In this passionate call to action, 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg explains why, in August 2018, she walked out of school and organized a strike to raise awareness of global warming, protesting outside the Swedish parliament and grabbing the world’s attention. “The climate crisis
Greta Thunberg was born in 2003. Her mother, Malena Ernman, is a Swedish opera singer, and her father is actor Svante Thunberg. Her grandfather is actor and director Olof Thunberg.
Thunberg says she first heard about climate change in 2011, when she was 8 years old, and could not understand why so little was being done about it. Three years later she became depressed and lethargic, stopped talking and eating, and was eventually diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), and selective mutism. While acknowledging that her diagnosis “has limited me before”, she does not view her autism as an illness and has instead called it her “superpower”.
In August 2019, Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, UK, to New York, US, in a 60 ft racing yacht equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines. The trip was announced as a carbon neutral transatlantic crossing serving as a demonstration of Thunberg’s declared beliefs of the importance of reducing emissions.
The voyage lasted 15 days, from 14 to 28 August 2019. Thunberg plans to attend the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in New York and the COP 25 climate change conference in Santiago, Chile, and to stay in the Americas for nine months.
The Malizia II is an 18 m (60 ft) racing yacht that was built for round-the-world challenges. Solar panels and underwater turbines generate the power for lighting and communication. Designed for speed rather than luxury, conditions range from basic to difficult, for example the boat has no kitchen, toilet, or shower.
During the trip, Thunberg and Boris Herrmann communicated with the world outside using social media. As 16 and 23 August were Fridays, she stood with her “Skolstrejk för klimatet” sign onboard.
While sailing, the boat carried the flags of Germany, Monaco, Sweden and the European Union. The sails were labelled with “A Race We Must Win” and “Climate Action Now”, “Fridays for Future”, and “United Behind the Science”.
In a September 2019 interview with Democracy Now, she mentioned her experiences from the voyage included encountering dolphins and seeing stars of the Milky Way band in the night sky