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Current Conversations: Greta Thunberg


In September 2019, climate activist, Greta Thunberg, spoke at a UN climate event in New York City, which received spirited responses and discussion by both supporters and detractors. After traveling to NY on an emissions free yacht, Thunberg pleaded with policy makers, politicians, and adults broadly to take action on climate change. Explore the progress of news, media, and information coverage that her speech sparked as you weigh your thoughts about climate justice, youth activism, eco-anxiety, among many other topics that Thunberg has inspired.




Greta Thunberg by European Parliament from EU, is licensed under CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons



 Discussion questions
How has Thunberg’s rhetoric and activism been received differently within versus outside Scandinavia, as well as in different Scandinavian countries? How are systematic solutions and individual solutions to climate change related? In your opinion, which is more important? What is significant about the fact that youth are the primary leaders in this movement that Greta encapsulates? What rhetorical techniques does Greta employ, especially as a younger person addressing an older audience?

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Research & Writing: Dig Deeper

With the University Libraries resources, you may dig deeper into Greta Thunberg, climate activism, and much more.


Go to the Libraries OneSearch and search "Greta Thunberg". What types of sources do you retrieve? How might you filter or refine your search to locate the information you need? 

Now try searching Eco-anxiety AND Youth. What types of sources do you discover (books, articles, other)? How might you determine which items are peer reviewed or popular sources?

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As you explore the resources above consider who is sharing their point of view. Are you familiar with the authors? What do you know about their background and expertise? What do you notice about their perspective and opinions? What knowledge might they have about the topic? You might choose to investigate the author by searching the University Libraries Biography Resources. Try searching Piers Morgan in the Gale in Context database.



The University Libraries One Search is an excellent starting point to research these topics. You might also try searching specialized databases.



As scholars research and write, they trace the conversation that came before and reference those sources in their own work. Examining the citations of a source is an excellent means of tracking the conversation. Go to the following article, go to the reference section, choose one of the sources to examine more fully.

Sabherwal, A., Ballew, M. T., Linden, S., Gustafson, A., Goldberg, M. H., Maibach, E. W., Kotcher, J. E., Swim, J. K., Rosenthal, S. A., & Leiserowitz, A. (2021). The greta thunberg effect: Familiarity with greta thunberg predicts intentions to engage in climate activism in the united states. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 51(4), 321-333.



This popular magazine article references and links to a number of other sources. Trace some of those sources. Where is the author gathering their evidence? How do you assess the credibility of those sources? Do the sources give you new ideas or inspire new questions?