Time Magazine has revealed the Person of the Year for 2019, and it is Greta Thunberg.
She is a Swedish teenager who became the voice for global conscience on climate change. Time Magazine announced on Wednesday their choice on the “TODAY” show.
According to Time’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, “She became the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet this year, coming from essentially nowhere to lead a worldwide movement.”
Thunberg quickly became one of the world’s climate change activists. She was the only protesting outside of the Swedish Parliament during school hours on Fridays when she was only 15.
She has now made the “skolstrejk för klimatet,” recognized globally, which means “School strike for the climate.” Her initiatives and perseverance spread throughout Europe, and soon the world became her fan, now known as “Fridays For Future” movement.
The activity of protesting, according to the editor-in-chief, moved millions of people in 150 countries to act on behalf of the planet. Je added that Thunberg “represents a broader generational shift in the culture” with the newer generation standing up for what they believe in – all the way from Hongkong to Chile. “Young people are demanding change and urgently. She embodies youth activism.” Felsenthal said.
Thunberg learned about climate change when she was only eight years old and got majorly concerned and got into depression because of it. During one of the interviews, she mentioned: “I remember thinking that it was very strange that humans that are an animal species, among others, could be capable of changing the Earth’s climate.”
This 16-year-old teenager gave up on eating meat and traveling by plane to reduce her carbon footprint. She sailed over two weeks on a zero-emission boat in August to New York City with her father. She appeared before the US Congress in September and didn’t read the remarks which were prepared for her but submitted a 2018 UN global warning report. “I don’t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to scientists, and I want you to unite behind science.”
Just recently, she became a recipient of another environment honor award at the Stockholm ceremony but declined it. She later explained on her Instagram, “The climate movement does not need any more awards. What we need is for our politicians and the people in power start to listen to the current, best available science”.
She added, “People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing,” she said. “We are at the beginning of mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
When the editor was asked what he thought would be Thunberg’s response about the Time’s Person of the Year, he said: “I don’t know, but I think what she has done, her rise in influence, has been extraordinary.”
Time magazine chooses the Person of the Year annually since the 1920s. Last year, four journalists and one news organization were chosen.