By — Mia Parada

This past Wednesday it was announced on the Today Show that Greta Thunberg would be Time’s Person of the Year. This last year and a half has been an exceptional year for Thunberg, starting with a small background based in Sweden, she became a global sensation for activism towards climate change. Thunberg has spoken at many different climate events including the UN Climate conference in Madrid, Spain.

She has done an exceptional amount of things including sailing to the United States by boat to not use fuels from an airplane. She has inspired millions of people worldwide to fight against climate change, including marches in Madrid, Sydney, and the United States. Her inspiration has lead to her being Time’s Person of the Year.

When told she had become Time’s Person of the Year she reacted very honorably and happily. On the phone Thunberg said to AP Wire, “I could never have imagined anything like that happening,” she said in a phone interview. Her dedication and perseverance has become contagious for many people around the world. (AP Wire, 2019)

She has also been a phenomenal success here at Tuscarora inspiring many, including some teachers and students.

Emma Begonivic an upperclassman at Tuscarora said this about Thunberg, “Greta has provided younger generations with a sense of hope in regards to changing the world. It’s so common to see catastrophic event going on in the media, we see it daily. To have someone like Greta come along is game-changer! It shows a difference can be made, regardless of who you are.”

Dr. Miriam Westervelt, one of the environmentalist teachers said this about Thunberg, “Greta Thunberg is the inspiration I share with my environmental science students so they know that they as individuals can make a difference in the world regarding climate change.”

When asked about if Thunberg should be Time’s Person of the Year there was an overall support of the decision.

“She definitely deserves to be the time person of the year despite being only 16, she’s made such a large impact on the world. She essentially ignited a flame with her school strike movement and raised awareness in regards to all the environmental problems we’re all facing. She also practices what she preaches; she’s so focused on her cause that she crossed the Atlantic on a boat in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions! She’s insane and I love it; she deserves any award she can get.” Said Begonovic.

Dr. Westervelt said, “Greta is the perfect Time’s Person of the Year in 2019 because at 16 she continues to have a major impact on the global news cycle and is inspiring the generation. That will have to adapt to all challenges of the climate disruption. The students in my own environmental science classes have heard her clarion call and are eager to work on the solutions.”

When asked what she has done for the younger generations Dr. Westervelt answered, “Greta started her climate change activism in her own community. That is where real change usually starts. As the famous feminist anthropologist Margert Mead said, ‘Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, commited, citizens can change the world. It is the only thing that ever has.’”

However Thunberg is not being loved by everyone. When she spoke out about the Amazon rainforest and the natives who are dying for it, she was hit with backlash from the President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro who has been a loud voice against the “myth” of climate change. He said this about her, “It’s impressive that the press is giving space to a brat like that.” He used the portuguesse word “pirralha.” She answered to this comment by tweeting the word again to her 3 million followers. Despite the criticism from him and other officials she has still deemed to push forward and keep fighting for the world. (AP Wire, 2019).

Thunberg has inspired many and given a voice for children and adults alike to state their concerns about global warming and its effects it will have on the entire world. Thunberg has given the movement a cause again, as a young person she has inspired many and involved everyone to fight for the world that we live on, because as far as anyone can tell it is the only one for us.