“Climate change is now destroying the earth. We need to reduce or eliminate these fuels and replace them with renewables while conserving energy. We need our leaders to take action.” said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network during The Guardian’s live panel.
Today, environmental advocates brought in new voices and new stories to the debate of climate action to answer tough questions on how influential people are using their status to support the environmental movement. Working in collaboration with figures from art, fashion, music, and sport is a creative approach to creating a climate change culture rallying people together on a global scale. It is not a one man, or a one institution job—we need everybody united in this fight for a better future.
During the panel, there was a unanimous agreement on the importance of including influential people in this movement, however panelists and participates diverged on whether or not their message should paint negative or positive impressions. Some argued that it was critical to highlight and raise awareness about the negative consequences of our actions on the environment. Other believed it was time to advocate for a more positive message encouraging communities to take part in sustainability. Earth Day Network believes a fusion of both approaches will raise awareness about environmental issues and provide the necessary tools for citizens to pressure their leaders to make a change.
The stars of pop culture inspire have the potential to inspire people to learn more about their community and identify ways they can work together to promote the sustainability. Creating active engagement and positive publicity is an essential part of a cohesive culture on climate change. People in the public eye have extended reach and can rally a variety of supports who might not identify as environmentalists; Jaden Smith, in partnership with Earth Day Network’s Canopy Project, advocates for the protection of our precious trees and encourages reforestation.
For the 45th anniversary this year, Earth Day Network will once again be the center of attention to unite people on climate change issues. The secret is to use a pragmatic approach, diversifying the environmental movement across society, bringing together people with different backgrounds and interests to a common goal. This new culture will embody a community to develop personal obligations and a strong connection to environmental issues. Our event on the D.C. National Mall on April 18th will rally people together, and by including climate activists from sport to art to music and beyond, we will increase awareness, engagement, and action.
Climate change is our fight, 2015 is our year.
Salima Mahamoudou, Intern