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Hey kind krafters!
Over the last few months I have been watching an extremely powerful young female create change globally. I have slowly been learning more and more about her and I’m sure that many of you have seen her online or in the news. She is so influential to younger advocates as well as older populations as we all have so much to take from the knowledge she shares with us. Her name is Greta Thunberg.
Greta was born in 2003 in Sweden and has lived there her whole life. She comes from a family of artists which I found particularly interesting! Her mother is an opera singer and her father is an actor. In 2018, when Greta was just about to start grade nine, she decided that she was going to stop attending school until the Swedish government promised to reduce carbon emissions as they had announced by signing the Paris Agreement. Under the Paris Agreement, each country must figure out how they will contribute in reducing their contribution to global warming and give regular reports on their progress. The long-term goal of the agreement is to keep the increase of the global average temperature below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Greta’s idea to strike for climate came to her after she heard of the teen activists at Parkland School who did the March For Our Lives – she saw other youths trying to create change and so she decided to also. During the first part of her strike she would sit outside Sweden’s national legislature with a sign until the general elections commenced. After the elctions, she chose to only strike on Fridays but her story has travelled far and wide. By December 2018, over twenty-thousand students held strikes in over 250 cities. These cities include both Wolfville and Halifax.
In November, Greta did a TEDxStockholm talk where she discussed her story and what she is trying to do through her strike and other climate activism. Here is the link to her talk –
At the very beginning of her video, she mentions that she first heard of global warming at the age of eight. Personally, I can’t even think of the first time I heard about greenhouse-gasses, my carbon footprint, and ways that I could reduce my impact on the planet. While I was a child, being taught how to recycle seemed like another thing that I had to learn similar to my times tables. It seems so crazy to me, that we teach all of these rules about how long to shower for, how long to brush your teeth for, how to compost, how walking is better than driving, etc. but it was never done with any urgency. But now that the time has pretty much run out, people are still treating these rules with the same lack of panic.
In December 2019, Greta addressed United Nations at their climate change summit about her school strike. She spoke honestly and has been described as being ‘the only adult in the room’. Many people were upset with how a youth had to speak up and stop fully attending school because of the lack of changes being made by the adults in authority and positions of power that would allow for these large changes to be made. A quote that hit me while watching her speech goes as follows, “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes”.
There is so much to learn from Greta and there is so much change that we all need to make as global citizens. If you are interested in finding new ways to better the environment, please look at my previous blog posts
Also, please feel free to share more tips/facts/comments/questions about how we can all take the necessary steps to protect our planet!
Lots of love,