#SaveThePlanet: How Social Media Helps Mitigate The Effects of Climate Change on Humanity
Updated: May 19
Without any clear doubt, the presence of social media has significantly revamped almost every section of humanity, of which the climate sector isn't excluded.
Over time, social media has been a substantial medium for the resolution and facilitation of change in prospective facets of life. To clearly set forth the exposition of this work, it will be duly necessary that justice is done to the keywords employed in this piece.
The word 'impact' as defined by the Oxford Dictionary is simply the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.
On the other hand, the compound noun social media as also defined by the Oxford dictionary refers to websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
Mitigating in its literal meaning means making something less severe, serious, or painful.
Consequentially, Climate Change as defined by the United Nations refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle, but since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas.
Social media has obviously played a significant role in helping humans communicate, including spreading knowledge about the dangers of climate change. With the growing activism for climate sustainability, there's no doubt of what the future holds.
One notable way social media has helped in ensuring environmental sustainability is via the education and enlightenment of propelled issues relating to climate change. It helps in conveying basic scientific consensus on climate change like whether the global temperature has increased or otherwise. It has also helped in promoting trends regarding climate movements. Thus, social media serves as a tool for raising public awareness on issues of climate change and environmental sustainability.
Another way in which social media helps in climate sustainability advocacy is by, undermining certain misconceptions previously centered around climate change. Climate misinformation is absolutely just what it sounds like: the sharing of information about climate change that is false, incorrect, or a myth. Researchers at Indiana University have identified kinds of biases that, in their words, 'make the social media ecosystem vulnerable to both intentional and accidental misinformation.'
Although an aid for education, social media sites have been rife with climate and clean energy misinformation for years — and their responses to this growing problem have been unsatisfyingly mixed, at best. A clear example is after one research organization found that Twitter had allowed nearly half a million posts that deny climate change to appear on its platform in 2020. In a nutshell, social media helps to spot and stop climate misinformation globally.
Most assuredly, the relevance of social media cannot be deemed irrelevant as its fruits and gains are already in realization.
For instance, Greta Thurnberg was successfully able to start an international climate movement via the use of social media. Her popular hashtag, #FridaysForFuture, became a global trend on Instagram in the area of climate change. Also, her movement, School Strike for Climate, subsequently became an international phenomenon due to the presence of social media that helped in skyrocketing her advocacy around the world, notwithstanding her geographical location.
Another cognizant example is me. After I launched my podcast on climate education, Clim-Acts Hub Podcast, I immediately took to Instagram to create an account for the dissemination and enlightenment of people beyond my reach physically, knowing fully well that, with the aid of social media, the gap between me and my audience could be eliminated. Thus, social media served as a bridge to achieving and running a successful podcast globally.
These are just a few examples of the role social media has played in the fight to save our planet. The advent of social media has made the work of climate activists easier since its grace knows no bounds.
Conclusively, in this world of uncertainties, it is safe to attribute and tether major climate education of people globally to the influence and presence of social media in humanity. Social media is here to stay and can be used as a tool to #SaveThePlanet.
Engage with the work of climate activists online, in form of articles, podcasts, essays and research documents
Contribute to and engage in social media challenges that are in correspondence with climate sustainability and education. For instance, the sustainable challenge of planting a tree daily, which has undoubtedly been of great support in actualizing a greener and safer environment.
Here is a great challenge you can start with! In order to aid the actualization of a renewed and greener environment, you can engage actively via social media educating your followers with the #3Rs to aid the cultivation of the reform as a habit that'll birth great change;
#Recycle: people are to post on their socials using the hashtag to enlighten people on the need to revitalize recyclable materials like plastics, rubbers, cans, etc. in order to mitigate the effects of climate change in the environs.
#Reduce: people can post with the #reduce, to foster proper familiarity with the need to reduce the amount of consumption of certain goods in plastics and also educate others on the reason for the need to drastically reduce the continuous amount of daily energy consumption that they contribute to their environs because their inadvertent actions are hazardous to the environment.
WRITTEN BY Praise Friday.
Praise is an enthusiastic climate change activist, change agent, and aspiring solicitor. He loves reading across various literary genres, writing and reciting poetry, and singing. He has a strong resilient spirit to restructure and reform the legal system in Nigeria and strongly believes that change is a movement to attain.
With Praises' aspirations of attaining change, he simultaneously believes that there's a need for a change in the ethics and character of young people dominating the world and so he encourages young folks to tread on the right path of salvation.
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EDITED BY Chizulu Uwolloh.
'Zulu is a writer, self-proclaimed bibliophile, lawyer, and international development professional passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities. She is also the founder of Kurerie, a digital platform, and community that amplifies the voices of youth making an impact in their communities. Kurerie educates young people on how they can become active stakeholders in the achievement of the SDGs. She is passionate about showing young people that they can change the world with the smallest actions.
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