Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Greta Shines the Spotlight on Other Climate Activists

Greta Thunberg wants to use her celebrity status to support other young climate activists especially Indigenous people from the global south. Greta first came into public view in August 2018, when she started skipping school on Fridays to protest climate inaction. Soon other students joined her and before long the school strikes had spread around the world. She may have helped to galvanize a global movement, but she is the first to acknowledge that there are many other young climate leaders and she considers it her "moral duty" to promote them. Greta has encouraged the media to shine the spotlight on youth leaders especially those in the places hardest hit by climate change. On January 28th, Greta posted a Tweet that read, "There are countless school strikers and young climate activists around the world. Not just me. They all have names and stories waiting to be told."

Straight talking young people like climate strike organizer Ella Mirman understand the urgency of action and they are committed to making this happen. "We really are running out of time," Ella said. "I think what people don't realize about this movement is it's really not going to back down. Other movements tend to come in waves, but the youth, Generation Z -- we will keep standing up, and we will just become stronger."

At a press conference ahead of COP25 late last year, Greta told reporters they should focus on activists from the developing nations most affected by the climate crisis. "It’s really about them," Greta said, referring to indigenous communities in the global south. "We talk about our future, they talk about their present," Greta then gave the microphone to Filipino climate activist Kisha Erah Muaña, who warned that the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was "about lives and survival."

Fifty Shades of Greta

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