On August 20, 2018, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg didn’t attend her first day back at school.
Instead, she made a sign that read “school strike for change” and stationed herself in front of the Swedish parliament in Stockholm, where she demanded that government reduce carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement.
That simple act would spark a global movement. Thunberg has led massive protests calling on governments around the world to take action, she’s schooled the UN on where it went wrong, and she was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t like her very much, but he’s a giant knob, so I don’t think she cares.
Her latest achievement? Thunberg has been named TIME’s Person of the Year, 2019.
The 16-year-old is the youngest person to be chosen by the magazine in a tradition that started in 1927.
Speaking at a UN climate change summit in Madrid before the announcement, she urged world leaders to stop using “creative PR” to avoid real action.
“The real danger is when politicians and CEOs are making it look like real action is happening when, in fact, almost nothing is being done apart from clever accounting and creative PR,” she said, drawing applause.
While most people agree with Thunberg, conservatives tend to have some trouble digesting her message.
Before her appearance in Madrid, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro called her a “brat” after she expressed concern about the killing of indigenous Brazilians in the Amazon.
“Greta said that the Indians died because they were defending the Amazon,” Mr Bolsonaro told reporters. “It’s impressive that the press is giving space to a brat like that,” he said, using the Portuguese word for brat, “pirralha”.
The activist responded by briefly changing her Twitter bio to “Pirralha”.
Putin once called her a “kind, but poorly informed teenager”. Donald Trump is also not a fan.
Trump is going to be really angry that she made the cover of TIME. He’ll be even angrier that this isn’t the first time:
We need more Thunbergs in the world, because the idiots who are currently in charge aren’t doing us many favours.
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