Climate change activist Greta Thunberg was named Time magazine's 2019 Person of the Year. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Climate change activist Greta Thunberg was named Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Activist Greta Thunberg didn’t take on her fight for the planet’s future to win awards. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve them.

The young crusader was named Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year, in recognition of her global campaign against climate change. Indeed, for years, the passionate 16-year-old from Sweden has been trying to get people the world over to pay attention to the problem.

[Related: How Greta Thunberg Is Inspiring an Entire Generation of Young Women]

Thunberg became internationally famous last August, when she began skipping school to spend her days outside of Swedish parliament in a one-woman school strike. The act inspired other teens — first nearby, but eventually around the world — to take similar action. She also addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

This August, Thunberg once again made headlines by sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, starting in Plymouth, England, and docking in New York City on a yacht powered by solar panels and underwater turbines. And her movement has grown in leaps and bounds, with people of all ages striking and taking to the streets to demand action on climate change from their leaders.

The motivation behind her work is simple, she told Time: “We can’t just continue living as if there was no tomorrow, because there is a tomorrow.”

[Related: Greta Thunberg, AOC and 10 Women Entrepreneurs Are Battling Climate Change]

Based on the science, that tomorrow is in trouble. A new study revealed that melting ice caps in Greenland will result in more flooding by further elevating sea levels. Other research shows that greenhouse gasses continue to raise the global temperature. Plastic pollution continues to wreak havoc on marine life, too. And that’s just the tip of the (melting) iceberg.

Those stats are what galvanized Thunberg into inspirational action. (Note: If you’re feeling similarly motivated, check out our tips for how to go green as a company.) We can only hope that enough people follow her lead to ensure the bright future she deserves.

[Related: 14 Women Who Turned Eco-Friendly Ideas Into Successful Businesses]