Young activists can help lead the fight for a healthier planet

Young activists can help lead the fight for a healthier planet

Photo: Pixabay / Kevin_Snyman

Greta Thunberg has become a famous name all over the world? a determined, young Swedish woman who at the age of 16 became a familiar face in the global climate strike on September 20, 2019, which inspired over four million protesters to join the movement.

Although Thunberg has earned her right to be recognized as a leading eco-warrior, she is not the only young environmental activist to make her mark on the world.

An eight-year-old Mari Copeny became infamous for her letter to President Barack Obama regarding water pollution in her hometown of Flint, Michigan, eventually being named “Little Miss Flint.”

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is another youth activist and environmental hip-hop artist who served as the youth director of the Earth Guardians. This organization integrates music, art and storytelling to address important environmental issues and effectively educate and mobilize other youth activists.

Of course, Thunberg, Copeny and Martinez are just a small selection of eco-activists who work tirelessly to create positive change for future generations. Together, young activists have much to teach the world about the climate crisis and how to approach these issues in the future.

Here are five lessons we can learn from young environmental activists.

1. Diversity is paramount

Environmental racism often means that people from disadvantaged societies do not have access to pure ecological resources, with environmental risks and pollutants likely to affect low-income earners and marginalized societies based on race.

Environmental activists for young people have anchored their efforts to address racial inequalities in their climate-focused mission, shed light on the lack of different voices and increase the representation of people of all cultural backgrounds, disabilities and gender identities.

Young people learn and educate others about environmental racism, which provides a much-needed platform for under-represented individuals to express how they are most affected by climate change.

2. Social media is a powerful tool

As of July 2021, an estimated 4.8 billion people use social media platforms and youth climate activists have realized the potential to reach the masses and encourage participation in their movement.

Information is spread rapidly through social media applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, enabling activists to effectively raise awareness of environmental issues with photos and video and connect with users around the world.

Social media is also a useful tool for educating those who may not have access to more common media networks.

Responsibility is the key

People under the age of 18 are considered by law to be too young to vote for political leaders who adhere to their green ideologies; however, they have not allowed this to hinder their environmental work.

Some youth-led organizations, such as the Sunrise Movement, are developing ways to express young people’s environmental perspectives and concerns about the US government, making the fight against climate change their full-time job.

Members of the Sunrise Movement have become good partners to find solutions to green jobs, environmental racism and the covid-19 crisis? They are calling for legislators who stand in the way of progress.

Although young environmental activists may not be directly involved in decision-making, they can still hold those in power accountable for their actions and encourage change. Whether it is a ban on fracking or a quest for more sustainable and healthy food, leaders know that their actions are closely monitored and judged by future voters.

4. Information must be available

The United States is a melting pot of different cultures, with lots of people settling in from all over the world. According to the 2020 US Census Bureau report, about 40% of Americans classify as a race or ethnicity other than white. Similar multicultural societies exist in Europe and elsewhere.

For this reason, environmental activists for young people realize the importance of available information. The latest trends in environmental science must be interpreted in a way that resonates with ordinary people and is translated into several languages.

The average person should not struggle to understand the policies or ecological issues that directly affect them. For example, “carbon bonding” may be better understood as “the manner in which carbon is removed from the air.”

Another example is “common pool resources”, which are “water basins, forests and fishing that all share.”

5. Environmental youth activism is for everyone

Of all the important lessons we can learn from environmental activists for young people, you are never too young or old to get involved.

Young people may not be able to vote, but they can participate in community involvement in their communities or at the national level. For some, the climate crisis is taking them far and wide internationally.

According to a 2020 survey by Tuft University’s Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), 80% of respondents believe that the power of change lies in their good hands, while another 79% think that the pandemic emphasized how politics affects their daily lives. . life.

With all this in mind, it is clear that young people are playing a crucial role in the fight for a healthier and more sustainable soil. By mobilizing and leading these issues at the forefront of political, economic and behavioral change, they pave the way for climate reform and racial equality for future generations.

The post Young activists can help lead the fight for a healthier planet first appeared in the Sustainability Times.

Source: Shelf life


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