Self Help

No One is Too Small to Make a Difference - Greta Thunberg

Author Photo

Matheus Puppe

· 5 min read



Here is a summary of Greta Thunberg:

  • Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist known for initiating the Fridays For Future school strike movement in August 2018. She protests outside the Swedish parliament about climate inaction.

  • She believes we have a short time left, potentially only 1-2 years, to reverse carbon emissions growth based on scientific warnings. She strives to raise awareness of this crisis and urgency.

  • Thunberg sees issues as black and white - either we address climate change or our civilization won’t survive. She criticizes lack of media coverage and treating it as a true crisis requiring emergency action.

  • Though just a teenager, she understands the implications of inaction for her entire lifetime and future generations. She refuses to attend school as usual while no real action is taken.

  • Her protests and speeches have attracted worldwide attention and inspired millions of youth to strike for climate action. She has addressed the UN and World Economic Forum.

  • Thunberg’s message emphasizes listening to science, the Paris Agreement goals, climate justice, system change, and rebelling against inaction through civil disobedience. She strives to hold leaders accountable to the urgency of the climate crisis.

  • Greta Thunberg responded to rumors and hate by explaining the background to her school strikes for climate action.

  • In 2018 she wrote an article about the environment that was published. Activists then contacted her about ideas to raise climate awareness.

  • One idea was a school strike inspired by Parkland students who refused school after shootings. Greta developed this idea alone as others preferred organizing a march.

  • Her parents did not support the school strike idea and said she would have to do it alone without their support.

  • On August 20th 2018, Greta sat alone outside Swedish Parliament handing out fliers explaining her strike and the climate crisis facts to raise awareness.

  • Greta Thunberg and several other youth climate activists from Belgium, including Anuna, Adélaïde, Kyra, Gilles, Dries, and Toon spoke at the European Economic and Social Committee.

  • Tens of thousands of students have been striking for climate action in Brussels and hundreds of thousands globally. Greta said they are doing this because they have done their homework on the science and the urgency of the climate crisis.

  • Greta criticized politicians for not listening to the science and the youth activists. She said politicians want to talk about anything but the climate crisis.

  • Greta argued they need a fundamental change in politics, economics, and way of thinking to prioritize staying within planetary boundaries and climate targets.

  • According to the IPCC, emissions need to be cut by 50% by 2030 to avoid over 1.5C of warming. Greta said the new proposed EU 2030 target of 45% below 1990 levels is still not enough to keep warming below 1.5C.

  • Children today are growing up facing an uncertain future due to climate change. If strong action is not taken to reduce emissions, the impacts of warming past 2C will be catastrophic.

  • Young people like Greta Thunberg are striking from school and protesting because past generations have failed to address the climate crisis, jeopardizing their future. Urgent action is needed now.

  • The climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement are not ambitious enough. An 80% reduction in emissions by 2030 is needed to stay within a 1.5-2C warming limit, not the current pledges and commitments.

  • Young activists are fighting to protect all of our futures, not just their own. But many dismiss their message and say they should be in school instead of protesting.

  • Hoping things will turn out okay without action is not a plan and is the opposite of hope. Real hope requires serious efforts to tackle the problem.

  • If the political will existed during a crisis like Notre Dame burning, it should exist for the climate crisis which threatens global civilization. But climate change is still not treated with the urgency it demands.

  • Scientific evidence shows the climate problem must be solved in the next 10-12 years to avoid irreversible, catastrophic impacts. But society and leaders are not acting accordingly to this reality.

  • The speaker is a Swedish teenager named Greta Thunberg who is advocating for climate action.

  • She is speaking at an Extinction Rebellion rally in London to call for urgent climate policies and demand that politicians listen to science and the voices of youth.

  • Thunberg notes the existential crisis posed by climate change and ecological breakdown, which have been ignored for decades despite warnings from scientists.

  • She criticizes adults for not taking enough concrete action to address the crisis and transition away from fossil fuels, putting her generation’s future in jeopardy.

  • Thunberg cites scientific projections that catastrophic climate impacts can be avoided only if global CO2 emissions are cut by over 50% in the next 10-12 years through unprecedented societal changes.

  • She calls out the UK specifically for its misleading carbon accounting and for still supporting new fossil fuel projects, saying this will be remembered as a historic failure.

  • In strong language, Thunberg urges listening to climate science and following the emission reduction pathway it indicates, not just “lowering” emissions, in order to protect humanity’s future.

  • The speaker argues that the only metric we should focus on is the rising curve of global emissions and their impact on climate change. Every decision we make should be evaluated based on how it affects emissions.

  • The climate crisis is both the easiest and hardest problem we’ve faced. It’s easy because we know we must stop emitting greenhouse gases, but it’s hard because our economy depends on fossil fuels and promoting endless growth.

  • When asked for solutions, the speaker says we need to transition to a circular economy, restore nature, and stop using fossil fuels, but we don’t have all the answers yet. We must start treating it like a crisis and act urgently even without full solutions.

  • Children are protesting to wake adults up to this crisis and demand action. They want their futures and hopes back. The speaker hopes their message is being heard and that meaningful conversation about solutions can begin.

Author Photo

About Matheus Puppe