NEW YORK, April 22, (AP): Greta Thunberg turned 18 in January, but she’s already made peace with her future: While most college students will change their concentrations multiple times, the Swedish high school student says climate change activism will be her life’s mission. “In a perfect world, there wouldn’t need to be a climate activist, but unfortunately, there will probably still be a need for climate activists for quite some time,” she said. “I think I will be doing this for as long as there is a need for people to do this.” Thunberg’s activism and message is brought to life in a new docuseries,
“Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World.” The threepart series, a co-production between PBS and BBC Studios premiering Thursday on Earth Day, follows the then-16-year-old as she took a gap year from school in 2019 to meet with scientists around the world and spearhead awareness about climate change. The docuseries shows her visiting people and places that have been distinctly affected by the heating of the Earth, such as Canada’s Athabasca Glacier, a town in California burned by wildfires and the indigenous Sami herders in Sweden where reindeer face starvation. She even sails across the North Atlantic during the ocean’s busiest season to experience how carbon dioxide emissions from ships have altered the chemistry of the ocean.
“A Year to Change the World” also gives a behind-the-scenes look at her speaking at massive rallies, and also reveals how her momentum was significantly slowed by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Thunberg, a 2020 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, said while she grew even more knowledgeable about climate change, there were moments that surprised her, like meeting with Polish coal miners. “I had expected them to not be willing to change, but they were willing to change. They wanted to live in a more sustainable world… as long as they were not left behind,” said Thunberg. “I’ve met with world leaders who are less eager to change.”