This is no surprise to me. I know that since most people are not aware of the full meaning of the climate crisis which is understandable since it has never been treated as a crisis a school strike for the climate would seem very strange to people in general. So let me make some things clear about my school strike.
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In may I was one of the winners in a writing competition about the environment held by Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish newspaper. He had some kind of group with people, especially youth, who wanted to do something about the climate crisis. I had a few phone meetings with other activists. The purpose was to come up with ideas of new projects that would bring attention to the climate crisis. Bo had a few ideas of things we could do.
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Everything from marches to a loose idea of some kind of a school strike that school children would do something on the schoolyards or in the classrooms. That idea was inspired by the Parkland Students, who had refused to go to school after the school shootings. I liked the idea of a school strike. So I developed that idea and tried to get the other young people to join me, but no one was really interested. They thought that a Swedish version of the Zero Hour march was going to have a bigger impact.
They did not support the idea of school striking and they said that if I were to do this I would have to do it completely by myself and with no support from them. On the 20 of august I sat down outside the Swedish Parliament. I handed out fliers with a long list of facts about the climate crisis and explanations on why I was striking.
The first thing I did was to post on Twitter and Instagram what I was doing and it soon went viral.
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Then journalists and newspapers started to come. A Swedish entrepreneur and business man active in the climate movement, Ingmar Rentzhog, was among the first to arrive. He spoke with me and took pictures that he posted on Facebook. That was the first time I had ever met or spoken with him. I had not communicated or encountered with him ever before. My parents were as far from climate activists as possible before I made them aware of the situation.
I am not part of any organization. I sometimes support and cooperate with several NGOs that work with the climate and environment. But I am absolutely independent and I only represent myself. And I do what I do completely for free, I have not received any money or any promise of future payments in any form at all. And nor has anyone linked to me or my family done so. And of course it will stay this way.
I have not met one single climate activist who is fighting for the climate for money. That idea is completely absurd. Furthermore I only travel with permission from my school and my parents pay for tickets and accommodations.
My family has written a book together about our family and how me and my sister Beata have influenced my parents way of thinking and seeing the world, especially when it comes to the climate. And about our diagnoses. That book was due to be released in May. But since there was a major disagreement with the book company, we ended up changing to a new publisher and so the book was released in august instead.
And yes, I write my own speeches. But since I know that what I say is going to reach many, many people I often ask for input. I also have a few scientists that I frequently ask for help on how to express certain complicated matters. Some people mock me for my diagnosis.
But since I am not that good at socializing I did this instead. I was so frustrated that nothing was being done about the climate crisis and I felt like I had to do something, anything.
And sometimes NOT doing things - like just sitting down outside the parliament - speaks much louder than doing things. Switch to our Global Store or Sweden Store! This T-shirt is made from Leftover Fabric. We looked into the stock of our warhouse and asked what fabric is not needed anymore and the result is this Leftover Collection. How cool is that?! This Hoodie is made from Leftover Fabric.
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