OK Boomer

The Generation to Change the World

The movement of activism for climate change has been around for many years. Activists from all different ages, and walks of life have been focusing on trying to reverse the damage that has been done to the planet before it becomes irreversible. However, recently the name Greta Thunberg has been circulating throughout the media. In a poll taken, 6 out of 10 people knew her name. Of those asked most were up to date in politics, the ones who were immediately knew her name and what she was fighting for.

This is because Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old Swedish climate change activist, has been spearheading the movement for our generation to be those who make that difference, and change the path of the environment for the better. She began this journey at the age of 15, when she put a hold on her educational career to take a stand against the Swedish government. Greta took the time to focus on our planet, rather than regularly attend school.  In August 2018, she stood in front of Riksdag in Stockholm and declared that Sweden needed to make a change in the reduction of carbon emissions. This was to meet the same reduction as the Paris agreement. She stated that: “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.” This created a boom in the news and modern media. Teens and young adults everywhere gained a similar confidence from seeing a young woman like Thunberg put herself on the line to save the planet. Sam Stanton ‘20 stated that, “It is the young people like her who are going to make a difference. If someone doesn’t stand up to the government now, nothing will change.” She has continued to make speeches internationally, which have spread an unspoken understanding between the younger generations.

What has made Thunberg such an inspirational icon for those generations is because of how freely she speaks. She chooses to speak the truth and challenge those who believe that she does not belong to the adults that believe that it is not her place to have a say in how the planet is taken care of. What she has done has ignited a spark in the young people. Zach Healey ‘19 shared that, “Not everyone may agree on what she is advocating for, but the fact is she has created an impact.” This is because of the realization that this is our planet now too. They live here alongside those who make the laws and do the destruction, why should their voices not be heard. In the long run the amount of damage that has happened to our planet is going to still be here when the older generations die out. This leaves a huge mess for the younger generations and the future ones to come to clean up, which isn’t fair to them since they didn’t create the mess. Now that someone has chosen to try and reverse the effects before they are too late, that is a strong person. She is creating a universal voice for a generation that has been told they don’t understand how the world works and she is proving them wrong. 

Of course a courageous young woman would cause a controversy within the government, American and international as well. Sarah Blais ‘20 shared, “As a young female I feel like she is creating a strong and empowering voice for all young women around the world. This is something that women have done before, we have started the change.” This is because of the age demographic that politics is assumed to be associated with. This is against what is considered societal norms. A strong willed, intellectual and driven young woman scares the government because of the questions she raises. She questions the way the government works and pushes the authorities boundaries. There is another way to look at this, one that if everyone did we could realise the positive outcome this could bring. If everyone could reshape the way they see our planet and the way it is being treated, then maybe they would realise that this will affect everyone, not only the future of our planet. Greta Thunberg is just being the voice for what we are all thinking on some level, some greater than others, that if we don’t wake up now, we won’t wake up at all.