With TikTok and Lawsuits, Gen Z Takes on Climate Change
With active lawsuits in five states, TikTok videos that mix humor and outrage, and marches in the streets, it's a movement that is seeking to shape policy, sway elections and shift a narrative that its proponents say too often emphasizes climate catastrophes instead of the need to make the planet healthier and cleaner. Young climate activists in the United States have not yet had the same impact of their counterparts in Europe, where Greta Thunberg has galvanized a generation.
"We see what's happening with climate change, and how it affects everything else," said Elise Joshi, 21, the executive director of Gen-Z for Change, an organization she joined while she was in college. "We're experiencing a mix of anger and fear, and we're finally channeling it into hope into the form of collective action." The youth vote's mounting frustration with the Biden Administration's climate agenda is a wild card factor in next year's presidential race.
Young people are helping organize a climate march in New York next month, during the United Nations General Assembly. Now What? Scientists Recreate Pink Floyd Song by Reading Brain Signals of Listeners Michigan State Finds an Observatory From 142 Years Ago Buried on Campus That mix of pride and exasperation is not uncommon among young climate activists.
Vic Barrett, 24 and a resident of the Bronx, is one of the plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States and got interested in climate change a decade ago after learning about it in an after-school program not long after Hurricane Sandy inflicted widespread damage across the Northeast. "People like me are at the forefront of the climate crisis." Image Vic Barrett in a blue shirt and green hat poses for a portrait, seated on a wooden rail in front of a dark background of trees and shaded lawn.
Mr. Artis, who helped organize a youth climate march in 2018, is still sending people into the streets.
"Providing solutions in the midst of discussion of a problem helps get people engaged." Enthusiasm for the climate movement is spreading in surprising ways.