When I was young, I wanted to make the world a better place. I didn’t know how I, as a young person in Ogden, Utah, could make a difference. All I knew was that I had my words. So, I would do science projects on recycling and saving the earth. I would stand up and speak in class about how to protect the earth and be a champion of peace. Unfortunately, my words did not have the power to create change like I hoped. Rather, I was made fun of by my classmates.
I can remember my entire history classroom swaying side to side and making peace signs after I had discussed something regarding caring for the earth. This wasn’t done in support but rather to make fun of me. I didn’t let those kids change my beliefs, but I did let them silence me at least for a little while.
That’s why Greta Thunberg is my hero. At 16 years old, she’s doing what I wished I could back in high school. She’s using her words and her beliefs to fight for action on climate change. This week, Greta is visiting the US to speak with Congress and the UN about the climate emergency the world is facing. (Read Greta’s speech to Congress on listening to science). She has not let her classmates or critics silence her, but rather Greta is using her words to inspire action, create a movement, and drive change.
I wish my 16-year-old self could have had the impact that Greta has had, but that’s the past. Greta is inspiring me to be more like her today and take action. This climate emergency isn’t just for a political party or a few countries to solve, it is up to each of us to stand up and fight for change. It is time to get real and look at the science.
I’m not a scientist and I don’t sit in a position of power to make decisions that address climate change, but like Greta and my high school self, I have my words and there is power in my words. Following Greta’s lead, I’m using my words to fight “the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced.” (Greta Thunberg during her address to Congress).
I am joining the Climate Strike here in Ogden taking place tomorrow, September 20 at 12 noon at the Union Station to take part in the global climate strike Greta is leading. And I will use my words to help communicate the science that we need to understand the climate emergency we are facing. Every day I see reasons this world is worth fighting for, so I’m ready to use my words and my power to fight for action and change. I’m ready to follow Greta’s lead!