Climate change is a topic that has more and more begun to dominate the narrative with regards to the future of both our civilization and the planet that we all share. There have been many outspoken activists over the years, championing the cause to try and raise awareness, but perhaps none as significant to both younger and older generations alike as Greta Thunberg.
Greta Thunberg is famous for raising climate change awareness and engaging in multiple forms of activism with that goal in mind. She first reached notoriety when she addressed world leaders at the UN conference for climate change.
As a sometimes contentious issue that requires not only self-reflection but scientific understanding, climate change which had always been a hot button topic came even more into the limelight in 2018.
Many of the thanks for the topic’s surge in popularity during that year should be laid at the feet of Thunberg, who delivered a powerful speech to the world’s leaders, a speech that catapulted her into fame seemingly overnight.
The UN Speech
When you have so much passion for topics like climate change and have engaged in it for years in an attempt to try and make a difference, it’s natural that you feel some measure of frustration against the perceived roadblocks in your way.
In the case of climate change, it could be said that one of the biggest roadblocks on the path to successfully making a difference is the government itself. The difficulty with that situation is finding a way to deliver your message to those that need to hear it most, the top of the chain of command in those political systems.
This is where Greta Thunberg comes in, a young Swedish teen that had been an enthusiastic and conscientious participant in the fight to steer humanity back on the right track for the sake of our planet’s climate. This was a battleground she had fought on for years prior to her famous speech.
The speech itself was delivered on September 23, 2019, where Thunberg was afforded the opportunity to address a room full of the world’s leaders. It was a chance that anyone with the same beliefs would jump at, a chance that potentially may have been her first and only shot at making her message heard to those who needed to hear it most.
The resulting speech was a headline-making viral sensation, signal boosted by every platform imaginable, the powerful words in the four-minute speech echoing a sentiment shared by many and causing ripples far exceeding the spheres of only those interested in climate change.
Despite the heartfelt emotion that Thunberg had poured into her efforts, her attendance at the conference was divisive. To some, she had captured their hearts and given a rallying cry for a cause worth getting behind, others met her with a mixture of derision or indifference.
Whichever side of the argument that someone falls on, the one thing that can not be denied is the fact that Thunberg succeeded in shining a spotlight directly on the climate change issue.
Before She Was Famous
As previously mentioned, even before the speech at the UN, Thunberg had already been a player when it comes to climate change activism. At just 15 years of age, Greta Thunberg took to the stage on behalf of TEDxStockholm, a platform for speakers to share their insights and passions on a variety of topics.
Thunberg was one of those speakers, and through that video, we get a glimpse at the way she sees the world and why the issue of climate change is so important to her.
In her TEDxStockholm presentation, we are told the story of an eight-year-old Thunberg realizing the realities of climate change. The main point that she drives home is the fact that climate change wasn’t being treated with the gravity it should be, hailing it as one of the biggest dangers to face our species.
Her invitation to participate in the TEDxStockholm session was granted as a result of her campaigning locally, in Sweden, where she led school strikes. Although she achieved some small notoriety for this in headlines, it did have the intended effect of triggering other like-minded movements elsewhere in the world.