Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist, has been named Time 2019 Person of the Year for her work leading a youth movement to raise awareness of global warming.
“For decades, researchers and activists have struggled to get world leaders to take the climate threat seriously,” reads Time’s profile of the teen, who inspired the recent School Strike for Climate. “But this year, an unlikely teenager somehow got the world’s attention.”
Thunberg said she fell into a deep depression after becoming aware of climate change issues when she was 11 but managed to come out of it by trying to fix the world.
“Learning about climate change triggered my depression in the first place,” she tells Time. “But it was also what got me out of my depression because there were things I could do to improve the situation. I don’t have time to be depressed anymore.”
She began solo striking before managing to build the audience she has today — which includes 3.2 million Twitter followers. In 2018, she appeared in front of the Swedish Parliament carrying her homemade school-strike sign. The young leader has also been vocal about having Asperger’s.
In recent months, the teen has made headlines for rejecting a $51,000 award — demanding political action instead — and hitchhiking by boat across the Atlantic, an adventure which she says “energized” her climate fight.
Time began naming people to the title in 1927 when the award was called “Man of the Year.” It wasn’t until 1999 that the title was changed to Person of the Year.
The shortlist for this year’s title-holder included Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump, the anonymous CIA whistleblower who triggered the impeachment inquiry into Trump and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Source: New York Post