Greta Thunberg Is TIME Magazine's 2019 Person Of The Year

Greta Thunberg Is TIME Magazine’s 2019 Person Of The Year

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Time Inc.

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg caps her huge year by covering TIME Magazine

To say that Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg had a breakout year is an understatement. The 16-year-old has been all over the world speaking truth to power on a subject that many of those figures refuse to acknowledge, let alone do anything about. Now, she’s the youngest person ever to receive the title of TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year.

“This was the year the climate crisis went from behind the curtain to center stage, from ambient political noise to squarely on the world’s agenda, and no one did more to make that happen than @gretathunberg,” the publication writes of their choice to feature Thunberg in the yearly spot.

They continue, “Meaningful change rarely happens without the galvanizing force of influential individuals, writes editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal, and in 2019, the earth’s existential crisis found one in Thunberg. For that reason, she is TIME’s 2019 Person of the Year.”

“I see myself as one out of millions in this movement,” she says in a video TIME shared on their Instagram account. They write of her beginnings — sitting alone in her blue hoodie for hours every day outside the Swedish parliament in an act of protest. The 15-year-old held her hand-painted banner and demanded that her country reduce carbon emissions according to the Paris Agreement. She spent three weeks all alone protesting during school hours and now, the whole world knows her name.

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Just over a year ago, a quiet and mostly friendless teenager woke up, put on her blue hoodie, and sat by herself for hours in an act of singular defiance. Fourteen months later, she had become the voice of millions, a symbol of a rising global rebellion. The politics of climate action are as entrenched and complex as the phenomenon itself, and @gretathunberg has no magic solution. But she has succeeded in creating a global attitudinal shift, transforming millions of vague, middle-of-the-night anxieties into a worldwide movement calling for urgent change. @gretathunberg is TIME’s 2019 Person of the Year. Read the cover story by @charlottealter, @suyinsays and @justinworland—and watch the full video—at the link in bio. #TIMEPOY Video by @robson.alexandra, @juliamarielull, @arpane and @maxim_arbugaev for TIME

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In explaining why Thunberg earned the spot, TIME writes, “Just over a year ago, a quiet and mostly friendless teenager woke up, put on her blue hoodie, and sat by herself for hours in an act of singular defiance. Fourteen months later, she had become the voice of millions, a symbol of a rising global rebellion. The politics of climate action are as entrenched and complex as the phenomenon itself, and @gretathunberg has no magic solution. But she has succeeded in creating a global attitudinal shift, transforming millions of vague, middle-of-the-night anxieties into a worldwide movement calling for urgent change.”

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Greta Thunberg speaks quietly but forcefully, articulating the palpable sense of injustice that often seems obvious to the very young: adults, by refusing to act in the face of extraordinary crisis, are being foolish at best, and corrupt at worst. To those who share her fear, @gretathunberg's blunt honesty is cathartic. To those who don’t, it feels threatening. She refuses to use the language of hope; her sharpest weapon is shame. In September, speaking to heads of state ahead of the @unitednations General Assembly, Thunberg pulled no punches: “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth,” she said. “How dare you.” In this photograph, Thunberg writes in her journal on the train as she travels from Lisbon to Madrid for the current U.N. climate conference. Read more at the link in bio. #TIMEPOY Photograph by @evgenia_arbugaeva for TIME

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While there are plenty of folks who believe Thunberg is wholeheartedly deserving of the title…