TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year is No Surprise

Lifestyle, National News
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Time magazine has chosen Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate crisis activist, as person of the year.

Thunberg, 16, is the youngest individual to be recognized. She gained international attention for excoriating world leaders for their inaction in the climate crisis in a viral speech she made at the UN Climate Action Summit in September.

But with over 8 million followers, has Greta truly had an impact on the ways in which her fellow Gen Zers feel about climate change?

Solar Simplified recently conducted a survey that showcased where exactly this age group’s perception lies when it comes to our environmental crisis, and what they are willing to do about it.

Some highlights include:

  • 94% of Gen Z believe in climate change, and 70% think we are in crisis
  • 66% said they believe they personally contribute to environmental issues
  • 57% said as of recent, they believe that they have adequate knowledge into how to help combat climate change
  • 84% are interested in educating themselves on how to help

In an article announcing the choice, TIME statesGreta Thunberg sits in silence in the cabin of the boat that will take her across the Atlantic Ocean. Inside, there’s a cow skull hanging on the wall, a faded globe, a child’s yellow raincoat. Outside, it’s a tempest: rain pelts the boat, ice coats the decks, and the sea batters the vessel that will take this slight girl, her father and a few companions from Virginia to Portugal. For a moment, it’s as if Thunberg were the eye of a hurricane, a pool of resolve at the center of swirling chaos. In here, she speaks quietly. Out there, the entire natural world seems to amplify her small voice, screaming along with her.

“’We can’t just continue living as if there was no tomorrow, because there is a tomorrow,’ she says, tugging on the sleeve of her blue sweatshirt. ‘That is all we are saying.’It’s a simple truth, delivered by a teenage girl in a fateful moment. The sailboat, La Vagabonde, will shepherd Thunberg to the Port of Lisbon, and from there she will travel to Madrid, where the United Nations is hosting this year’s climate conference. It is the last such summit before nations commit to new plans to meet a major deadline set by the Paris Agreement. Unless they agree on transformative action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the world’s temperature rise since the Industrial Revolution will hit the 1.5°C mark—an eventuality that scientists warn will expose some 350 million additional people to drought and push roughly 120 million people into extreme poverty by 2030. For every fraction of a degree that temperatures increase, these problems will worsen. This is not fearmongering; this is science. For decades, researchers and activists have struggled to get world leaders to take the climate threat seriously. But this year, an unlikely teenager somehow got the world’s attention.  Read more here.


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