HEAT ALERT

Extreme heat blankets the region with heat advisory, air quality alert issued for the Hudson Valley

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg named Time's Person of the Year

The 16-year-old Swede has become the face of a new generation of activists, drawing large crowds with her appearances at protests and conferences over the past year and a half.

News 12 Staff

Dec 11, 2019, 9:25 PM

Updated 1,651 days ago

Share:

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg named Time's Person of the Year
MADRID (AP) - Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg said she was surprised and honored Wednesday to learn she had been named Time’s youngest “Person of the Year,” saying the accolade deserved to be shared by others in the global movement she helped inspire.
The 16-year-old Swede has become the face of a new generation of activists, drawing large crowds with her appearances at protests and conferences over the past year and a half. Some have welcomed her activism, including her speeches challenging world leaders to do more to stop global warming. But others have criticized her sometimes combative tone.
"For sounding the alarm about humanity’s predatory relationship with the only home we have, for bringing to a fragmented world a voice that transcends backgrounds and borders, for showing us all what it might look like when a new generation leads, Greta Thunberg is TIME’s 2019 Person of the Year,” the media franchise said on its website.
Leaving a U.N. climate conference in Madrid, Thunberg told The Associated Press she was “a bit surprised” at the recognition.
“I could never have imagined anything like that happening,” she said in a phone interview.
“I'm of course, very grateful for that, very honored,” Thunberg said, but added that "it should be everyone in the Fridays for Future movement because what we have done, we have done together.”
Thunberg said she was hopeful that the message being pushed by her and other activists - that governments need to drastically increase their efforts to combat climate change - is finally getting through.
But she insisted that the media should also pay attention to other activists, particularly indigenous people who she said “are hit hardest by the climate and environmental crisis,” and to the science around global warming.
"That is what I am trying to do, to use my platform to do,” she said.
Thunberg said the movement, which has staged repeated worldwide protests attended by hundreds of thousands of people, had managed to spread awareness about the need to urgently reduce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions and help those already affected by climate change.
“To get in a sense of urgency in the conversation that is very needed right now to be able to move forward,” she said. "That, I think, is our biggest success.”
Asked whether she thought world leaders were beginning to respond to this message, Thunberg said: “They say they listen and they say they understand, but it sure doesn't seem like it.”
“If they really would listen and understand then I think they need to prove that by translating that into action,” she added.
She said the experience of the past 15 months, going from solo-protester outside the Swedish parliament to speaking in front of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, had changed her.
"I think life is much more meaningful now that I have something to do that has an impact," she said.
Thunberg has tried to preserve some privacy despite the relentless interest she's received from media and adoring fans in recent months.
She was mobbed on her arrival in Madrid last week and the attention paid to her appearances at the climate conference has far outstripped that of other events, save for Hollywood stars like Harrison Ford.
“I would like to be left alone,” Thunberg said when asked about her plans for the next days. She will later travel home to Sweden, to spend Christmas with her family and dogs, she added.
“After that, I have no school to return to until August because I've taken a gap year,” she said.
"I will probably continue a bit like now, travel around. And if I get invitations to come. And just try everything I can," she added.
Earlier Wednesday, Thunberg addressed negotiators at the U.N.'s annual climate talks, warning that “almost nothing is being done, apart from clever accounting and creative PR.”
Last year’s Time winners included slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the staff of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, where five people were shot to death; Philippine journalist Maria Ressa; and two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.
___
Kiley Armstrong in New York contributed to this report.
___ Follow AP’s climate coverage at https://www.apnews.com/Climate ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
12/11/2019 11:33:09 AM (GMT -5:00)


More from News 12
2:18
HEAT ALERT: Sizzling temperatures continue, heat advisory extended in the Hudson Valley

HEAT ALERT: Sizzling temperatures continue, heat advisory extended in the Hudson Valley

1:49
Yonkers police find no validity in alleged bomb threat

Yonkers police find no validity in alleged bomb threat

0:45
Veteran Westchester firefighter dies after two-year battle with 9/11-related cancer

Veteran Westchester firefighter dies after two-year battle with 9/11-related cancer

1:29
Police: 1 of 2 students involved in Bedford car crash dies from injuries

Police: 1 of 2 students involved in Bedford car crash dies from injuries

1:52
Asbestos discovery in East Ramapo schools prompts parents, NYCLU to rally

Asbestos discovery in East Ramapo schools prompts parents, NYCLU to rally

1:28
Emergency room doctor discusses how to prevent health issues related to high temps

Emergency room doctor discusses how to prevent health issues related to high temps

1:35
Carmel schools dismissing early for the week because of extreme heat

Carmel schools dismissing early for the week because of extreme heat

1:33
59-year-old Marlboro woman stabbed outside of watermelon truck in Newburgh

59-year-old Marlboro woman stabbed outside of watermelon truck in Newburgh

1:38
Poughkeepsie sustainable farmers race against heat to protect themselves, crops

Poughkeepsie sustainable farmers race against heat to protect themselves, crops

2:07
Hudson Valley braces for heat advisory, cooling centers open

Hudson Valley braces for heat advisory, cooling centers open

0:42
Danskammer Energy drops plan for new methane gas plant in Newburgh

Danskammer Energy drops plan for new methane gas plant in Newburgh

1:41
Police: Justin Timberlake charged with DWI in Sag Harbor

Police: Justin Timberlake charged with DWI in Sag Harbor

2:39
Made in the Hudson Valley: Loola Doola Boutique brings one-of-a-kind, handmade clutches to Westchester County

Made in the Hudson Valley: Loola Doola Boutique brings one-of-a-kind, handmade clutches to Westchester County

0:42
Headlines: Cold case guilty plea, Poughkeepsie crash injures 3

Headlines: Cold case guilty plea, Poughkeepsie crash injures 3

0:20
Parents, advocates rally to save East Ramapo schools after asbestos discovery

Parents, advocates rally to save East Ramapo schools after asbestos discovery

0:18
Fire engulfs car on Old Nyack Turnpike in Ramapo

Fire engulfs car on Old Nyack Turnpike in Ramapo

0:46
Dutchess County autism center receives $3 million in state funding

Dutchess County autism center receives $3 million in state funding

0:25
Mario Cuomo Bridge to shine blue and white for students who named falcon chicks

Mario Cuomo Bridge to shine blue and white for students who named falcon chicks

14:52:13
13 cool tips to help you stay healthy during the summer heat

13 cool tips to help you stay healthy during the summer heat

2:04
John Oliver eats giant Deising's cake bear, pledges $10K donation to Peoples' Place of Kingston, NY

John Oliver eats giant Deising's cake bear, pledges $10K donation to Peoples' Place of Kingston, NY