Much like a dystopian plot, a young and passionate 16-year-old girl full of fire has taken the world by surprise. Greta Thunberg, a teenager from Sweden has been in the limelight for voicing herself out on the issue of climate change. Dig in deep to know how she’s come into the centre all of a sudden.
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old girl from Sweden, has emerged as a leading global climate change activist. She came into limelight after she started protesting outside the Swedish Parliament in attempts to call for stronger action on addressing the issue of climate change. Her actions led to a wave of movement which was later coined as ‘Fridays for Future’ wherein students organise a school strike in order to raise concern over climate change.
Due to her sharp words, she has gathered all the more attention with people coming out both in favour of her and against.
Amongst the people critical of her actions, there are various arguments proposed.
“She is highly divisive, while living her stolen dream pretty incoherently. She gives some people something to applaud, but nothing to learn from and emulate.” Quotes a writer on a web platform.
People talk about the rationality and practicality of actually following the path Thunberg is treading for instance-travelling by a zero-emission boat which has a multimillion-dollar expense and tens of crew just to transport one person. The idea revolving around her nomination for the Nobel Prize is also under scrutiny by the people whose views do not resonate with the Greta-Thunberg-type-of-climate-change activism.
These people have brought ahead two key examples, one from China and the other from India.
The first example is of the “Stubborn Couple”, Mr. Fu Zhiqiang and Mrs. Chen Ailan from Xinjiang, China who have been working on ground as environmentalists since 1983 and have planted an entire forest on their own. Working tirelessly towards their goal, the couple has left no stone unturned in giving back to the earth even when there are on a hard crunch for resources and money.
The second example is of Mr. Jadav Payeng from Majuli, Assam, who pledged at the young age of fourteen to plant a tree every day in order to treat the problem of soil erosion in his area. His consistent efforts over a period of 40-years have led to the creation of a 550-hectare jungle. Due to his efforts Majauli is free from the problem of soil erosion and ecosystems have been restored in the place with rhinos, Bengal tigers and elephants returning to their territories.
But here’s the catch.
He had been working ‘silently’ far away from the media glare and right onto field, taking action. No one brought his actions, and of many more people who are working away silently, to the forefront.
At the end of the day, it’s a conflicting state of emotions. On one side there is a Greta, single handedly bringing sudden global attention to climate change. While, on the other hand, there are others who devote their entire lives for the protection and conservation of the environment. It is not about a war between who is a true environmentalist. Everyone in their own actions is one equally.
The real question stands that what remains the purpose of this movement. Will the climate change activism boil down to addressing the following questions?
‘Is it about PR and power?’
‘Is it about name and fame?’
‘Is it about action or just rhetoric?’
It’s a strange turn of events, a unique, one of its kind crossroads ahead of many people who are wary, sceptical or all too clueless of what is happening.
In the end it’s wise to leave you on an unbiased note. What is your take, your view and your vision?Is there truly a middle path?
Feature Image Credits: Harpers bazaar