Celebrities have the ability to bring attention to issues they find important – from helping starving children to ensuring you feel pressure to buy things you don’t need. In recent history celebrities have changed the discourse on important issues, but when it comes to the climate crisis they come across as powerless. That’s OK, because the people actually making a difference are on the ground and helping their friends make changes.
The most powerful climate “influencers” of today are not celebrities who have achieved fame and then used their platform to deliver some wan cliché about “being nice to the planet.” They’re ordinary people — mostly young women — who are alarmed about the climate crisis and demand world leaders pay more attention to it. In environmental circles, their activism has made them celebrities, not the other way around.
“I think that people my age are just kind of done listening to people who are on red carpets all the time, and then post one picture of a turtle on the side,” said Jamie Margolin, the 17-year-old co-founder of youth climate group Zero Hour. “They’re getting sick of fakeness, and with the urgency of the climate crisis, it’s not enough to have it as your side thing. People are more drawn to influencers whose whole thing is tackling the climate crisis.”