A little about this 16 year old activist:
Greta has spoken at numerous rallies, encouraged and inspired protests, had an excellent TedTalk. (Really makes you feel like you really haven’t done anything for society, huh? Lol same. ((wrong BTW!! We all don’t need to be on the frontlines! A good friend once said to me, “just try and do one thing better every day to do your part”. Yes, it was Melissa Lee & no that wasn’t pandering to them because I write this blog.
So how incredible is this little lady? Well let’s start with her story.. Flashback 5 years and Greta became sick, stopped eating, lost 10 Kilos (22 lbs for my US readers), stopped talking, and was diagnosed with Aspergers, OCD, and selective mutism. AKA, she would only speak when she believed it was absolutely necessary. The deck was incredibly stacked against her, but she persevered. I truly want you all to watch her TedTalk, it was the easiest 11 minutes I ever gave up to someone else. She talks about the message of ‘Hope’ these political activists give in their speeches and rallies and why, quite frankly, it is bullshit. Life ain’t all sunshine and rainbows and Greta understands that. She says, “the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all of the facts and solutions. All we have to do is wake up and change”.
Bing. Bang. Boom. There it is folks. It took a 16 year old for it to truly sink in. We have all of the solutions to climate change, but are we just going to keep those in our back pocket while we habitualize our daily routines just as they were 20 years ago? Or are we going to adapt for a better future?
Actions > Words
It was the dawn of the 2018 Sweden General Election, and Greta (like many of us) was fed up with the current status of this climate crisis. She needed something to be done; therefore she decided to sit outside of her school with a sign that read ‘SKOLSTREJK FOR KLIMATET’ (School Strike for the Climate)
A rally cry that would soon be heard across the globe. She vowed to continue these strikes every single Friday until action was taken in Sweden and the country aligned with the Paris Agreement. Her catchy little slogan, FridaysForFuture, caught on like wildfire and students across the globe began striking for action to be taken.
March 15th, 2019: 1.3 Million people.
100 countries. 1,700 towns. One day. One girl.
Moral of the story
Millions of students found their voices alongside Greta Thunberg on March 15th. Kids, children, the ones that have always been told ‘little children are supposed to be seen and not heard’. Well, reality check.. According to the ~adults~ we are the generation that just gets to inherit climate change some time in the future. Incorrect. We aren’t just going to sit around and wait to change the world once we are ~old~ enough. Over 1.3 million students struck on March 15th across the globe. Britain, Australia, US, Japan, Norway, Sweden, name the country and there was probably a strike. Gone are the days the youth doesn’t hold power or influence. ~Adults~ have failed to address climate change and cut back emissions. For too long have we been held voiceless. We now have a voice, and a loud one at that, thanks to Greta.
Morale of the story: Don’t wait to jump on board someone else’s ship, that ship may never come. Be your own motivator and change your life, for in the process you may start to change a whole lot of others lives too.
On that note: take a look at this one individual close to The GREEN Program who helping students go on their trip. He is starting a scholarship fund for applicants who are true to themselves and inspire other to do great things. Check out CJ Casey’s My Way scholarship here. It is little things like this we can all do to change the world in our own way.