Greta Thunberg’s Desperate Call for Climate Action

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg gives a speech during the opening ceremony of the R20 Regions of Climate Action Austrian World Summit in Vienna, Austria, on May 28, 2019. (Photo by GEORG HOCHMUTH / APA / AFP) / Austria OUT        (Photo credit should read GEORG HOCHMUTH/AFP/Getty Images)

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Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg gives a speech during the opening ceremony of the R20 Regions of Climate Action Austrian World Summit in Vienna, Austria, on May 28, 2019. (Photo by GEORG HOCHMUTH / APA / AFP) / Austria OUT (Photo credit should read GEORG HOCHMUTH/AFP/Getty Images)

Amelia Valente, Staff Writer

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“You must unite behind the science. You must take action. You must do the impossible. Because giving up can never be an option…You’re failing us, but the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say, we will never forgive you…

These powerful words spoken by sixteen-year-old climate change activist, Greta Thunberg, was directed at the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C. this past September. Greta is an environmental activist from Sweden who has gained international recognition for her compelling statements at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference. The goal of this conference is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit the global temperature increase caused by human activities.

At the conference, Greta demanded that drastic action be taken by world leaders to help stop the inevitable and catastrophic effects of climate change. She urges people in positions of power to recognize the science instead of being influenced by the potential for economic growth at the expense of an inhabitable planet. The negative effects of climate change represent a growing crisis in our world today and one that some lawmakers willingly minimize and overlook when considering what laws and policies to implement.

Greta Thunberg first made her stance as an environmental advocate known when she held a lone protest outside of Swedish Parliament, stating that she would refuse to attend school on Fridays until the government acknowledged the growing climate crisis. Over the course of a year, that lone protest grew into a worldwide movement. Millions of people in 185 countries around the world joined Greta in her mission. Now that people around the world have rallied around her message, it is up to world leaders and people in positions of power to affect the change that Greta is advocating for.

One of the reasons why Greta’s story resonates with so many people is because she is a young child who is doing everything she can to hold the adults in power accountable for their decisions that negatively affect the health of the planet. Greta inspires people of all ages but particularly the younger generation, and is a prime example of how our voices can be heard if we speak up and advocate fiercely for the issues for which our generation has the most at stake. In regards to this climate crisis, young people have the most to lose because the ability of human survival in the future literally depends on the action we take today.

Despite being the target of cyberbullying, conspiracies, and harassment from adults online, Greta continues to passionately support and encourage our current political figures and world leaders to first acknowledge this growing crisis, and then implement change by taking steps to reverse the effects of climate change that will ultimately save lives in future generations.