Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP
After a two-week trip across the Atlantic, 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived in New York. She tweeted Wednesday morning that she had dropped anchor off Coney Island. After customs and immigration clearance, she is expected to land in Manhattan in the afternoon.
Thunberg is in the US to attend the United Nations Climate Summit jet.
Thunberg documented her journey in social media including in rough seas with waves breaking over her.
Thunberg says she first learned about climate change at the age of eight and worried about the future of humanity. At the age of 11 she was depressed and stopped talking and eating.
"Later, I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, Obsessive-compulsive Disorder, and Selective Mutism," she told a crowd gathering in Stockholm for a 2018 TED talk. "That basically means I'm only talking when I think it's necessary. Now is one of those moments."
On August 20, 2018 Thunberg began to leave the school in front of the Swedish parliament and to protest. She called it a school strike and called on adults to do more to fight climate change.
"I distributed flyers with a long list of facts about the climate crisis and explanations of why I went on strike," she said in a Facebook post. She talked about her strike on Twitter and Instagram, and the protests spread quickly.
Now, just a year later, students perform hundreds of strikes at school around the world every Friday. Thunberg was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, spoke at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland and met the Pope.
The teenager has a knack for making the complicated problem of climate change sound simple. She is one of the autism spectrum and calls it a gift because it helps her see problems more clearly.
"If burning fossil fuels was so bad that it threatened our very existence, how could we go on like this, why were there no restrictions, why was not it made illegal?" she asked in her TED talk.
Thunberg's activism has attracted critics. The conservative French legislators boycotted a Thunberg speech earlier this summer and ridiculed them as "prophetess in shorts."
One critic even referred to Thunberg's diagnoses. Australian conservative columnist Andrew Bolt wrote in a Herald Sun blog post: "No teenager has more influence than Greta Thunberg, the deeply disturbed messiah of the global warming movement."
Thunberg shot back on Twitter ] "I am deeply disturbed by the fact that these hate and conspiracy campaigns can go on and on just because we communicate with children and affect science."
Many teenagers around the world still feel attracted to Thunberg's message and appear on the streets.
Last March, students around the world held a climate strike following the example of Thunberg's school strike. Almost every US state had an event, even in conservative political areas. 17 year old Freddy Finney-Jordet organized a protest on a street corner in downtown Bend, Oregon.
He had been inspired by Thunberg's determination.
"She looks at the camera and looks like this:" I do that. No one can stop me, "says Finney-Jordet.
Prior to last spring, gun control and LGBTQ issues were his priorities." After this protest "At first I thought he would be something unique to me, I took a close look at how severe the climate crisis was, and that's what I've been concentrating on ever since," he says.
Thunberg's fans will watch as they do […] she also plans to visit Canada and Mexico before traveling to Chile for a Climate Change Conference in December, Thunberg's family says she will be one this year Sabbatical is done to focus on their climate activism.