Time magazine has chosen 16-year-old Greta Thunberg as person of the year.
Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019 is Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old activist from Sweden who has inspired immediate action to address climate change. She is the youngest person to be chosen by the magazine in a tradition that started in 1927.
In 2018, Thunberg started an environmental strike by missing lessons most Fridays to protest outside the Swedish parliament building. This action inspired a worldwide movement that became popular with the hashtag #FridaysForFuture an turned her into a strong voice for action on climate change
According to The Guardian, Thunberg, who turns 17 in January, continues to beat the drum after she addressed the latest round of UN climate talks in Madrid, bluntly criticizing world leaders for “negotiating loopholes” and using PR to make it appear they are achieving bold climate targets. She also testified before Congress in September. Thunberg testified on the global climate crisis before a joint hearing of two House committees.
During the hearing, she had a simple message for American lawmakers: Do something.
An indignant teenager and a sudden burst of rebellion
TIME’s Editor-in-chief explained why Greta Thunberg is the Person of the Year, saying that meaningful change rarely happens without the galvanizing force of influential individuals, and in 2019, the earth’s existential crisis found one in Greta Thunberg. He also added:
For sounding the alarm about humanity’s predatory relationship with the only home we have, for bringing to a fragmented world a voice that transcends backgrounds and borders, for showing us all what it might look like when a new generation leads, Greta Thunberg is TIME’s 2019 Person of the Year.
The magazine’s tradition, according to BBC reporting, which started as Man of the Year, recognizes the person who “for better or for worse… has done the most to influence the events of the year”. Other nominees for person of the year included Donald Trump and the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress. The former vice-president Al Gore, a longtime environmentalist, said the magazine made a “brilliant choice”.
Last year, it named murdered and imprisoned journalists as the Person of the Year, calling them “The Guardians”.