Climate activist Greta Thunberg, who shot to fame with her viral video on how she began missing school to protest for more steps to be taken by world leaders to tackle climate change, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the second consecutive year.
She made global headlines in last September when she lambasted world leaders at the UN climate summit in New York.
How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.
The 17-year-old was nominated by Swedish lawmakers Jens Holm and Hakan Svenneling, who are both members of Sweden’s Left Party. Holm and Svenneling said in a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee,
Greta Thunberg is a climate activist, and the main reason she deserves the Nobel Peace Prize is that despite her young age, she has worked hard to make politicians open their eyes to the climate crisis.
The lawmakers further said,
The activist’s work toward reducing our emissions and complying with the Paris Agreement is therefore also an act of making peace.
Thunberg raised the climate change issue before the United Nations (UN) General Assembly last September, at the UN’s annual COP25 climate meeting in Madrid, and at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She was named Time magazine’s 2019 “Person of the Year,” and was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last year by three members of Norway’s parliament.
However, she lost out on her Nobel Peace Prize 2019 as the same was awarded to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, for his work on negotiating peace with Eritrea. The Norwegian Nobel Committee doesn’t publicly comment on nominations, which for 2020 had to be submitted by February 1.
But is her impassioned wake-up call enough to earn her the Nobel Peace Prize?
Last year, prior to Nobel Peace Prize Declarations, Henrik Urdal, director of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo (Prio) said it was extremely unlikely that she would get the award. He cited two main reasons for his scepticism.
The only way I could see that happen is that she would be part of a shared prize like Malala, (referring to Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, who shared the 2014 prize – at age 17 – with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi)
Norwegian historian Asle Sveen echoed this view too. He said,
Of course she is now an international star, in conflict with Donald Trump, and she put the searchlight on climate change better than anyone else.
He said he would be very surprised if she got the award. Asle quoted:
What’s against her is that she is only 16-years-old.
According to an opinion peace by Brad Polumbo in the Washington Examiner,
This is madness. Thunberg is certainly a passionate and impressive young person, but she hasn’t accomplished anything to advance real solutions to climate change. Meanwhile, adults around her have literally terrified her about the future.
She is also now missing out on her education — an education that she must believe superfluous, given the end-of-times message she has been deployed to preach. Thunberg deserves pity, not a Nobel Peace Prize.
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has also registered her name and the ‘Fridays for Future’ protest movement she started as trademarks, saying that they have been used by others fraudulently.
Many real climate experts have called out this hysteria about the girl as “bullshit”. They have noted that climate change obviously poses a threat in the long run, but it’s simply not true that we’re on the verge of “mass extinction.” They claim no one is being helped by this fact-free fear mongering.
Thunberg surely deserves recognition because of the way she has motivated young people to speak up and advocate for change. However, we are not sure if this warrants a ‘Person of the Year’ title, because there are many out there who have done some real work and brought about a change in the environment over the years.
Some Leading Examples:
In Bali, a young boy named Bencheghib decided to expose the plastic pollution to the world. He and his brother Sam rowed down Indonesia’s most polluted river, the 300km Citarum, on kayaks made from plastic bottles. There was so much plastic clogging the river that they could barely navigate it.
Bencheghib’s voyage, which he called “a recycled exposé”, attracted the attention of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who promised him that the Citarum would be cleaned up. Single-use plastics have been banned in Bali, thanks to Bencheghib’s and his fellow activist Melati Wijsen, who at the age of 12, co-founded the NGO Bye Bye Plastic Bags.
A twitter user pointed out how Dutch national “Boyan Slat has accomplished more than Greta Thunberg with less navel gazing and without hysterics.”
Slat is a 25-year-old inventor and entrepreneur who started The Ocean Cleanup Foundation in 2013. Read #HisStory in the article below.
Then what is it about Greta? Is it just the Gender Card and Young Age that makes her tick so well? You cannot win a Nobel Peace Prize because you went viral over social media? You can’t camouflage the real genuine efforts of other individuals who are not as commercial over the internet.
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