Generation Z seems to always be at the forefront of environmental issues. We have the examples of Greta Thunberg and Dr. Mya-Rose Craig who are so prominent in the environmental scene whilst being younger than 20 years old. How to explain this generation’s views and passion for the environment?
One of the reasons could be the media that they consumed growing up. Nature documentaries such as Planet Earth are a shared childhood memory of Gen Z’s around the world, with many having David Attenborough as their personal hero. How much has media influenced this generation into saving the environment?
Today, Beathriz Souza will be discussing it with one of our correspondents in the studio.
The media scene of today shows us how much the environment is no longer just in the background. There are more and more programmes dedicated solely to the environment such as the podcast How to Save a Planet. The podcast is ranked on the top 50 podcasts on Spotify in the ‘society and culture’ category. Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Alex Blumberg are the hosts that use humour and entertainment to present solutions and new practical ideas on how to solve the climate change.
The environmental hold of the media does not stop there. The Environmental Media Association comes as an organisation backed by entertainment industry influencers and entrepreneurs dedicated to promoting environmental progress through the media industry. The association hosts awards for environmental storytelling with its latest winners being Ted Lasso, No Sudden Move and Full Frontal With Samantha Bee for their contributions in bringing sustainability into the forefront of the conversation with environmental storylines and activism behind the scenes.
But does the youth of today even care about TV anymore? Research shows that Gen Z is no longer attracted to the box, with only 10% of participants saying that watching TV or movies was their favourite form of entertainment. When speaking with 20 year-old film student, Henry Bowdidge, he said “most people my age group get most of their information from the Internet. I still catch a glimpse of TV here and there but don’t use it as a source of information”. Others like Daniel Walters, 20-year old musician still feel like TV can shape society “People imitate the character they idolise and if that isn’t environmentally friendly it causes the crisis we see today.”
Whether is the traditional TV or the internet, the truth is undeniable, we are living through an environmental crisis. Crisis that in some places of the world feels more imminent than others, bringing the need for action. Next month, the United Nations will be hosting what they call “the world’s best last chance to get runaway climate change under control” with its climate change conference, also known as COP26. This will take place in Glasgow and will count with the presence of world leaders and ambassadors to definite the next steps to save the planet.
Here at Branch, we are excited to find out how Gen Z will be watching this event and keep you updated on all things COP26.