Greta Thunberg has only just stopped being a teenager yet she's already done so much for the world
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Featured Image Credit: Per Grunditz / Alamy Stock Photo/UPI / Alamy Stock Photo
By the time I turned 20, my biggest achievement - like many other young adults - was having gotten into university and survived two years in a different city without giving myself alcohol poisoning.
For Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg - who turned 20 today (Tuesday, 3 January) - it's a very different story.
Thunberg - full name Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg - was born on 3 January, 2003 in Stockholm, Sweden to opera singer Malena Ernman and actor Svante Thunberg.
In her 2018 TedxTalk, Thunberg stated: "I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, OCD and selective mutism. That basically means I only speak when I think it's necessary. Now is one of those moments."
Thunberg first rose to fame at the young age of 15, swapping house parties, nicking her parent's cigarettes and sneaking out after 9:00pm for protesting outside the Swedish Parliament, calling for stronger action on climate change.
Despite her father's desires for her to not miss any school, at the age of 16, Thunberg took to the stage at the United Nations Climate Summit in 2019.
"People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you, " Thunberg told delegates.
Thunberg's impassioned speech captured the attention of many world leaders, including the likes of former US President Donald Trump who went on to mock the teenager on Twitter.
Despite her young age, Thunberg - who inspired a global strike for climate action across 4,500 locations in 150 countries - proved she was a force to be reckoned with, hitting back by trolling the former US president in her Twitter bio.
Trump isn't the only white, middle-aged, middle-class male who has tried to take a swipe at the young woman either, with former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson - unsurprisingly - also having a go at the activist, branding her a 'spoilt little brat,' alongside - shocker - Piers Morgan accusing Thunberg of 'abusing loads of adults'.
In the latest bit of beef, Thunberg took on Andrew Tate and proved she's just as witty as she is clever and concerned about the climate, having the last laugh after Tate was arrested and not shying away from trolling him on Twitter about it - even making Twitter history, one of her replies ending up in the top 10 most liked tweets of all time.
However, let's get back to what truly matters - Thunberg's fight against the climate crisis.
In her 20 years on the planet, Thunberg has done more to try to battle against climate change than most of the world's average 20-year-olds put together.
Scientists even named a new species of beetle after the activist in recognition of all her 'outstanding contributions' to raising awareness of climate change.
And as if Thunberg hadn't already won the hearts of the public already, in 2019 she refused to accept an environmental award worth £40,000 and also went on to donate her €1 million Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity cheque to climate groups.
Thunberg has done her best to practise what she preaches, calling out to boat owners for a lift to the COP25 Climate Summit in order to get there in the most environmentally-friendly way as possible.
For someone to speak out so fiercely against world leaders - accusing them of 'betraying us' in their lack of action to take better care of, and ultimately save, the planet - is not only brave, but to do so at such a young age, is beyond admirable.
Thunberg's tremendous influence on many young adults and teens has since become known as the 'Greta effect'.
Happy Birthday Greta.