Greta Thunberg: “I Am Just A Messenger…Our Very Future Is At Risk”

| Educate!

Above Photo: From Greta Thunberg

At the UN, Greta Thunberg joined 15 other children from around the world to submit a complaint – or “communication” – to the Committee on the Rights of the Child against Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey. They argue that these countries are violating the standards set in the Convention of the Rights of the Child, alleging they have: “recklessly causing and perpetuating life-threatening climate change [and] have failed to take necessary preventive and precautionary measures to respect, protect, and fulfill the petitioners’ rights.” KZ

Recently I’ve seen many rumors circulating about me and enormous amounts of hate. This is no surprise to me. I know that since most people are not aware of the full meaning of the climate crisis (which is understandable since it has never been treated as a crisis) a school strike for the climate would seem very strange to people in general.
So let me make some things clear about my school strike.

In may 2018 I was one of the winners in a writing competition about the environment held by Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish newspaper. I got my article published and some people contacted me, among others was Bo Thorén from Fossil Free Dalsland. He had some kind of group with people, especially youth, who wanted to do something about the climate crisis.
I had a few phone meetings with other activists. The purpose was to come up with ideas of new projects that would bring attention to the climate crisis. Bo had a few ideas of things we could do. Everything from marches to a loose idea of some kind of a school strike (that school children would do something on the schoolyards or in the classrooms). That idea was inspired by the Parkland Students, who had refused to go to school after the school shootings.
I liked the idea of a school strike. So I developed that idea and tried to get the other young people to join me, but no one was really interested. They thought that a Swedish version of the Zero Hour march was going to have a bigger impact. So I went on planning the school strike all by myself and after that I didn’t participate in any more meetings.

When I told my parents about my plans they weren’t very fond of it. They did not support the idea of school striking and they said that if I were to do this I would have to do it completely by myself and with no support from them.
On the 20 of august I sat down outside the Swedish Parliament. I handed out fliers with a long list of facts about the climate crisis and explanations on why I was striking. The first thing I did was to post on Twitter and Instagram what I was doing and it soon went viral. Then journalists and newspapers started to come. A Swedish entrepreneur and business man active in the climate movement, Ingmar Rentzhog, was among the first to arrive. He spoke with me and took pictures that he posted on Facebook. That was the first time I had ever met or spoken with him. I had not communicated or encountered with him ever before.

Many people love to spread rumors saying that I have people ”behind me” or that I’m being ”paid” or ”used” to do what I’m doing. But there is no one ”behind” me except for myself. My parents were as far from climate activists as possible before I made them aware of the situation.
I am not part of any organization. I sometimes support and cooperate with several NGOs that work with the climate and environment. But I am absolutely independent and I only represent myself. And I do what I do completely for free, I have not received any money or any promise of future payments in any form at all. And nor has anyone linked to me or my family done so.
And of course it will stay this way. I have not met one single climate activist who is fighting for the climate for money. That idea is completely absurd.
Furthermore I only travel with permission from my school and my parents pay for tickets and accommodations.

My family has written a book together about our family and how me and my sister Beata have influenced my parents way of thinking and seeing the world, especially when it comes to the climate. And about our diagnoses.
That book was due to be released in May. But since there was a major disagreement with the book company, we ended up changing to a new publisher and so the book was released in august instead.
Before the book was released my parents made it clear that their possible profits from the book ”Scener ur hjärtat” will be going to 8 different charities working with environment, children with diagnoses and animal rights.

And yes, I write my own speeches. But since I know that what I say is going to reach many, many people I often ask for input. I also have a few scientists that I frequently ask for help on how to express certain complicated matters. I want everything to be absolutely correct so that I don’t spread incorrect facts, or things that can be misunderstood.

Some people mock me for my diagnosis. But Asperger is not a disease, it’s a gift. People also say that since I have Asperger I couldn’t possibly have put myself in this position. But that’s exactly why I did this. Because if I would have been ”normal” and social I would have organized myself in an organisation, or started an organisation by myself. But since I am not that good at socializing I did this instead. I was so frustrated that nothing was being done about the climate crisis and I felt like I had to do something, anything. And sometimes NOT doing things – like just sitting down outside the parliament – speaks much louder than doing things. Just like a whisper sometimes is louder than shouting.

Also there is one complaint that I ”sound and write like an adult”. And to that I can only say; don’t you think that a 16-year old can speak for herself? There’s also some people who say that I oversimplify things. For example when I say that “the climate crisis is a black and white issue”, ”we need to stop the emissions of greenhouse gases” and ”I want you to panic”. But that I only say because it’s true. Yes, the climate crisis is the most complex issue that we have ever faced and it’s going to take everything from our part to ”stop it”. But the solution is black and white; we need to stop the emissions of greenhouse gases.
Because either we limit the warming to 1,5 degrees C over pre industrial levels, or we don’t. Either we reach a tipping point where we start a chain reaction with events way beyond human control, or we don’t. Either we go on as a civilization, or we don’t. There are no gray areas when it comes to survival.
And when I say that I want you to panic I mean that we need to treat the crisis as a crisis. When your house is on fire you don’t sit down and talk about how nice you can rebuild it once you put out the fire. If your house is on fire you run outside and make sure that everyone is out while you call the fire department. That requires some level of panic.

There is one other argument that I can’t do anything about. And that is the fact that I’m ”just a child and we shouldn’t be listening to children.” But that is easily fixed – just start to listen to the rock solid science instead. Because if everyone listened to the scientists and the facts that I constantly refer to – then no one would have to listen to me or any of the other hundreds of thousands of school children on strike for the climate across the world. Then we could all go back to school.
I am just a messenger, and yet I get all this hate. I am not saying anything new, I am just saying what scientists have repeatedly said for decades. And I agree with you, I’m too young to do this. We children shouldn’t have to do this. But since almost no one is doing anything, and our very future is at risk, we feel like we have to continue.

And if you have any other concern or doubt about me, then you can listen to my TED talk (…/greta_thunberg_the_disarming_…/up-next ), in which I talk about how my interest for the climate and environment began.

And thank you everyone for you kind support! It brings me hope.
Ps I was briefly a youth advisor for the board of the non profit foundation “We don’t have time”. It turns out they used my name as part of another branch of their organisation that is a start up business. They have admitted clearly that they did so without the knowledge of me or my family. I no longer have any connection to “We don’t have time”. Nor has anyone in my family. They have deeply apologised and I have accepted their apology.

  • It was the initiation of Kyoto Protocol:

    Today West need to prolongate it with proven and tested methods:

  • Lili-Ann Berg

    Shame on all the people who spew hatred over this brilliant young person. They don’t want to hear the truth, they don’t want to change their lifestyles to save our dying planet, they are selfish, ignorant and lazy, not worthy of breathing the same (albeit polluted) air as Greta Thunberg, climate defender extraordinaire. I am an old woman, and as such I have been a guilty contributor to the climate crisis, like most of us who have lived long enough, but no more. It’s time to listen, to those who know the science, who know more than we do, no matter their age or background.

  • Greeley Miklashek

    Note to “messenger”: TOO MANY HUMANS ARE USING TOO MANY NATURAL RESOURCES AND PRODUCING TOO MUCH POLLUTION, AS WELL AS 230,000 NEW COPIES OF OURSELVES DAILY. Shame on anyone bringing another helpless innocent child into this rolling disaster of climate collapse! FACE THE TRUTH AND IT WILL SET US FREE! Go Bernie, Greta, Nancy, and the SQUAD! Stress R Us

  • richardprofumo

    Wake world!

  • RBluhm

    Actor and sage Paul Newman stated years ago that “If you have no enemies, you have no character.” Greta exudes character, integrity, intelligence and beauty.

    Check out

  • RBluhm


  • Robert Riley

    I like what you say in general, but can you stop the all caps? It’s off-putting–you didn’t have to scream at us. Thanks for considering this.

  • Lili-Ann Berg

    The problem, as I see it, is that “environmentalism” rather than protecting nature has found a new way to exploit it, replacing fossil fuel extraction with a huge demand for green technology that will further plunder nature for rare minerals and resources. In other words the same greedy mob who caused our climate crisis in the first place, will continue its planetary destruction. – In my humble opinion, there is only one answer to all this is and that is to scale back economic growth. Or perish.

  • dan

    I agree here mostly with Greta Thunberg and Lili-Ann Berg; people are afraid of change, especially radical change of their lifestyles; and those who feel we should just compromise and talk some more. Well, there’s been Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring; and more recently Naomi Klein’s latest book This Changes Everything.
    And folks have talked about maybe using paper instead of plastic or even recycle bags when they go shopping. But these are only small changes, that don’t do much for climate change. Indeed, I often feel, cynically perhaps, that we’re already too late to reverse Earth’s fate…if our houses are on fire, using less gasoline will not help, fossil fuels will only make it worse; so we need to switch to clean natural energies, not including nuclear as we still can’t solve nuclear waste problems. So yes we need radical change; meaning Paris was only a beginning of getting serious. While here in US, we have a so-called president, who denies and lies on most things, including climate change; and he’s got some fringe-“scientists” to support his hot air….

  • Shame on you Western Supremacy and neocolonialism supporter.
    Earlier, the West used this colonial manipulation immediately after the collapse of the USSR:
    The consequences of this treaty: Western Europe has outsourced its harmful and environmentally unfriendly production outside.
    After the report on the state and environmental protection of the Russian Federation, Yasnaya Polyana was included in the list of settlements most affected by air pollution with various harmful substances.
    Shchekinoazot, which is known to produce urea-formaldehyde concentrate, was concerned about pollution data that appeared in the media.
    According to some reports, the degree of air pollution with formaldehyde in Yasnaya Polyana has exceeded 20 times the limit of its maximum permissible concentration.
    Yasnaya Polyana is the place where i was born. This example from my personal experience.
    The US Congress deprived the Rockefeller family of profits from oil production. Therefore, they acquired deposits of rare earth elements in the Western colonies. Rare earth elements are necessary for the functioning of renewable energy sources, for which this environmental campaign was started. Most of the resources needed for renewable energy are concentrated in Africa. Often, child slave labor is used in mines, so that progressive Western consumers can refuse coal and oil in favor of “clean” energy.

    Last year, 70 percent of the world’s cobalt came from the DRC, a country that has been a target of widespread criticism for its labor practices, such as using children as young as six to work in cobalt mines.

    Are you supporter of this?

    Please answer me, do not be irresponsible.

  • Lili-Ann Berg

    I have no idea why you call me a supremacist and neo-colonialism supporter, I am firmly against all that. I am and have always been a social democrat, and I am against all exploitation of our environment and especially children for profit. If you read some of my other posts perhaps you will understand that you are barking up the wrong tree.

  • owner of this blog delete my comments

  • > I have no idea why you call me a supremacist and neo-colonialism supporter,

    You support green capitalist brilliant young person. You insult all the people who criticize it.

    > I am firmly against all that.

    If it is the truth. Please apologize for the shame you’ve put on others and no longer justify this to the daughter of the Swedish elite who travels on a Rothschild yacht under Prince of Monaco as Captain.

  • It is because you are supporter of neocolonialism. I am sure you are irresponsible, like all other supporters of neocolonialism.

  • You are irresponsible supporter of depopulation. You spread depopulation propaganda for profit.
    There is no problem of overpopulation, there is a problem of
    overconsumption. A lot of food is thrown away in the world every day. If
    everyone starts consume like the average US citizen (thanks to the
    Hollywood propaganda and the free market), the end will be very close.
    If everybody starts consuming as an average citizen of the USSR (it is
    the USSR and not the RF) – the world’s population can be doubled or
    tripled without causing damage.
    Western lifestyle and irresponsibility, their way of thinking are the reasons for environmental problems. Capitalism is investing planned obsolescence of products, but not of itself.

  • Greeley Miklashek

    Your utterly unfounded opinion on our current worldwide human population and the earth’s ability to support it is “irresponsible”. I am not paid by anyone, perhaps unlike yourself, to warn my fellow man/women about the medical consequences of human overpopulation. Your accusations sound like the raving of a drunk, so I forgive you, but you are still responsible for your behavior.

    Anyone who’s actually read my writing on the subject must realize that I write as a retired physician who’s discovered the true driver of ALL our current multiple epidemics of the “diseases of civilization”, and it’s our own overpopulation, social disruption, alienation from nature, sedentary stressful lifestyle, and man-made stressor filled physical environment. Feel free to question the science, but to just throw out your unfounded opinion is BS. Good Bye!

  • You lie. You are supporter of depopulation. You ready to lie for your profit.

    You are against Natural Science.

    You are against me and most of population of this planet.

    You retired worker of depopulation. You are not ready to reduce your personal level of consume. You only ready to participate in propaganda of depopulation and neocolonialism.