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GRETA THURNBERG IN THE EYE OF THE STORM -Steve Sonni

When she made her debut in August 2018 at the age of 16 on the steps of the Swedish Parliament protesting climate change, many recognized that this young, ailing girl from Stockholm, Sweden will one day rise above the steps of the Swedish Parliament to the world stage where she will manage to capture the hearts and attention of admirers and critics alike.

Born Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg in 2003, Greta no doubt has become one of the biggest advocates for climate change and environmental activism. She is committed to the cause of championing for action on climate change and over time has inspired hundreds of thousands of children all over the world to participate in her famous "School Strikes for the Climate _(Skolstrejk för klimatet)_ every Friday, every week.

Greta's bold actions on climate change has made her the favorite of many world leaders especially former President, Barack Obama who during his term as president of the United States championed the cause of climate change to the American people and to the world in what later culminated to the Climate Action Plan _(now defunct since January 2017: Trump Presidency)_.
Other keen supporters include the current Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Gueterras who invited her in September of 2019 to address the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. Coming to her defense, the Secretary General famously said: "My generation has failed to respond properly to the dramatic challenge of climate change. This is deeply felt by young people. No wonder they are angry."
It has also been noted that she also enjoys the support of US Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

However, not every one shares the enthusiasm of Greta's action to draw the attention of the world to the effects of climate change soon. Her sharp and blunt rhetoric especially directed to such persons has time and again drawn the ire of some world leaders and private citizens and other world renowned organizations many of whom includes:  the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Donald Trump, French president Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, OPEC amongst others.
She has particularly sparred with the current US president, Donald Trump on the issue at some point exchanging shades on Twitter.
While the Russian president thinks Greta is poorly informed, the French president thinks she is a gutsy radical. The Australian prime minister is not left out as he sees Greta as "freakishly influential for a girl so young".

Her parents, Malena Ernman, an opera singer and actor Svante Thurnberg are fully in support of their daughter's decision, her mother notably giving up her career as an opera singer to stand against air travels as advocated by her daughter.
Greta also pushed her parents to lower the family's carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment by becoming vegan, and  upcycling saying: her parents' eventual response and lifestyle changes gives her hope and belief that she could make a difference.

It is yet to be seen if this young girl who has been earlier  diagnosed with with Asperger syndrome, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), and selective mutism can force the hands of the world to begin to see the issue of climate change as not some simple issue to be discussed in passing in State Duma, parliament and Congress but as a serious issue that requires serious action.

Steve Sonni writes from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

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