There’s going to be a climate change summit at the United Nations this September, and there’s going to be a special attendee.
Greta Thunberg, the teenage eco-activist wunderkind who lead an international school strike to protest climate change and whose tale of serious natural catastrophes in her native Sweden filled her with anxiety and depression, is planning to attend the U.N. conference and Santiago, Chile, in December.
Even better, she’s traveling to the United States by boat. It’s part of her commitment to the environment that she wants to show the impact plane travel has on the environment.
"Taking a boat to North America is basically impossible. I have had countless people helping me, trying to contact different boats."
Great rose to fame thanks to her "Fridays for Future" efforts. She stopped eating meat, stopped flying, and stopped buying new things, and she would spend every Friday skipping school to stand outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm. It’s become a weekly event that extends around the world with thousands of people. Thunberg describes the idea behind the strike as telling adults that she shouldn’t bother going to school and learning because politicians ignore scientists and work against any kind of future the kids could possibly have.
Thunberg says she doesn’t expect to meet with President Donald Trump while she’s in America, noting that he’s actively hindered conservation efforts and that meeting him would be “a waste of time.”
"As it looks now, I don't think so, because I have nothing to say to him," she told the AP. "He obviously doesn't listen to the science and the scientists. So why should I, a child with no proper education, be able to convince him?"
From the ABC article:
Although little-known in the United States, Thunberg has arguably become the figurehead for a new generation of European eco-activists worried that they'll suffer the fallout from their parents' and grandparents' unwillingness to take strong actions to combat climate change.
"This past year, my life has turned upside down," Thunberg told the AP. "Every day is an adventure, basically. Sometimes I have to pinch myself and say 'Is this really real? Has this actually been happening?' Because it has all happened so fast and it's hard to keep up with everything.
"In a way, I am more optimistic, because people are slowly waking up and people are becoming more aware of the situation. This whole 'Fridays for Future' movement is very hopeful," she said. "But also ... one year has passed and still almost nothing has happened."
Thunberg has spearheaded a change in the climate debate in Europe largely because her activism resonated with so many children, said Greenpeace Germany executive director Martin Kaiser.
"She has read all the science," he said. "That gives her a lot of credibility. She has motivated a whole generation in Europe to learn about climate change."