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Climate Campaigns: How Has It Been Changing?

Photo Illustration by The New York Times

If the climate is changing, it’s safe to say that so are we.

In ways that are bad and in ways that are good, the human population has been evolving through the development of technology, the introduction of new ideas, the blossoming events in politics, and the adaptation to a 2 year old coronavirus. One way we have changed for the better is through our growing awareness on the topical problem of climate change. Let’s take a look at the shift of people’s thoughts from the campaigns that made global warming front-page news all the way back to the 1990s.

Significant figures throughout history like Rachel Carson had launched modern environmentalism and this advanced several organisations to participate in discussions about the climate with climate-specific movements initiated later on in the 2000s. These campaigns were all aiming for the goal of encouraging awareness, and spotlighting the issue for people to understand the potential impact it brought. They also were hinged on generating public support to create policies that will take action, and as a result, they played a considerable role in policy formation. For instance, Rachel Carson’s book on the adverse environmental influence of pesticides that led to a national ban on the substances. Another example would be Friends of the Earth, an NGO that has been campaigning on climate change issues.

In the modern world, the neoteric generation has been more cooperative in its approach to climate change campaigns.

Statistically, the “Gen Z and Millennials” have been more active on climate concerns compared to the “Baby Boomers and Gen X”. Through individual and group campaigns, efforts and practises have been made to address the problem and they tend to express more passionate reactions on social media in the face of climate change content. In relation to the content, more than 50% of the Gen Z and the Millennials have shown anxiety over the future compared to the senior generations. Since 2015, the public concern over the subject has grown with a swift increase noted in 2018, according to the Public Attitudes Tracker. After all, there is a reason as to why youth organisations like Greener is Cleaner are taking action.

So, how are we taking action to address the situation?

For the sake of not depriving the future and the planet, the younger generations are more willing to adapt to utilising new and renewable forms of energy, and shift from fossil fuels, hence why there are acts and policies implemented to raise a non-fossil-fuel’s share of total electricity production by a certain percent in a certain year or to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality.

In the eyes of a youth, many have taken upon themselves to volunteer, organise rallies or protests, sharing a social media post or even motivating conversation within friends and family. Involving 17 advanced economies, a 2021 survey done by the Pew Research centre showed that:

  • Concern That Climate Change Will Harm You Personal At Some Point In Your Life: Very/somewhat concerned: 72% Not too/not at all concerned: 27%

  • Willing To Make ___ Changes About How You Live & Work To Help Reduce The Effects of Global Climate Change: A lot of/some: 80% Only a few/none at all: 19%

  • Our Society Is Doing A ____ Job Dealing With Global Climate Change: Very/somewhat good: 56% Very/somewhat bad: 44%

  • Confidence That Actions Taken By The International Community Will Significantly Reduce The Effects of Global Climate Change: Very/somewhat confident: 46% Not too/not at all confident: 52%

Countries like Germany, Australia and South Korea’s views on the ramifications of the climate change issue have also grown and concerns have increased, letting many youths be at the forefront of bringing attention compared to their older counterparts.

One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, “What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?”

-Rachel Carson.



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