Could you imagine defending the wellbeing of the earth as a 16-year-old? That’s exactly what this young pioneer for climate change is doing. Recently, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg already celebrated for her incredible environmental advocacy, decided to set sail from England to New York for a climate change conference… on a 13-day trip… on a solar-powered yacht. Why? To avoid the damaging carbon emissions that result from air travel. The teen’s mighty mission has drawn some controversy from skeptics of climate change, yet the young activist is as eager as ever to do her part to ensure that the world is taken care of.
Greta Thunberg: Die-hard climate change activist
Despite being only 16 years old, Greta Thunberg knows a thing or two about owning her youthful advocacy. Her young age hasn’t prevented her from finding ways to be kind to the earth, as well as encouraging others to consider the ways that they’re impacting the globe. Thunberg knows she’s not a scientist (yet), but she views herself as a vessel for scientific knowledge meant to raise awareness about long-term environmental issues.
Day 4. Pos 46° 20‘ N 015° 46‘ W
Eating and sleeping well and no sea sickness so far. Life on Malizia II is like camping on a roller coaster! pic.twitter.com/pf1PnqYCov
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) August 17, 2019
Thunberg is particularly passionate about climate change, and her current boating mission isn’t the first time that the young activist has made waves in the world of environmental politics. When she was only 15 years old, she designed an environmentally-friendly school strike, camping outside of the Swedish parliament building during school hours to encourage swift action in dealing with climate change. The adults in her life didn’t condone the protest, yet she held her position for a stunning three weeks, willing to offer information and encouragement to anyone who walked by. Her intense demonstration was eventually publicized and, once online, her efforts touched people across the globe. Ever since her plea for change went viral, Thunberg has been the teen face for advocacy surrounding climate change.
Putting science into motion
As her influence spread across the globe, Thunberg began to prepare to dive into her role as a full-time activist. She decided to take time off school to pour her entire life into her activism, attending events about climate change, universities, educational conferences, political assemblies, scientific hubs, and more locations to spread her message. When attending these events, Thunberg has often utilized modes of transportation that reduce CO2 emissions, such as traveling by train despite the extended length it adds to her travel time.
Still, Thunberg has made far more incredible sacrifices than giving up convenience to share the devastation that lies ahead if climate change is ignored. “We live in a strange world where children must sacrifice their own education in order to protest against the destruction of their future,” she shared. Due to her vocalness, Thunberg has been criticized by a number of climate-change deniers who believe she has a skewed view of the environment’s reality due to her age. However, many people have come to her defense, saying that she demonstrates a fearlessness that merely intimidates those who suffer from ignorance. Through it all, Thunberg has kept her head up, still motivated to extend her climate change activism worldwide despite any nonbelievers. And she certainly practices what she preaches. With a goal to attend climate change conference in the United States in September of 2019, Thunberg decided to sail across the Atlantic Ocean all the way from England to New York…in a yacht that left no carbon footprint.
Her most recent major mission
On August 14, 2019, Thunberg set sail from Plymouth on a first-of-its-kind no-carbon yacht called Malizia 2 with her dad, another experienced boater, and two other passengers. The 6-foot long solar-powered ship featured technology aboard that measured carbon emissions. Along the way, she got to observe the beauty of the ocean, interact with marine animals like dolphins, and traverse through smooth and rocky waters, all while appreciating a completely pollutant-free journey. While this trip was admirable, climate-change deniers still hopped onto Twitter to harass the young activist on her journey. One denier, news broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer, said, “Hi Greta, I’ve just booked some long haul flights for my family to enjoy some winter sun on the beach this Christmas. Level of guilt being felt: 0%.” While Thunberg brushes off haters like this with ease, tons of people jumped in to defend the bright activist.
Author Philip Pullman shared, “You have never done, and will never do in all your life, anything one-hundredth as valuable and important as Greta Thunberg has done already.” User @shehzilm said, “Why are you picking on a brave young woman who is making sense about climate change? Airplanes do take an environmental toll which is why conscientious people already try to take alternative forms of transport to avoid it.” It seems that Thunberg’s supporters far outweigh her critics, but, no matter how much criticism she receives, she won’t abandon her mission anytime soon. “There’ll always be people who don’t understand or accept the science,” she said. “I’ll ignore them. Climate delayers want to shift the focus from the climate crisis to something else. I won’t worry about that. I’ll do what I need.”
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