One Girl with Autism Started a Youth Global Movement to Deal with Climate Change

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jerrym
One Girl with Autism Started a Youth Global Movement to Deal with Climate Change

Greta Thunberg, who has Aspergers, started her protests about the failure of adults to deal with climate change by protesting alone outside the Swedish Parliament last August. Her solitary protest has cascaded into a worldwide student protest movement that has already staged several protests and will be holding more protests on March 15th and May 3rd. On March 15th there will be 1301 protests in 99 countries, in response to one autistic girl's actions.

I felt it was important for a change to celebrate someone who is not neurotypical or physically typical rather than always dealing with the problems that they face. 

Greta Thunberg strikes outside the Swedish parliament

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 Greta Thunberg strikes outside the Swedish parliament last summer. Photograph: Michael Campanella/The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/15/the-beginning-of-gre...

 

The following article describes the connection between her autism and her climate change protest that became a global movement. The article also includes a video of her 11 minute TED speech. 

As youth climate campaigners in the U.S. city of Brooklyn on Wednesday plan to continue a climate strike at least partly inspired by the ongoing vigil begun by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg in Sweden earlier this year, a new TEDx Talk released this week reveals that what inspired the Swedish teenager to take action was as simple as it was profound: she fell into sadness as she saw the leaders of the world—even those who admitted human-caused global warming was an "existential crisis"—continue to act and make policy decisions as though no emergency existed.

Everyone keeps saying, Thunberg declares in the 11-minute talk, that climate "is the most important issue of all, and yet they just carry on as before. I don't understand that. Because if the emissions have to stop, then we must stop the emissions. To me that is black or white. There are no gray areas when it comes to survival. Either we go on as a civilization or we don't. We have to change."

As a key part of the talk, Thunberg describes how at the age of eleven, several years after learning about the concept of climate change for the first time, she fell into a depression and became ill. "I stopped talking. I stopped eating," she explains. "In two months, I lost about ten kilos of weight. Later on I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, OCD, and selective mutism—that basically means I only speak when I think it's necessary." After a short pause, she adds, "Now is one of those moments."

"For those of us on the spectrum," Thunberg explains to the audience, "almost everything is black or white. We aren't very good at lying and we usually don't enjoy participating in the social game as the rest of you seem so fond of. I think in many ways we autistic are the normal ones and the rest of the people are pretty strange—especially when it comes to the sustainability crisis."

Towards the conclusion of her talk, Thunberg says that "this is when people usually start talking about hope—solar panels, wind power, circular economy, and so on—but I'm not going to do that." And continues, "We've had thirty years of pep-talking and selling positive ideas. And I'm sorry, but it doesn't work. Because if it would have, the emissions would have gone down by now—they haven't."  Finally, she says: "Yes, we do need hope—of course, we do. But the one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere."

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/12/19/depressed-and-then-diagnose...

 

 

 

jerrym

Greta Thunberg's nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize hopefully will begin to help change people's attitudes towards those who are autistic. 

Over one million participants from 100 countries in over 2000 cities took part in the largest Fridays-for-Future demonstrations to date on 15th March. Climate change activist Greta Thunberg fascinates not only children and young adults, but people of all ages. Hardly any other individual has provided such a strong worldwide movement in such a short time.

With Greta Thunberg, the topic of plant-based nutrition also receives a boost, because she lives vegan. Greta communicates her vegan lifestyle via her social media channels. The young activist already has well over 1.5 million followers and subscribers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, who share her contributions thousands of times over.

Greta has now been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian lawmakers, with the statement: “We have nominated Greta because the climate threat may be one of the most important causes of war and conflict […] “The massive movement Greta has set in motion is a very important peace contribution,” said parliamentary representative Freddy Andre Oevstegaard.

https://vegconomist.com/society/teenaged-activist-greta-thunberg-raises-...

 

Aristotleded24

I think this thread is highly disrespectful and is in the wrong forum. The main thrust of Thunberg's activism is taking action to deal with climate change, so it belongs in the Environmental Justice forum. So what if she has autism? What does her autism have to do with any of this?

Sean in Ottawa

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I think this thread is highly disrespectful and is in the wrong forum. The main thrust of Thunberg's activism is taking action to deal with climate change, so it belongs in the Environmental Justice forum. So what if she has autism? What does her autism have to do with any of this?

Agreed

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I think this thread is highly disrespectful and is in the wrong forum. The main thrust of Thunberg's activism is taking action to deal with climate change, so it belongs in the Environmental Justice forum. So what if she has autism? What does her autism have to do with any of this?

Highlighting her Asperger's diagnosis is abelist and sends the message that people with an Asperger's diagnosis doing something impressive is so rare as to be newsworthy.

Her activism and the global response is awesome but her privileged background in one of the richest societies on the planet is what has allowed her a platform to inspire other youth.  When I was eighteen I believed in the YIPPIE saying; Never Trust Anyone Over Thirty. I think today's youth need to adopt the same attitude. Of course age in some respects is a state of mind.

Aristotleded24

So since I first raised the issue of disrespect, a few people have agreed with this contention, and nobody has disagreed. Is it possible to change the thread title and move this into the environment forum?

Aristotleded24

*Ahem*

Aristotleded24 wrote:
I think this thread is highly disrespectful and is in the wrong forum. The main thrust of Thunberg's activism is taking action to deal with climate change, so it belongs in the Environmental Justice forum. So what if she has autism? What does her autism have to do with any of this?

This thread has been flagged as problematic, and nobody has contested that assertion. Can we please act on the recommendations and fix it?

robbie_dee

Aristotle, the OP includes an excerpt of Thunberg’s Ted talk where she draws the connection between her autism and her activism.

Quote:
 

As a key part of the talk, Thunberg describes how at the age of eleven, several years after learning about the concept of climate change for the first time, she fell into a depression and became ill. "I stopped talking. I stopped eating," she explains. "In two months, I lost about ten kilos of weight. Later on I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, OCD, and selective mutism—that basically means I only speak when I think it's necessary." After a short pause, she adds, "Now is one of those moments."

"For those of us on the spectrum," Thunberg explains to the audience, "almost everything is black or white. We aren't very good at lying and we usually don't enjoy participating in the social game as the rest of you seem so fond of. I think in many ways we autistic are the normal ones and the rest of the people are pretty strange—especially when it comes to the sustainability crisis.

Obviously her work can stand on its own merits, but I thought this observation was an interesting one and illustrates how important a neurodiverse perspective can be when allistic society needs a G.D. Wake up call.

robbie_dee

Guardian: Greta Thunberg hits back at Andrew Bolt for 'deeply disturbing' column

Quote:

The teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has hit back at the Australian News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt for writing a deeply offensive column that mocked her autism diagnosis.

The Swedish schoolgirl posted a tweet overnight calling out the “hate and conspiracy campaigns” run by climate deniers like Bolt, adopting his insult that she was “deeply disturbed” and turning it back on him.

The widely read Herald Sun columnist and Sky News commentator used his significant platform to take aim at the 16-year-old campaigner, dismissing her followers as members of a cult and disparaging her decision to sail across the Atlantic in a high-speed racing yacht to attend UN climate summits in the US and Chile.

“Thunberg has announced she’s finally going to the United States, the last bastion of the heathen, to preach the global warming faith to the Americans,” Bolt wrote. “Of course, she’s going by racing yacht, because she refuses to fly and heat the planet with an aeroplane’s global warming gasses.”

The highly personal character assassination published in Rupert Murdoch’s tabloids repeatedly referred to Greta’s mental health, saying she was “deeply disturbed”, “freakishly influential” and “strange”.

“I have never seen a girl so young and with so many mental disorders treated by so many adults as a guru,” Bolt wrote.

Aristotleded24