Navigating the Thunberg Database


Divided by country, this section of the database contains a selection of news journalism about Thunberg and her impact.

TIME Person of the Year

“This magazine article celebrating Greta Thunberg’s selection as Time person of the year provided background information on Thunberg’s life, views, and achievements. First describing Thunberg’s unlikely role as the face of the climate movement, the article delves into her motivations and the environmental awakening that prompted her to fall into a depression, abandon her unsustainable habits, and ultimately begin the youth climate movement.” – Zotero, Shanthi Chackalackal

The Transformation of Greta Thunberg

“This interview piece from The Guardian covers how Greta Thunberg has changed in the three years since she began her crusade against climate change. Since her first school strike in 2018, Thunberg has become ‘one of the most famous people on Earth,’ which has had various repercussions for her family and her daily life, from politicians to ‘Greta Groupies’ alike. She concludes that friendship is the best thing to come out of her activism.” – Zotero, Marie Clare Paxton


The largest part of the database by far, this contains editorials, op-eds, and letters to the editor about Thunberg and her contemporaries, organized by country of publication.

How Greta Thunberg Transformed Existential Dread Into a Movement

“This review of Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis takes a look at Thunberg’s rhetoric in the historical context of the pandemic. ‘Missives of alarm’ such as “I want you to panic” created a framework for interpreting crises, like the one that befell shortly after her rise to fame, in a productive rather than defeatist way. Witt draws a parallel between the ways people have reacted to climate change and the ways people have reacted to the pandemic. This is especially insightful given her deliberate linking of Covid-19 and other zoonotic diseases to increased farmland acreage as well as other environmental concerns.” – Zotero, Helena Skadberg

Beyond the climate crisis gloom and doom: Nurturing hope and opportunity

“In this article from Canada’s National Observer, Paul Shore debates the merits of the “doom and gloom” approach to describing climate change to children. While he agrees that Greta Thunberg’s rhetoric has inspired and mobilized millions of teenagers, he finds that fear is not a motivator for very young children. Rather he believes that parents should “reframe” to nurture a mindset in their children that encourages hope and opportunity.” – Zotero, Marie Clare Paxton

Darren Aronofsky: Greta Thunberg is the Icon the Planet Desperately Needs

“Aronofsky’s op-ed iterates the sheer amount of hope that Greta Thunberg brings to the climate movement, highlighting the photo of her that sparked climate action. He states that symbolic images tend to show us what we have been trying to ignore (in this case the climate crisis).” – Zotero, Helena Skadberg

Greta Thunberg y Los Suyos

“This opinion article discusses why Greta Thunberg is negatively perceived among adults. The author explains it is because Thunberg represents the “rebel child” that pushes back against the norm set by adults. Likewise, the author highlights that the mentioning of “Greta” refers to all young people.” – Zotero, Paulina Morera-Quesada

Våre etterkommere skal lese om voksne som sviktet dem, og unge som kjempet [Our descendants will read about the adults who betrayed them, and the young people who fought]

“This author claims that the youth only have demonstrations to get their voices heard and that they can … make history. She argues that the adults the youth are peacefully protesting to are failing them and failing the movement they seek action for. She uses Gandhi and MLK as examples of protests that helped a movement receive attention” – Zotero, Hannah Stoeckel

Scholarly Articles

This section contains scholarly articles on Thunberg and her impact ranging from analyses of social media representations of Thunberg to rhetorical analysis.

Hopeful, Harmless, and Heroic: Figuring the Girl Activist as Global Savior

“There has been a notable increase in the public visibility of girl activists in the past ten years. In this article, I analyze media narratives about several individual girl activists to highlight key components of the newly desirable figure of the girl activist. After tracing the expansion of girl power discourses from an emphasis on individual empowerment to the invocation of girls as global saviors, I argue that girls are particularly desirable figures for public consumption because the encoding of girls as symbols of hope helps to resolve public anxieties about the future, while their more radical political views are managed through girlhood’s association with harmlessness. Ultimately, the figure of the hopeful and harmless girl activist hero is simultaneously inspirational and demobilizing.” – Jessica K. Taft

Constructing an activist self: Greta Thunberg’s climate activism as life writing

“Climate change and the concerns it raises for the environment and all those inhabiting planet earth, human and nonhuman alike, have prompted waves of activism since the last decades of the twentieth century. Over the last few years, however, a novel form of activism has emerged, apparently led by children and youth from all over the world. This article studies how one of its most prominent leaders, Greta Thunberg, and her climate activism may be read as a life-writing project. Drawing on traditions of social movements and testimony, rights discourse, rhetoric, and strong emotions are strategically deployed to generate affective and effective engagement and action. The self that is in the making in Thunberg’s audiovisual and written life-writing texts is arguably a testimonial “I” to lay bare injustice. Her self-construction hinges upon the denunciation of broader systemic causes than mere lack of attention to the climate crisis.” – Ana Belén Martínez García

Works by Thunberg 

This section contains books, op-eds, articles, and speeches written or co-written by Thunberg

This is the World Being Left to Us by Adults

“In this opinion guest essay, youth climate activists from Sweden, Kenya, Mexico, and Bangladesh write that climate change is the biggest threat to the younger generation and generations before have failed the current. The authors highlight the urgency for collective action, saying the international community must work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid the worst possible consequences.” – Zotero, Marie Clare Paxton