Greta Thunberg and Mass Protests Defined the Year in Climate Change

Greta Thunberg
The influence of 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg helped launch a global movement of climate action.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

Most climate scientists will be quick to say that 2019 was the year that Greta Thunberg truly became a force to be reckoned with. The 16-year-old Swedish activist has become the face of that newly energized climate movement and was recently named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

“She represents the best of humanity,” said Benjamin Houlton, a professor of global environmental studies at the University of California, Davis. “She frightens those in power right now because she has a very clear message and she’ll continue to be an important crusader.” Houlton is the champion of the One Climate Big Idea at UC Davis, which is comprised of an interdisciplinary team poised to make a positive impact in the climate movement.

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