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Fri, 01 Mar 2024 - 10:35 GMT


Fri, 01 Mar 2024 - 10:35 GMT

Alakoka Kailahi.

Alakoka Kailahi.




Alakoka Kailahi believes that as a platform where individuals can highlight things that they care about most, social media can play a powerful role in eliminating climate change illiteracy.



“A lot of people understand that their actions can affect their current environment, so although not everyone knows much about climate change and ecological systems, they do know if their friend is being affected by the climate crisis,” says Kailahi, the Communication Committee Lead, Newsletter Editor and Media Designer of Climate Reality Project.




A distinguished youth environmental activist in the United States in general and the Bay Area Chapter specifically, Kailahi directs Climate Reality Project’s social media to hold up a mirror to society emphasizing how things are really happening and what they look like today.



“We use social media to promote what we can do to save the planet by highlighting how people are addicted to overabundance and the exorbitant use of fossil fuels, and because we just love our current way of life. If we think more about the future, the nation’s economic systems will need to be shifted, which will help us to fight climate change.”



Kailahi recalls that as a teenager she knew about climate change, but didn’t think it was an imminent threat that required fast action. It was only during the pandemic, when more and more people took to social media, that Kailahi began to realize that time was starting to run out. 



“The pandemic actually catalyzed the effects of climate change in the environmental sector and negatively affected many of the developing countries compared to those that were already more established nations. But it’s important to note that you don’t have to be an environmentalist or a climate activist to make a change, you just need to encourage people to make a change or adjust themselves slightly. I think that is part of one of the greatest changes I’ve seen,”  the activist says, adding that through social media we are more able to see the destructive effects of climate change.



She also identifies youth as a key factor when it comes to addressing the climate change crisis. “When I think about youth, I think about kids, teens, young adults and how they actually have unique views on climate change issues compared to many older adults today. Youth are the future so they deserve to have a powerful voice because honestly, youth make up 25 percent of the entire population, but they’re 100 percent able to produce a solution.”



The environmental activist encourages youth to step up and take center stage. “I think another important aspect I want to talk about is that It’s really important to have future entrepreneurs, future politicians, and future diplomats because these people are going to make the new foundation of climate change that we don’t have yet today.”



She also argues that developed nations that contributed the most to carbon emissions should financially support developing countries who have been severely affected by the consequences of climate change, and yet contribute the least to the amount of carbon emissions.



“So I think that Egypt being the first developing nation in Africa to host a COP conference speaks volumes because Egypt is a country located in Africa, the one [continent] that’s most affected by climate change,” Kailahi says. “Egypt is trying to make a difference and has the tools to make a change to its existing systems, so it is important to recognize that. Another cool thing is that African countries are more connected with their resources than many of the developing countries today.”



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