Greta Thunberg deserves to have a childhood
October 23, 2019
I can’t talk about climate change right now without someone bringing up Greta Thunberg. Her face is everywhere, whether it’s people supporting her for her radical policies or shoving her down for the very same. I’m not here to complain about people who don’t like her, although I disagree, I’m here to point out that the people who support her are putting her on a pedestal that no 16-year old can stay on.
Thunberg first became famous in late 2018 for her school strikes, where she’d miss school to sit in front of the Swedish Parliament to make a point about climate change. Since then, she’s been catapulted to international levels, making headlines for her determination to speak about climate change. What most people don’t seem to grasp is that she was only a child who was skipping school— an act of desperation because no one else seemed to care about the earth. Now 16, Thunberg is taking a sabbatical year and pleading with adults to act so that she can go back to school and have the childhood that she was supposed to have.
In Thunberg’s recent speech at the UN Climate Action Summit, she never listed the Green New Deal specifically, but she certainly criticized its policies. For context, the Green New Deal is a popular policy for stopping climate change that liberals like Joe Biden use as part of their campaign.
One of the bases of Thunberg’s activism is her refusal to make climate change partisan, and the Green New Deal does just that. She insults those who support the plan because it only works in theory, yet Biden still calls her courageous and tenacious while completely ignoring the substance of her words.
When politicians like Biden acknowledge that she’s talking, but never that it’s about them, they skirt around the elephant in the room, the one that will actually lead to progress. She isn’t criticizing only the climate change deniers, but also the politicians who know it’s there but aren’t doing enough. A minor shouldn’t be the only one taking action while adults with actual power just sit and applaud her.
Actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to movements like the stopping of climate change. Greta Thunberg is a child who can’t even legally vote, she should not have to be the spearhead of this movement. Politicians must work harder to play their part and do their jobs. Thunberg should be at school with her friends, not across the world begging adults to do something.
Amelia Foster is a senior and the Print Managing Editor for RHSToday and Knight Writers. This is her fourth year on the staff, and her third as an editor....