Think globally, act locally

Celebrity activists use social media and influence to showcase need for environmental activism

Shruti Chada, Staff Writer

Scrolling through Instagram feeds never fails to divert boredom, but now it’s buffeted by posts about climate change from child actor Aiden Gallagher from the Netflix show, The Umbrella Academy. In this day and age, celebrities have a degree of influence that’s international, and some of them are using it in a positive way to speak out about climate change. 

The world, according to a report from the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is slowly heating up, leading to the icebergs melting, desertification, land degradation, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. It’s more important than ever for celebrities to speak out, attend protests, talk about activism on social media, and try to change to a more sustainable way of living.

This can prove to be problematic though, because celebrities are praised for doing the bare minimum. Others, however, put effort behind non-profit organizations and get little credit. Despite that, celebrities already have substantial audiences, so they’re still helping the cause. Frankly, I’d prefer them put the smallest effort into a good cause than follow Jared Leto’s path and start a cult on a remote island. 

  One of the best examples of celebrity activism is when famous actors Ted Danson and Jane Fonda both got arrested for attending climate change protests. They used their influence so that they could make a difference, even risking their arrests to show their commitment to activism. Fame grants you certain liberties, and they used it so it would benefit their cause. 

Celebrities also use their social media to make a statement. Aiden Gallagher, the youngest UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador elected at 14 years old, uses his social media to regularly post information about how climate change is affecting the planet. His Instagram account has a huge following, so more people can see his messages and become informed. He has already inspired so many people to start informing themselves on climate change by speaking up at the Illegal Wildlife Conference and getting more teenagers to join protests. 

Plus, several nostalgic childhood figures from childhood have spoken up about climate change. This is vital to changing people’s minds towards the severity of climate change. Bill Nye’s video Climate: 101 was a wakeup call with it’s f-bombs and blowtorches. With admirable role models speaking out about stopping climate change, it influences their audiences to become more informed about the topic and take steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

The influence of celebrities is ingrained in our society, and the way that they use that influence can make important changes. With their massive audiences and the show of their support, it’s possible that the fight against climate change will gain more supporters.