Greta Thunberg appears on a brand-new cover of Time Magazine, which named the youth climate striker its 2019 Person of the Year.
Greta Thunber has been named Time Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year. The teen climate striker, who’s spend the last year uplifting a youth-led climate justice movement, was announced as the magazine’s annual honoree on December 11.
The accompanying feature places Greta in the eye of the storm of this past year’s climate contentiousness. Tracing back to her first school strike in August 2018 (including a flayer with the signature Greta line, “Since you adults don’t give a damn about my future, I won’t either”), the piece finds Greta to be a “teenage girl who, in summoning the courage to speak truth to power, became the icon of a generation. By clarifying an abstract danger woth piercing outrage, Thunberg become the most compelling voice on the most important issue facing the planet’.
The piece lauds Greta’s climate justice activism, including her efforts to uplift Indigenous your activist, and links her work to a serve episode of depression she experienced after learning about the climate crisis in school. Her Asperger syndrome made it impossible for her to ‘compartmentalize the fact that her planet was in peril”.
That echoes something Greta said in September in New York City: “Without (my Asperger syndrome), I wouldn’t have noticed this crisis.” She further explained how her syndrome contribute to her activism: “I think it has something to do with, we walk and we don’t have the distance from what we know and what we say to what we do and how we act”. Act is exactly what she did.
“Learning about climate change triggered my depression in the first place”, Greta told Time. “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”.
According to Greta’s father, the climate strikes brought his daughter back to life. In a Teen Vogue special issue cover story earlier this year, Greta explained her relationship with depression.
“Depression is something that often people who are different suffer from, either because they work too much or because they are being bullied because they are different or just because they don’t feel right in this society – that they feel everything is meaningless”, she told Teen Vogue. “That is often the people who think a bit outside the box and who can see things from a different, new perspective”.
“We need these people, especially now, when we need to change things and we can’t see it just from where we are. We need to see it from a bigger perspective and from outside our current systems”, she said. “That’s why people who are different are so necessary: because they contribute so much. Therefore we need to really look after the people who are different and who may not be heard. We need to listen to those and to look after each other”.
The article acknowledges not just the celebrity she’s gained and the celebrities she’s encountered along the way, but names several of the youth activists and connects her to a global phenomenon of youth uprisings, from Hong Kong to Iraq to Chile.