A fifteen-year-old girl from Sweden is showing leadership to the rest of the world.

When school began in the fall, Greta Thunberg did not go. She sat down on the steps of the Swedish parliament in Stockholm every morning. She stayed there the entire day.

Her reason? If her country’s politicians couldn’t be bothered to fix the climate change, there was no good reason for her to study, because the world would not be livable.

Her father is a well-known actor and her mother a famous opera singer. Greta spoke to the Climate Rally in Helsinki, Finland and then to London for the civil disobedience called Extinction Rebellion.

She said, “Some people say that we should study to become climate scientists so that we can solve the climate crisis, but the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have the facts and solutions All we need to do is to wake up and change.”

She got it right. The price of solar and wind power is very low and is readily accessible. Thunberg’s autism has made a difference. She explained that she sees the world a bit different, from another perspective. “I have a special interest.”

Greta does not compromise like the rest of us. She started working for climate change at the age of 9. She stopped eating meat. She stopped buying anything she doesn’t consider necessary. She has since returned to class four days a week, saving Fridays for her protest. She continues her school strike for climate, (Skolstrejk for Klimatet).

(This story first appeared in the New Yorker by reporter Masha Gessen. Then Bill McKibben wrote about it for Sojourners, January 2019.)