Quotes by Greta Thunberg
Welcome to our collection of quotes by Greta Thunberg. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.
Wikipedia Summary for Greta Thunberg
Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg (Swedish: [ˈɡrêːta ˈtʉ̂ːnbærj] (listen); born 3 January 2003) is a Swedish environmental activist who is known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action for climate change mitigation. She speaks fluent English, and most of her public interactions are in English. Thunberg initially gained notice for her youth and her straightforward and blunt speaking manner, both in public and to political leaders and assemblies, in which she criticizes world leaders for their failure to take what she considers sufficient action to address the climate crisis.
Thunberg's activism began when she persuaded her parents to adopt lifestyle choices that reduced their own carbon footprint. In August 2018, at age 15, she started spending her school days outside the Swedish Parliament to call for stronger action on climate change by holding up a sign reading Skolstrejk för klimatet (School strike for climate). Soon other students engaged in similar protests in their own communities. Together they organized a school climate strike movement under the name Fridays for Future. After Thunberg addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, student strikes took place every week somewhere in the world. In 2019, there were multiple coordinated multi-city protests involving over a million students each. To avoid energy-intensive flying, Thunberg sailed in a yacht to North America, where she attended the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit. Her speech there, in which she exclaimed "How dare you", was widely taken up by the press and incorporated into music.
Her sudden rise to world fame made her both a leader in the activist community and a target for critics, especially due to her age. Her influence on the world stage has been described by The Guardian and other newspapers as the "Greta effect". She received numerous honours and awards, including an honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, inclusion in Time's 100 most influential people, being the youngest Time Person of the Year, inclusion in the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women (2019), and nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Some people can just let things go, but I can't, especially if there's something that worries me or makes me sad.
My message to the Americans is the same as to everyone -- that is to unite behind the science and to act on the science.
I really miss having a routine because now I've been on the road constantly for several months. I like routines, so it would be nice to get those routines back.
Even if the politics needed doesn't exist today, we still need to use our voices to make sure that the people in power are focused on the right things. Because this is a democracy, and in a democracy, people are the ones who run the country.
The best thing about my protest has been to see how more and more people have been coming and getting involved.
Sometimes it's Tune-berg, sometimes Thunn-berg. I mean, I think it's funny that everyone pronounces it differently. So, that is just -- I don't mind anyone pronouncing it wrong. There's no wrong way to pronounce it. Everyone pronounces it in their own way.
When I was maybe eight or nine years old, I first learned about the climate crisis in school. My teachers taught me about it and we saw films and pictures of plastic in the ocean and extreme weather events. Those pictures were just stuck in my head; I thought, there is no point in anything.
I'm not saying that people should stop flying. I'm just saying it needs to be easier to be climate neutral.
We can't just choose to tell some facts and not others because we don't want to upset people. We have to tell it like it is.
Some say we should not engage in activism. Instead we should leave everything to our politicians and just vote for a change instead. But what do we do when there is no political will? What do we do when the politics needed are nowhere in sight?
Social media can be very effective in creating movements. In the beginning, that is how I first got attention.
My message to all the activists is to just keep going, and I know it really may seem impossible and hopeless sometimes -- it always does -- so you just have to keep going because if you try hard enough and long enough you will make a difference.
I do not see myself as a celebrity or an icon or things like that... I have not really done anything.
If burning fossil fuels was so bad that it threatened our very existence, how could we just continue like before? Why were there no restrictions? Why wasn't it made illegal? To me, that did not add up.
People tell me that they are so hopeful when they see me and other children 'school-striking,' and they say, 'Oh the children are going to save us.' But no, we aren't. We are too young to be able to do that. We don't have time to wait for us to grow up and fix this in the future.
Many people say that this is not an easy issue, we cannot just say that this is how it is, it's not black and white. But I say that this is black and white. Either we stop the emissions or we don't. There are no gray areas when it comes to survival.
The thing that's made me open my eyes to what was happening to the environment and climate was films and documentaries.
When I have been travelling around to speak in different countries, I am always offered help to write about the specific climate policies in specific countries. But that is not really necessary. Because the basic problem is the same everywhere.
I'm telling you there is hope. I have seen it, but it does not come from the governments or corporations. It comes from the people.
There's always going to be people who don't understand or accept the united science, and I will just ignore them, as I'm only acting and communicating on the science.
It is hard sometimes to always be at the centre of attention, but when you talk about me you also have to talk about the climate.
I have Asperger's, I'm on the autism spectrum, so I don't really care about social codes. It makes you think differently.
The real danger is not inaction. The real danger is when politicians and CEOs are making it look like action is happening when in fact nothing is being done.
Some people say that I should study to become a climate scientist so that I can 'solve the climate crisis.' But the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change.
I know so many people who feel hopeless, and they ask me, 'What should I do?' And I say: 'Act. Do something.' Because that is the best medicine against sadness and depression.
Once we start to act, hope is everywhere. So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then, and only then, hope will come.
We are not going to be satisfied by politicians saying 'we support you' and then walking away. We won't be satisfied until they meet our demands and act. That's why simply taking a selfie or posting support on Twitter isn't enough. That's why we have to keep striking.
The symbolism of the climate strike is that if you adults don't give a damn about my future, I won't either.
We should not underestimate ourselves, because if lots of individuals go together then we can accomplish almost anything.
We are at a time in history where everyone with any insight of the climate crisis that threatens our civilisation -- and the entire biosphere -- must speak out in clear language, no matter how uncomfortable and unprofitable that may be.
I feel strange when I get applauded by people in power... because it's obvious that it's them I'm criticizing, but they can't show that in front of the cameras. It's quite funny sometimes.
I think that once you fully understand the climate and ecological emergencies, then you know what you can do as well. And, of course, there's a lot of things you can do in your everyday life, but we cannot be focusing on these individual things you can do. We have to see the full picture.
It felt like I was the only one who cared about the climate and the ecological crisis. My parents didn't care about it, my classmates didn't care about it, my relatives didn't care about this. I mean nobody I knew cared about this and I felt like I was the only one.
For way too long the politicians and people in power have got away with not doing anything at all to fight the climate crisis and ecological crisis.
Nothing is being done to stop the climate and ecological emergency from happening and to secure the future wellbeing for future generations.
When I was 11 I became very depressed. It had a lot to do with the climate and ecological crisis. I thought everything was just so wrong and nothing was happening and there's no point in anything.
Being young is a great advantage, since we see the world from a new perspective and we are not afraid to make radical changes.
Before I started school striking I had no energy, no friends and I didn't speak to anyone. I just sat alone at home, with an eating disorder. All of that is gone now, since I have found a meaning, in a world that sometimes seems shallow and meaningless to so many people.
I have been on the road and visited numerous places and met people from all over the globe. I can say that it looks nearly the same everywhere I have been: The climate crisis is ignored by people in charge, despite the science being crystal clear.
We have to understand what the older generation has dealt to us, what mess they have created that we have to clean up and live with.
If there really was a crisis, and if this crisis was caused by our emissions, you would at least see some signs. Not just flooded cities, tens of thousands of dead people, and whole nations leveled to piles of torn down buildings. You would see some restrictions. But no. And no one talks about it.
You can rebel in different ways. Civil disobedience is rebelling. As long as it's peaceful, of course.
By stopping flying, you don't only reduce your own carbon footprint but also that sends a signal to other people around you that the climate crisis is a real thing and that helps push a political movement.
We all have a choice. We can create transformational action that will safeguard the living conditions for future generations. Or we can continue with our business as usual and fail.
I'm very weak in a sense. I'm very tiny and I am very emotional, and that is not something people usually associate with strength.
Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that homo sapiens have ever faced. The main solution, however, is so simple that even a small child can understand it. We have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases.
So when I speak in front of thousands, tens of thousands of people, I don't really get nervous because I know what I want to say and I know what message I want to give.
Of course, individual change doesn't make much difference in a holistic picture... but we need both systemic change and individual change.
At places like Davos, people like to tell success stories. But their financial success has come with an unthinkable price tag. And on climate change, we have to acknowledge we have failed.
I mean, people aren't continuing like this and not doing anything because they are evil, or because they don't want to. We aren't destroying the biosphere because we are selfish. We are doing it simply because we are unaware.
People are unaware of what is going on. When I talk to people, they know the basics, they know the planet is warming because of greenhouse gases... but they don't know the actual consequence of that.
We should no longer measure our wealth and success in the graph that shows economic growth, but in the curve that shows the emissions of greenhouse gases.
Many people, especially in the U.S., see countries like Sweden or Norway or Finland as role models -- we have such a clean energy sector, and so on. That may be true, but we are not role models.
I think in many ways that we autistic are the normal ones and the rest of the people are pretty strange. They keep saying that climate change is an existential threat and the most important issue of all. And yet they just carry on like before.
If the walls of our house truly came tumbling town, surely you would set your differences aside and start cooperating.
Well, our house is falling apart. And we are rapidly running out of time. And yet basically nothing is happening.
Avoiding climate breakdown will require cathedral thinking. We must lay the foundation while we may not know exactly how to build the ceiling.
We children are doing this to wake the adults up. We children are doing this for you to put your differences aside and start acting as you would in a crisis. We children are doing this because we want our hopes and dreams back.
You need to listen to us, we who cannot vote.
You need to vote for us, for your children and grandchildren.
What we are doing now can soon no longer be undone.
In this election, you vote for the future living conditions of humankind.
Those of us who are still children can't change what you do now once we're old enough to do something about it.
So we can't save the world by playing by the rules.
Because the rules have to be changed.
Everything needs to change. And it has to start today.
So everyone out there: it is now time for civil disobedience.
It is time to rebel.
So we can't save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed. Everything needs to change. And it has to start today. So everyone out there: it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.
We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again. You've run out of excuses and we're running out of time. We've come here to let you know that change is coming whether you like it or not.
Learning about climate change triggered my depression in the first place. 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.