"Generation Greta" - Inspiring Change in Younger Generations

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UNICEF/UN0302766/Pawelczyk

The rise of “Generation Greta” has inspired young people to take the stand against climate change, trying to make a powerful, positive change to the world. But, there have been many people opposing this new movement, causing much dispute between members of the celebrity and overall public community.

Greta Thunberg has taken the world by storm. The Times Magazine “Person of the Year” gained popularity while striking outside of the Swedish Parliament during school days, trying to make the government take a stronger stance and increase the fight against climate change.

She and other students, internationally, started a movement called “Fridays for the Future”, which included a climate strike every Friday - planned, organized and initiated by students. This movement also had a large impact on the students in my school.

Our annual school founding day was replaced by a day themed “The Climate of Change” - learning about climate change, cleaning up beaches and trying our best to emulate Greta Thunberg’s values and ideas. 

But it isn’t only our school - celebrities worldwide are stepping up to try to motivate and influence the mindsets of their young fans.

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Billie Eilish performing
Billie Eilish, a 17 year old popstar, inspiring young generations towards sustainable change.
“I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic, and act as if the house was on fire.” - Greta Thunberg

Billie Eilish, a new and upcoming young artist who has millions of teenage fans, announced that her next tour will be an eco-tour, with no single-use plastic and wastage of material. Coldplay, an older band, has decided that they will not go on tour (as previously scheduled) until they figure out how to have a completely green tour that does not impact their carbon footprint.

My personal favourite, Lewis Hamilton, has also made extreme green changes to his life. Considering that Formula One is a technologically advanced sport, requiring flights across the world every couple of days, the drivers' carbon footprints are naturally very large. Hamilton is now working with the FIA (the board that oversees F1) to try and make the sport less environment-taxing. He has become vegan and has influenced his team (Mercedes) to reduce the amount of single-use plastic.

Celebrities should try their best to use their platform for good. Considering that the up and coming generations listen to their songs, watch their sporting events and their movies daily, their societal impact will be far-reaching.

However, some disagree with this idea. Jeremy Clarkson, the previous star of Top Gear, has hit out at Greta Thunberg and her student followers. He argued that she was "causing young children to have sleepless nights with her idiocy”. However, I believe that this fear is necessary.

If Clarkson’s generation couldn’t help deter rapid environmental decay, the burden, unfortunately, is placed on the younger generation. The “sleepless nights” filled with worry will compel students to change their lifestyles early (while it’s still easy to do so), in order to lead change and continue with a sustainable mindset for the rest of their lives.

Greta represents this new generation, my generation, as a whole- one that is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to make up for the preceding generational flaws. 

 

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People protesting for the environment
2018, Climate protests in Marseille, France.
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