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#1 Greta Thunberg: A Voice for our Future

It all started little more than a year ago with a simple cardboard sign in front of the Swedish parliament building. All by herself, a seemingly shy, 15-year-old girl with long braids confronted her government with a call to action that would spark a movement: “School Strike for Climate.” In the year that followed, the little girl has grown into a global icon and role model for an entire generation, inspiring millions to take to the streets to protest for more sustainable climate policies. There is no doubt that Greta Thunberg dominated this year’s news coverage: a new hope for some, an enemy for others. The OOOM 100 jury voted Greta Thunberg to the top of the ranking of “The World’s Most Inspiring People 2019,” honoring her unrelenting fight for the planet. Thunberg proves to all of us that every person has the power to change the world.

Claudia Huber20. Dezember 2019 No Comments
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Future days. Since early 2019, teenagers around the world have included a new fixture in their weekend agendas: the last day of the school week has been declared a day of international strike. Over months, from France to Australia, from Chile to India, students packed the signs and slogans they prepared and took to the streets to make a global statement for the Earth’s climate. It all started with the solitary action of Greta Thunberg, now 16 years old, who launched a lonely protest outside the walls of the Swedish parliamentary building, demanding more effective measures to counter climate change and to urge political leaders to take action to meet the climate targets to which they have committed. Thunberg warded off criticism and said about her choosing Fridays – regular school days – for her protests: “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future!” Soon she would announce regular protest meetings on social media, coining the hashtag #FridaysForFuture. One of the largest protest movements in history had its name.

Authentic protest. The Swedish teenager’s private protest became a worldwide phenomenon due to the sheer global scale and urgency of the issue. The coal, oil and gas industries’ excessive carbon dioxide emissions have been the focus of massive criticism by environmentalists for years, but little to no action was taken. Greta Thunberg was not the first to raise awareness about these issues, far from it, but she was able to project her authentic anger about the lack of political action onto the global consciousness in a way no scientist could have achieved. Thunberg sees herself as a voice of the segment of the global population which will be hit hardest by impending developments without corrective action: the youth.

greta thunberg ooom magazin

A rap on the knuckles. The generational conflict resulted in considerable emotional charge in the discussion on climate change during the past few months. While the young Swede raised her voice to the crowd in accusation at the climate summit in New York, asking how politicians could dare to destroy her dreams and childhood, the response from those in charge was indignant: “What can this little girl tell us about the world?” A Swedish pupil takes on old, White puppet masters – during the climate summits taking place this year, Thunberg personified the unheard, angry public. Everyone talks about securing a good future for coming generations, everyone buys into the notion of making the world a better place, but 16-year-old Thunberg asks bluntly: “How are we going to do that?”

20. Dezember 2019