The Thunberg Effect

An Emotional Testament, But Not World-Changing

Iggy Crow, Business Manager, Editor, Writer

The general knowledge and theories on climate change are something that most of our younger generations seem to empathize with and believe in, more-so than any other older generation thus far. There have been organized ‘climate strikes’ around the globe with thousands of kids, teenagers, and even young adults all trying to speak out on the matter of climate change, global warming, and other related issues. It has become abundantly clear that our generation wants to change things and seek a difference in how the world will tackle this crisis. Such is this overwhelming belief shown that teenagers rise to the challenge and make protests, walk-outs, and other strikes to combat our natural world order in order to change our future. With that, one particular teenage girl has risen to the forefront with her emotional testaments on our environment; Greta Thunberg.

Perhaps like many of the people reading this newspaper, Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old student with strong thoughts and emotions on the topic of climate change. Born in Sweden, she is now an environmental activist that campaigns across the globe with international recognition on her speeches and words. She’s been heralded as a next-generation leader and stated as a role model, having addressed entire cities and assemblies, as well as speaking personally to the entire United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2018. She started this activist campaign like many students may have: school strikes, walk-outs, protests, and the like, specifically under the name ‘Fridays for Future,’ an announcement on the status of the next-generations future, given the impact of climate change. Since then, Greta has given approximately thirteen public speeches on her stance in climate change, and has been given dozens of awards and accolades to her progress, including the Keys to the City of Montreal, Canada.

Despite all of this, the question is raised as to what real effect these young activists and testaments will have. The speeches and strikes have been truly inspiring, and globally recognized, yet so far nothing even remotely world-changing has occurred, and none of the recognition or awards given have come close to solving the climate change crisis. While it’s nice to parade around and deliver speeches, be given recognition and accolades, where is the real change occurring? There are school climate strikes, protests, and lawsuits filed against the governments across the globe for not handling this issue, and yet we as people haven’t seen much difference in how our life is. We still consume, still leave our large carbon footprints, still pollute the world. Greta Thunberg has delivered over a dozen emotional, blunt speeches on how the world needs to change and how our global leaders must make a difference. These are accepted, and yet nothing is being done about it. To that, we must consider what any of our strikes, cries or protests will accomplish.

The world needs change, and we have yet to see it. With that, Greta Thunberg’s emotional testaments are nice, but have no real effect.