“Greta! Hurry up or you’ll miss school!”
Mrs Thunberg entered her daughter’s bedroom to see if she was ready to leave. The first thing that met her was a huge sign saying “SKOLSTREJK FÖR KLIMATET.” Greta was closing up her backpack which she had filled with a rain jacket, warm clothes, sandwiches, a thermos of hot chocolate, a sleeping pad, and a couple of books.
From experience, Mrs Thunberg knew that she was up against a force of nature. Still, she made an attempt to stop the avalanche.
“Honey, please! Your father and I agree with you. We have become vegans, we have stopped flying and we bought an electric car. We are OK with all that. But listen: you have to go to school! Next year you’ll start senior high. We are concerned about your future!”
“Mother,” Greta interrupted, “Have you read the newspapers? Do you know that last summer was the hottest in Sweden in 262 years? Did you see the wildfires on TV? The Paris climate treaty still isn’t honored! Why aren’t you concerned about that?”
“But Greta, you’re just a little girl! You’re only 15! This isn’t your responsibility!”
“It’s everybody’s responsibility! That’s why I’ve chosen to go on strike. I’ll sit outside the Parliament every day until the politicians start doing something.”
“Greta, this is your Asperger’s showing up again. Don’t let it destroy your life!”
“My Asperger is my superpower! And I have to do something! Gandhi said, ‘You have to be the change you want to see.’ Nobody is too small to make a difference! Gandhi was about as tiny as I am and he liberated India!”
A year later, when “The Greta Effect” had led to an international movement with demonstrations for the climate in more than 2,200 places in 140 countries, Greta was invited to give a speech at the United Nations. With the world’s leaders attentively listening, she said, “We are in the beginning of a mass-extinction and all you choose to talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?”