2.Turning 200 Plastic Bags Into a Bluetooth Speaker
3.Shredding on the Spectrum: Skateboarding as Therapy
4.Why Japan’s Businesspeople Stopped Wearing Suits and Ties
5.The Tiny Fox Making a Bold Comeback
6.Saving India’s Most Sacred River
7.Meet the Teenagers Striking With Greta Thunberg for Climate Justice
8.Recording the Sounds of Extinction
9.Hippie Hogs: Making Solar Bikes Sexy
10.A Disappearing Lemur Fights For Home
11.The Tough-Skinned Tamandua Is Hard As Nails
12.The Ring-Tailed Lemur Fights Off Deforestation
13.Moving To Higher Ground
14.Removing the Ghosts of Hurricane Maria from Puerto Rico’s Sea
15.Actor With Autism Takes Center Stage
16.Protecting Endangered Vegetables
17.Unlocking Exceptional Minds: Animating with Autism
18.The Sustainable Homes of Bogotá
19.The Family That Stacks Together
20.Riding the Dunes in Dubai’s Electric Dirt Bikes
21.The Keeper of the Ghost Trees
22.An Ancient Practice with Peru’s Last Medicine Men
23.The Future of Farming Is Underwater
24.For the Birds, By the People: The Artist Building Human-Sized Nests
25.Finding Freedom in the Swamp
For hundreds of thousands of young people, Greta Thunberg is an icon. At only 16, she’s proving you don’t have to be an adult to make a world of a difference. Today, the Nobel Peace Prize nominee is among the most influential voices speaking out about Earth’s dire climate crisis.
The teen first learned about the devastating, lasting impact of climate change when she was just 11 years old. Dismayed by adults’ unwillingness to respond, she decided to take action herself. She began by making small changes in her own life—cutting meat and dairy from her diet and convincing her parents to also live more sustainably.
Frustrated by the lack of attention from policymakers, Greta held a strike in August 2018, missing class to sit in protest in front of the Swedish Parliament with a sign that read “Skolstrejk för Klimatet” (“School Strike for the Climate”). She vowed to hold strikes every Friday until Sweden was in alignment with the Paris Agreement.
People in Sweden (and now, the world over) began to take notice of Greta’s stance. After a viral TED Talk where she explained her call to action, others began to join in her protests. Today, #FridaysforFuture has grown to be a global phenomenon, with hundreds of thousands of young people from over 125 countries standing alongside Greta.
In addition to her Nobel Peace Prize nomination, Greta’s actions have earned her speaking engagements at the World Economic Forum and COP24—but most importantly, they’ve ignited a new generation to create change and stand up for the future.
Greta says she owes her dogged determination in part to being on the spectrum: “I think if I wouldn’t have had Asperger’s I don’t think I would have started the school strike, I don’t think I would’ve cared about the climate at all… That allowed me to focus on one thing for a very long time.”
Her #FridaysforFuture protest on March 15, 2019 drew 1.6 million strikers, from 2,000 locations, across all seven continents. She wants world leaders to know that change is coming, whether they like it or not.
This is the fourth story in our series, “The Brave,” all about the incredible people protecting our Great Big Planet.
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