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Do climate activists pose a threat?

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Environmental activism has gone from being seen as a movement of hippies to a movement that can threaten the lifestyle and economic interests of large companies.

There are those who consider that the movement against climate change is something of today's youth, but the work of climate activists goes back a long way. In the early 19th century, the scientist Svante Arrhenius and the scientist Eunice Newton Foote were already talking about how fossil fuels could accelerate global warming. However, the environmental movement would not begin until the 1970s.

World War II had ended, industrial production was rising exponentially around of the world, and scientists began to note drastic changes in the temperature of planet Earth. The twenty years that elapsed between 1950 and 1970 were the coldest that had been recorded so far, but the temperature gradually increased in the following years.

Scientists were already talking openly about global warming in the 1970s, warning of the serious problem that would mean for the planet such an increase in temperature, but they were not listened to and the emissions of CO₂ they only increased. The hippie movement was on the rise during those years, a movement that stood out for the freedom of young people and the concern they had for the planet; their philosophy was to live and let live, and that included taking care of the world they lived in. That is why, when someone called themselves a climate activist, they were quickly labelled as a hippie and discredited their opinion. Climate activism would be seen for years as crazy or exaggerated.

The year 1988 would go down as the hottest year on record, and the media started to relate and name it the greenhouse effect. The hippies weren't so wrong after all, but the work of environmental activism was still stigmatized.

In the eras of the 1980s and 1990s, the public about climate change began to rise, and there was an increase in activism and public awareness of the issue. Politicians like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher included global warming on their political agendas, but it would not be taken seriously until 1995, when a group of scientists spoke for the first time about the risk of a hole in the ozone layer caused by industrial emissions. Since then, politicians would start to take global warming seriously, but activism environmental It would not be put on the front page until the arrival of Greta Thunberg.

If for the last decade the climate movement had been silenced or, at least, not talked about as much, everything would change when a new wave of climate activism It only came out a few years ago. This new wave youth led, has led to demonstrations and school strikes around the world, all with the same goal: to protect the planet and send a clear message, there is no planet B.

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has become one of the leading figures in this movement, inspiring millions of young people around the world to take action against climate change.

Today, environmental activism focuses on the importance and the need to take urgent and effective action to address climate change, and the need to involve all sectors of society more than ever. The objectives proposed in the past editions of the World Climate Summit have not been met, and it has not been possible to stop the rise in the Earth's temperature.

That is why activists are calling for a sea change in the policies and practices of governments and companies around the world, demanding a rapid transition to a more sustainable and resilient future before it is too late.

This radical change would affect the economic interests of the most polluting companies in the world, given that its form of production -which is the most polluting - is the one that most benefits companies such as Coca-Cola, Danone or Nestlé. Therefore, it is crucial that politicians in our country - and the rest of the world - create policies that force companies to produce in the least harmful way for the planet and in the most sustainable way possible. Hence, big business fear environmental activists, because they are the ones who would put at risk everything they have created based on contaminating and damaging the world.

Planet Earth has suffered irreparable damage, but we still have time to reduce its consequences if we as a society do something about it. Something that may seem as small as buying in bulk can mean a big change in the way we consume and pollute.

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