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Teen Greta Who Inspired A Massive Environmental Protest Proposed For Nobel

Students around the world skipped school on March 15 in order to demonstrate against climate change; taking their cue from Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg whose weekly “skolstrejk för klimatet” {school strike for climate} banner translated into dozens of languages has won a global following. It was one of the biggest environmental protests the world has ever seen. The 16-year old has missed school to sit outside the Swedish parliament almost every Friday since last August 20, demanding politicians bring the country into line with the Paris climate agreement. After learning about climate change when she was 8, Greta later developed Asperger’s syndrome when she was 11, which she links partly to the issue. She was inspired by students from the Parkland school in Florida, who walked out of classes in protest against the US gun laws that enabled the massacre on their campus. But the biggest influence on her life is Rosa Parks, the global icon of resistance to racial segregation. Greta’s first converts were her mother, Malena Ernman, one of Sweden’s most celebrated opera singers, who gave up flying, severely impacting her career. Her father, actor-author Svante Thunberg, turned vegetarian. She has been lauded at the UN, met the French president, Emmanuel Macron, shared a podium with the European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and has been endorsed by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy André Øvstegård has now proposed her for the Nobel Peace prize.