The terrifying threat of the climate crisis looms over us all. As climate anxiety seeps in for those who understand what is at stake, it’s easy to feel hopeless about the health of our planet and humanity. However, hope is abundant when you look up to our climate warriors; the people leading others on the journey to combat climate change.
What is a climate warrior?
Climate warriors are passionate individuals who are taking strides to fight against the devastating effects climate change has on our planet. These brave leaders understand the climate crisis on a global scale. They are wide awake and aware of the consequences for all species on planet Earth if we do not preserve and protect our beautiful space rock’s resources.
Anyone can be a climate warrior if they are passionate and willing to take action. A climate warrior could be anyone from a celebrity with a large platform to a climate scientist to your high school English teacher to a houseless person protesting on the streets.
The most powerful climate warriors also recognize the intersection of all social injustices. Different cultures, groups of people, and regions are affected unequally by the horrors of this climate emergency. Climate activists spread awareness for the inequities experienced by oppressed groups of people and those who live in regions that are pummeled by climate disasters more severely than other parts of the world.
Climate warriors are role models we can trust to lead our world to productive change that will benefit our planet. Their recognition of the little time we have left to change our ways translates into quick actions. As they educate and empower others to reduce their waste, protest against pipelines, and vote for leaders who will fight alongside them, they’re reshaping our world baby step by baby step.
How do climate warriors combat climate change?
Here are popular ways climate warriors take climate action, however, this list is not comprehensive. There are so many different ways to better sustain our planet and its people.
They maintain climate-conscious perspectives throughout their careers.
No matter the occupation, there are always opportunities to use your career as a medium of change. Engineers, journalists, chefs, farmers, lawyers, nurses, analysts, and all professionals can integrate climate-consciousness into their careers. Different professions offer unique opportunities for climate warriors to leverage their positions in society to change the world we live in.
They peacefully protest on the streets.
Activists protest against political inaction, unnecessary investment in pipelines and other infrastructure, nefarious initiatives of the fossil fuel industry, pollution, and more. Peaceful protests include marching through streets in parade-like fashion, chanting bold statements, addressing their leaders, and holding up signs with clever messages.
They participate in online campaigning.
Internet activism allows influencers to spread their climate messages through social media, email, podcasts, and other online platforms. This is a fast and effective way to communicate with a large audience.
They write about climate topics to educate others.
Individuals write in detail about climate topics through blogs, ebooks, physical books, newspaper articles, and more. Climate topics might include reducing your carbon footprint, living more sustainably, the plastic industry, the energy industry, or how to protect ecosystems like oceans and rainforests.
They live sustainably and lower their carbon footprint.
Climate warriors live in alignment with their values. Not only are they influencing the world to change its ways, but they practice living sustainably in their own lives by being conscious consumers, refusing unnecessary energy consumption, avoiding single-use plastics, growing their own food, and more. Some activists, like Lauren Singer (CEO of Package Free Shop), live zero waste lives, meaning they send nothing to the landfill. Lauren lives with a single mason jar filled with her waste collected over the past ten years!
They demand more from their country’s leaders.
Many activists are powerful speakers and will speak with or write letters to their country's leaders, demanding policy changes that will positively impact people and the planet.
They vote for leaders with aggressive climate agendas.
You can find climate warriors in voting booths electing officials whose climate policies align with their values. It’s time our leaders listen to our climate scientists and warriors alike.
They speak to business owners about how they can reduce their business’s carbon emissions and waste.
People who are passionate about fighting climate change have brilliant ideas for companies to affordably and impactfully lower their carbon footprints. As you see companies changing their sustainability policies, know that a climate warrior was behind that movement.
They donate to environmental non-profits.
A little bit of money can go a long way in some climate charities. Influential environmental non-profits include the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Coalition for Rainforest Nations, the Clean Air Task Force, and the Ocean Conservancy.
In our world, it’s almost impossible to live completely zero waste without emitting carbon dioxide. Even our most powerful climate influencers are imperfect! This is why they offset their emissions by donating to carbon offset programs that increase carbon sequestration and reduce emissions.
Young climate activists are changing the world.
Have you noticed that many of our most powerful climate influencers today are young adults and children? Our children, our children’s children, and the generations after will be negatively impacted the most by extreme weather catastrophes caused by human-induced climate change. The people who have contributed the least to the climate crisis will suffer the most from the choices made by older generations.
We should all look up to our younger generations as they valiantly fight for change. Young climate activists of diverse backgrounds resist the adverse effects of climate change by using their voices to generate change. Here are 8 young climate warriors you can follow on Instagram.
There is hope thanks to our climate warriors.
We’ll end on a positive note. Here are three reassuring quotes from our young climate leaders when asked what instills hope inside them.
“There’s a quote from Arundhati Roy that says, ‘Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.’ When I feel that breath the most is when I’m in the community with other people or when I see other people in a community working together, unifying around a cause to try and create a better world. I think hope is action. We can be that hope.”
“Definitely the resilience of unhoused people. I am always so blown away by folks who live in a tent and just live on the street and are still very invested in their own healthcare and well-being. They’re very vulnerable to a system that not only doesn’t want them to take care of their basic human needs but isn’t very concerned with helping them holistically heal themselves.”
“Our ability to learn gives me hope about humanity. I’ve seen the most stubborn people all of a sudden become racial justice advocates or wake up to things. No matter your age, I think our ability to learn, if we’re open to it, gives me a lot of hope about humanity.”