Greta Thunberg is a troublemaker. A rabble rouser. A movement builder. She’s also all of 15 years old. Thunberg might look small for her age, but this pigtailed teenager from Stockholm has been packing quite a punch on the international arena ever since she went on strike for about three weeks leading up to Sweden’s September 9 elections by refusing to attend school. Instead, she parked herself outside the Swedish parliament to protest her country’s inadequate action on climate change, handing out leaflets to passersby that said: “I’m doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.”
When I spoke with Thunberg over Skype recently, she called on all young people across the world to join the #FridayForFuture movement and push their governments to take more urgent action on climate change. “The grown-ups,” she says, “have failed us.”
Once you learned about our role in changing the climate, you made a very big lifestyle change and so did your family. Can you talk about that?
First I stopped flying, and then my mom stop flying. She had to fly to do her job because she was an opera singer and she worked at different opera houses around the world. And so she gave up her opera career and now she works as a musical artist. So, yeah, that’s changed our lives pretty much.