The Greta Effect! Climate strikes and the people and global movement she has inspired. Let’s get involved!


The Greta Effect? I presume you’re talking about Greta Thurnberg?  You bet!

The girl who started the Fridays for Future movement, right? The very same. Greta Thunberg started a global movement when she began protesting outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018 at the age of 15 years. From September 8 the same year, she campaigned every Friday against the lack of action on climate change. It started a movement called Fridays for Future where thousands of children across countries have walked out of school to protest the same. 

She’s cool! What is she up to now? Well, she is in the United States and is going to attend UN climate summits in New York in September, and in Santiago, Chile, in December. She is also leading a massive global strike for climate action today, September 20, and on September 27. To create the smallest possible carbon footprint, she did not fly but sailed across the Atlantic to New York.

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What an inspiration she is! Yes, she really is. In fact, here are some stories about kids that she has inspired all across the world. 

New Yorker Olivia Wohlgemuth, said she skips school to participate in the Fridays for Future movement. She also says that there is nothing in their current school curriculum that addresses the climate crisis. 

Toby Thorpe in Australia organised a strike in Tasmania to preserve the natural beauty of his home. because he wants future generations to enjoy the island’s natural beauty. As a result of changing climate and weather patterns, bushfires have caused much devastation there. 

South Korean teenager, Seo-gyung Kim learnt about water from nuclear power plants being returned to the ocean from her mother, who is a scientist. She became concerned about the impact this would have on marine life and began campaigning against nuclear power plants. She joined the group Youth for Climate Action as a volunteer to raise awareness about this serious issue. 

Shaama Sandooyea from beautiful Mauritius organised the first climate strike there. Mauritius is in the middle of an immediate climate crisis. It is in danger from rising sea levels, with some of its people have already lost their homes to storm surges that have hit the coastline. She says young Mauritians are very concerned about their future as it is under direct threat. 

Scarlet Possnett from the UK says that climate change is “something that terrifies my generation”. After watching Greta’s protest, she realised that young people could and must do something and joined the UK Student Climate Network. She has since been organising strikes across the country. She also wrote an open letter calling on the government to declare a national climate emergency and include climate change in the national curriculum for schools.

Alexandria Villasenor realised that climate change directly affected her when a prolonged drought in 2013 caused a lake in her town of Folsom, California to completely dry up. More recently, while she was visiting relatives in Paradise, California, wildfires destroyed large areas of land. She too was inspired by Greta to become an activist. She would strike outside the UN Headquarters even in freezing weather. She feels world leaders are not taking this issue seriously enough saying there has to be “drastic change now,” for hope to be restored. 

It’s so great that kids are really taking up this cause. Greta has begun a revolution. We hope so! Besides inspiring others to take up the cause, the ‘Greta Effect’ has caused a massive jump in sales of children’s books on the environment, with more kids reading up on the crisis. 

Can I do something too? Sure you can!

Here’s how to find out about the next climate strike in Mumbai:

You can also start small by doing local recycling, getting people together to clean up areas, carpooling, not using plastic and a million other things! Get online, read and find out more! And be like Greta!

References for you: For India

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Written by: Pereena Lamba. Pereena is a freelance writer, editor and creative consultant. She is also co-author of Totally Mumbai.

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