She was competing with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the brave Hong Kong protestors, President Trump, and Trump's whistleblower. The 16 YO trailblazer made history but becoming the youngest person to be awarded the honor by TIME Magazine.
16-year-old, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is a force to reckon with. She's got boomer lawmakers shivering in their parliament buildings and middle school students out on the streets protesting for their right to a future. Therefore, it really is no surprise that she would be named TIME Person of the Year. She went from a solitary protest in front of her country's Parliament to inspiring global climate strikes with thousands of attendees. "Meaningful change rarely happens without the galvanizing force of influential individuals, and in 2019, the earth’s existential crisis found one in Greta Thunberg," TIME Magazine writes. Now, messages of appreciation and congratulations are flooding in for the trailblazer.
Thunberg is the youngest individual to receive the honor in the magazine's 92-year history. Edward Felsenthal, the magazine’s editor in chief, recognized the activist 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 [and for] showing us all what it might look like when a new generation leads.” She was competing with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the brave Hong Kong protestors, President Trump, and Trump's whistleblower. But Thunberg won the accolade in the end. She responded to the win in an Instagram post, stating, "Wow, this is unbelievable! I share this great honor with everyone in the Fridays For Future movement and climate activists everywhere."
Everyone from politicians to celebrities has thus recognized the important work Thunberg is doing. More importantly, they're all on board. Democratic House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, "Incredible, inspiring, and well-deserved. The time for climate action and youth movements is now." Former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton added, "I couldn't think of a better Person of the Year than Greta Thunberg. I am grateful for all she's done to raise awareness of the climate crisis and her willingness to tell hard, motivating truths. As she said today: 'Change is coming, whether you like it or not.'" Former Vice President and longtime environmentalist Al Gore stated, "Greta embodies the moral authority of the youth activist movement demanding that we act immediately to solve the climate crisis. She is an inspiration to me and to people across the world."
However, there was one individual who wasn't so happy with her win. You've probably guessed it already. Yup, Trump. Taking to his favorite venting platform, Twitter, he posted, "TIME leaves out the Hong Kong Protesters fighting for their lives and freedoms to push a teen being used as a marketing gimmick. How dare you?" Would Trump even be Trump if he didn't lash out at the magazine for letting a 16-year-old take "his" spot on the cover? Of course not. Nonetheless, it's important to focus on what matters. A 16-year-old girl beat big politicians to remind us of the one thing that unites us: our dying planet and the fight to save it.