Greta Thunberg sat down outside the Swedish Parliament. Every school day, from 20 August 2018 to the Swedish General Election on 9 September, she was there with her sign saying, “School strike for the climate”. A then 15-year-old striking school in order to draw attention to the climate crisis, she carried a lunch box and her schoolbooks in her purple rucksack, so as not to fall behind in her education. She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, lauded, harassed and criticized. Now, 16-year-old Greta is so overwhelmingly in demand, she is forced to decline interviews. But her voice nevertheless gets heard.
“Of course, my parents want me to be in school, but they also understand how important this is for me,” she told the Stockholm Direkt newspaper, along with the story of how she first heard about the climate crisis when she was in her first year of school. The teacher talked about Earth Hour, about turning off lights in order to focus attention on global warming. Greta couldn’t understand: if people were able to save the climate, then surely everything should be about just that?
When she was 12, she read an article about emissions from aircraft and became even more committed. For her it became a moral duty to do what she could. Drastic action is needed, she realized, decisionmakers must move, business must be pushed to switch to alternatives that can save the climate.
Greta’s action received growing att