Time Magazine got it right with the 2019 Person of the Year
It took a 16-year-old girl from Sweden to do what millions around the planet could not: Get us talking about and making real efforts to address the climate crisis. For her work, Time Magazine has named Greta Thunberg as its 2019 Person of the Year.
Are there other climate change activists out there equally deserving of the honor? Of course, there are. Every year the recipient of the award serves, in part, as a representative of the actions — good or bad — that thrust them into the limelight.
There are climate activists fighting on every front.
From the tar sands of northern Alberta to the rain forests of the Amazon, Indigenous people are demonstrating, being jailed and murdered for taking a stand. Around the world countless other youth are leading marches, holding rallies and bringing attention to the hard, unassailable, scientific facts that humanity is at a tipping point as adults laugh in their faces. But they will not be silent with the message that unless we all get together and work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we are facing a world crushed by drought, poverty and extreme weather events within the next two decades.
Before Thunberg hit the streets of Sweden in 2018 with her homemade sign calling for change, climate issues were rarely front-page news. Rather, climate change advocates were labeled as ultra-left leaning tree huggers who wanted us all to go back to living in a world without cars, electricity or flight. By casting them in such a light, those who denies climate change or saw it as a threat to economic profits, reduced these activities to absurd stereotypes screaming that the sky was falling.
With her dedication, her will and the obvious support of parents and adults in her life, Thunberg managed to turn that all around in a fairly short span of time. She was the right person in the right place with the message we all need to hear and heed. The award is rightfully hers, as it is for everyone fighting the climate crisis.
Time Magazine made an excellent choice this year.