Teen climate hero says Asperger’s is a ‘gift’

Crusader: In January, Greta Thunberg told world leaders, “I want you to panic”.

Is climate change a black-and-white issue? Greta Thunberg inspired teens across Europe to take action on climate change. She says her Asperger’s syndrome helps her to understand the crisis.

What’s happening

Aged just 16, Greta Thunberg has achieved a lot. She is one of the world’s leading anti-climate change campaigners.

Every Friday for the last 27 weeks she has missed school to demonstrate outside the Swedish parliament. Now, she has spoken to the Financial Times about her mission to save the planet.

Find out more

Last month, Greta’s movement went global. Thousands of students across Europe went on strike from school in 200 cities.

When she was younger, Greta was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. People with Asperger’s can find it difficult to interact with others socially. They may also become very focused on one interest.

Greta thinks her Asperger’s has been “a gift” for her activism.

“If I would have been normal like everyone else, I could just continue like everyone else,” she says. “But since I was different, I see the world from a different perspective. I see things very black and white.”

Is climate change a black-and-white issue?

Some say…

Of course it is. The future of the planet, on which all life depends, is in jeopardy. Nothing could be clearer. By failing to take urgent action, we are sleepwalking into disaster. Climate change should be a priority for all governments and all people.

Others think…

Climate change is a complex issue. Greta says we should pull the “emergency brake”, but if we stopped using fossil fuels immediately there would be chaos, especially for poorer, developing countries that rely on these fuels. While Greta’s straight-forward approach is inspirational, the solutions to climate change will be complex.

You Decide

  1. Are protests a waste of time?

Activities

  1. Design a poster with drawings to tell people about the different ways they can help the environment. Some ideas could be recycling and using public transport more.

Some People Say...

“Why should I be studying for a future that soon will be no more, when no one is doing anything to save that future?”

Greta Thunberg

What do you think?

Word Watch

Demonstrate
Another word for protest.
Socially
To do with how you act around and talk to other people.
Activism
When someone campaigns for something they believe in and to change society.
Perspective
The way you see something.

Subjects

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