Greta Thunberg Shares Powerful Reflection on Youth Climate Strike: "We Need a Whole New Way of Thinking"

The 16-year-old Swedish activist doesn't believe the burden should fall on children.

Sophie Hirsh - Author

Mar. 18 2019, Updated 4:43 p.m. ET

Greta Thunberg
Source: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

For Greta Thunberg, striking from school to protest for the planet is just your average Tuesday. Well, more like your average Friday, considering the 16-year-old Swedish activist has been skipping school to do just that every Friday since August. But last week, on Friday, March 15, Greta led her biggest protest yet: the Youth Climate Strike, in which more than 1.5 million students from around the globe rallied to demand change from government leaders, as per But even though the strike is over, Greta is not slowing down. Over the weekend, Greta took to Facebook to reflect on the strike, and to share how she thinks the world needs to work together to mitigate the climate crisis.

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If you're looking for Greta's "solution" to the climate crisis, know that she does not have a straightforward answer — instead, she wrote that we "urgently need a holistic view to address the full sustainability crisis and the ongoing ecological disaster." To clarify, she explained that "solving" the climate crisis would be defined as "dramatically lowering our emissions."

While the teen activist thinks it's important to make small changes, such as switching to renewable energy and going vegan, she believes that we're not going to end the climate crisis unless people take that to the next level and start looking at the crisis holistically. "There are no 'solutions' within our current systems. No one 'knows' exactly what to do. That’s the whole point. We can’t just lower or heighten some taxes or invest in some 'green' funds and go on like before," Greta wrote on Facebook. "Yes there are many many things that are very good and necessary, and improves the situation. Such as solar and wind power, circular economy, veganism, sustainable farming and so on. But even those are just parts of a greater picture."

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Because of Greta's belief that we need to fight the climate crisis holistically, she thinks that people need to "start treating the crisis as the crisis it is. Because only then — and only guided by the best available science (as is clearly stated throughout the Paris Agreement) can we together start creating the global way forward."

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Greta believes that to get the ball rolling, we need to seriously throw a wrench in the system — something that the Youth Climate Strike has certainly done. She wrote that we need new politics, new economics, equality, and a "whole new way of thinking." 

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"The political system that you have created is all about competition. You cheat when you can because all that matters is to win. To get power. That must come to an end," Greta wrote. "We must stop competing with each other. We need to start cooperating and sharing the remaining resources of this planet in a fair way. We need to start living within the planetary boundaries, focus on equity and take a few steps back for the sake of all living species." A powerful statement like that makes it no surprise that Greta received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination last week.

Additionally, she took a moment to call attention to the adults who are putting the load on future generations. "If not even the scientists, politicians, media and the UN currently can speak up on what exactly needs to be done to 'solve' the climate crisis ... then how could we, some schoolchildren, know? How can you leave that burden to us?" Greta wondered.

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Basically, Greta believes that in order to mitigate the climate crisis and significantly lower emissions in the near future, we need to: treat climate change as a crisis, fight against it from a holistic angle, demand that politicians take climate change more seriously, and stop living unsustainably. With someone like Greta Thunberg leading the movement, there's hope.

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