Greta Thunberg (born January 3, 2003, in Stockholm, Sweden) is a Swedish environmental activist who has fought to combat global warming. She started the Fridays for Future campaign in 2018, also called School Strike for Climate.
Greta was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a kind of autism classified as a spectrum condition (ASD). It is defined by impairments in social situations (like typical autism) but normal intellect and development of language. Asperger syndrome causes people to hyperfocus on a single topic or interest. Thunberg’s focus was climate change. She first became aware of the problem when she was around eight, and within a few years, she had changed her life. For example, she became a vegan and refused to fly. Animals and airplanes both contribute to global warming by emitting enormous amounts of greenhouse gasses.
Thunberg sought to persuade parliamentarians to address climate change to have a bigger effect. She skipped school for over three weeks leading up to the Swedish election in September 2018 to camp outside parliament with a sign reading “Skolstrejk för Klimatet” (School Strike for Climate). Despite being alone on the first day, she was joined by many people each day after that, and her story gained attention worldwide.
After the election, Thunberg returned to her classes. She did, however, continue to strike on Fridays. This became known as Fridays for Future. Many thousands of students worldwide were inspired by her action and decided to hold their own Fridays for Future.
Thunberg was recognized for increasing awareness of Asperger’s syndrome and encouraging individuals who had the illness, in addition to her environmental activities. While she acknowledged that Asperger’s has impeded her in certain areas, she also highlighted its benefits, tweeting at one point: “I have Aspergers, and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And—given the right circumstances—being different is a superpower.”