Q1. Luisa Neubauer (the ‘German Greta’): Advice for Would-be Climate Activists: What are her key points and how are they relevant to this moment? In particular what is her ‘lesson from the pandemic’?
A1. Luisa Neubauer, the ‘German Greta’, is a 24-year old climate activist who raises her voice to tackle the climate crisis in a powerful manner. She makes important points about the need to take action that are relevant even today. She urges everyone to connect with nature and feel joy about the things that surround us. This is relevant in todays world as our generation often neglects the beauty of nature and focus most of their time on social media and materialistic gains. They lose touch with their surroundings and forget to appreciate the things that really matter. Luisa suggests that there is power in numbers and encourages people to join a movement. It is important to be united in times of a crisis and take action collectively. She also urges everyone to push pressure on the government to take charge about the situation and suggests to take to the streets. This is relevant even today as the Covid-19 crisis has put a strain on young people’s mental health. Anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses are increasing in number. However, by getting out and taking action against climate change, the anxiety could be turned into something more constructive.
Her ‘lesson from the pandemic’ is that if people really want to take charge and bring about a change, they can. If they feel strongly about a crisis then change can be made easily. Seeing the outcome of the pandemic and how the government and the people are doing everything they can do put an end to the virus, she believes that there is hope for the same to happen for climate change as well.
Q2. Robert Downey Jr. launches sustainable VC Fund: is this an important development?
A2. Robert Downey Jr. announces sustainable tech venture funds which is an important development for the climate crisis and other major environmental challenges. By investing money in sustainably focused companies, the interest in and implementation of enviro-tech solutions will increase. By creating educational content around the environment, scientific concepts will be converted into accessible information that can be understood by people all around the world. This will not only help in reaching to a broader audience but will also increase the impact it has on them.
The unity of investors, donors and storytellers is an important step in combating any environmental issue. Mobilizing the masses and getting real people to invest in the companies that are building businesses around saving the planet will further help put an end to these issues.
Q3. The Green New Deal: Millennials and Gen Z: What is the Green New Deal? Who Coined the Term and why is it important? What do you think of this video message from the future and the core collaboration behind it?
A3. The term “Green New Deal” was first used by Pulitzer Prize-winner Thomas Friedman in January 2007. It is a proposal that calls for public policy to address climate change along with achieving other social aims like job creation and reducing economic inequality. The Green New Deal is not a specific policy proposal, but rather a general set of goals. It is important since it pushes for transitioning the United States to use 100% renewable, zero-emission energy sources and addresses the issue of poverty. It also calls for universal health care, increased minimum wages, and preventing monopolies.
“A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a seven-minute film that imagines a future with the Green New Deal. I found this video to be interesting as it is based on the premise that “We can be whatever we have the courage to see.” Society tends to be too pessimistic in their visions of the future, specially with climate change. This video pushes society to overcome this pessimism and skepticism and believe that they can bring about a change in the world.