By Sarah Gill
The name Greta Thunberg is one known by many. This 16–year–old Swedish activist will be remembered among the greatest names of all time, appearing alongside the likes of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and Gloria Steinem in the history books of the future. Each of these names have fought, or are continuing to fight, in ongoing battles towards the greater good.
Having caught the glimpse of the public eye back in August 2018 through her climate strikes outside the Swedish Parliament, Greta Thunberg has single handedly started a revolution. A year later, Thunberg’s movement has given rise to what is rapidly becoming known as ‘the Greta effect’; inspiring vast amounts of school kids, adults and politicians to take notice and adjust their views on climate change.
She’s known for her straight-talking attitude and unyielding bravery in the face of some of the most powerful members of society – we’ve all seen the Trump / Greta meme by now! Having recently caught up with like-minded actor Leonardo DiCaprio to discuss “commitment to support one another, in hopes of securing a brighter future for our planet”, DiCaprio championed Thunberg as a “leader of our time”, which is an incredibly apt description of this young woman.
In an illustration of her unwavering dedication to the cause, Greta Thunberg recently politely declined the Nordic Council’s Environmental Prize for 2019, an environmental award to the value of roughly $50,000. Via Sofia and Isabella Axelsson, the activist stated that the movement “does not need any more prizes”, and that “what we need is for our rulers and politicians to listen to the research”. Ever the humanitarian, upon winning the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, Thunberg stated, “It is not me who is the winner. I am part of a global movement of school children, youth and adults of all ages who have decided to act in defence of our living planet.”
While we’ve all more than likely heard Fatboy Slim’s remix of Greta’s emblematic UN speech by now, the teen activist’s voice will be gracing our eardrums in a new collaboration with The 1975. Opening the BRIT award-winning band’s forthcoming album Notes on a Conditional Form, this marks the first time The 1975 have teamed up with another person on a track. In Greta’s four-minute monologue, she states that, “We are, right now, in the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis and we need to call it what it is: an emergency.” All proceeds made from this track will go towards Extinction Rebellion.
The voice of a generation and a beacon of hope for our society, Greta Thunberg is a tireless force to be reckoned with. However, one sixteen-year-old girl can’t do this alone. We must all come together to work towards the common goal of a better tomorrow and a brighter future, because – as the protest signs say – ‘there is no planet B’.