Greta Thunberg and the Youth Climate Strike are Taking the World by Storm



16-year-old Swedish Climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks at the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 23, 2019.

Isa Chavez, Social Media Manager

Isa Chavez

Social Media Manager 

Greta Thunberg and youth around the world took part in a world climate strike on Friday, Sept. 20. The New York Times estimates that over two thousand cities and up to four million people participated in the strike globally. The purpose of the climate strike was to encourage legislators to act on the increasing threat of climate change.

Thunberg, a 16 year-old from Sweden, started an individual climate strike in 2018. According to Vox, Thunberg first gained traction using Twitter and Instagram to showcase her “School Strike for Climate” in front of the Swedish Parliament. Now, with over 2.7 million followers on twitter alone, Thunberg has spoken at countless conferences globally–now in front of the United Nations.

“I think it was long overdue. We can propose legislation, try to use less energy, or even pick up trash so it won’t go into the ocean, but it needs to be a lot more than one person. I think the strike got more people interested.” senior AP environmental science student Helen North said.

The World Climate Strike was sparked by recent reports that humans only have until 2050 to reverse the effects of climate change. Thunberg inspired millions of others to participate by sailing across the Atlantic Ocean for the climate strike, sailing to avoid excess carbon released from planes.

“I think it’s a very important topic. Humans can only do so much, big corporations need to stop polluting our Earth and dumping into our oceans. I think the World Climate Strike was a huge call to action.” AP environmental science teacher Bryce Rasmussen said.

Green Peace, an environmental website, tracked the largest polluters of our oceans in 2018. Their reports say that the largest polluters included Shell, Pepsi Co., and Coca Cola. These brands, according to the report, dump excess chemicals and plastics in the ocean as a way of disposal.

“I seriously could not believe it,” senior Logan Rodewald said. “I now have hope that something will be done about this huge environmental problem. Something should have been done a long time ago.”

The World Climate Strike continues every Friday, with countries from around the world including Sweden, Norway, and Canada, seeing their students leave their classrooms to protest in the streets.

“I think the strike is amazing. I think Greta is amazing. I hope that our politicians will act now, especially since the younger constituents have finally been given a voice,” Earth club leader Megan Craft said.

Thunberg continues to travel the world in order to participate in Climate Strikes. According to her Twitter, Thunberg is heading to Alberta, Canada, next to participate in a ‘#fridaysforfuture’ strike. She continues to travel in environmentally friendly ways, including trains and sailing to avoid leaving a carbon footprint.

“I am really excited about [Thunberg]. She has really changed the argument to become more open and well known,” junior and Earth club leader Ajalon Peterson said.

Thunberg said she plans to head further into the Northern Canada area after she visits Alberta. On her twitter, @GretaThunberg, she keeps updates of all of her travels and strikes.