Two of the most famous people in the world, who just happen to be teenage girls, have their values in sync.
The artist Billie Eilish has shared some love for another one of the most influential people on the planet, fellow teen Greta Thunberg.
Of course, both these people just happen to be teenage girls, but their influence stretches far, far beyond the realm of Gen-Z subculture. Eilish is one of the most famous musicians in the world right now, and Greta Thunberg was just named Time Magazine's Person of the Year for her climate activism.
"[Greta Thunberg] is paving the way," Eilish said in an interview with NME, which just crowned her debut album its album of the year. "She's doing her thing and I feel honoured to be compared to her." She added, "Hopefully the adults and the old people start listening to us [about climate change] so that we don't all die. Old people are gonna die and don't really care if we die, but we don't wanna die yet."
Eilish has spoken out about climate change before. At the AMAs, she wore a shirt printed with the message "NO MUSIC ON A DEAD PLANET" and her video for "all the good girls go to hell" was clearly a climate change allegory. She also posted a message of support for a climate strike spearheaded by Thunberg. "TICK TOCK! Our time is running out. The climate crisis is very real. We need to speak up and demand that our leaders take action," her message read.
A note from Billie: “TICK TOCK! our time is running out. the climate crisis is very real. we need to speak up and d… https://t.co/3aXo9FOL1I— billie eilish (@billie eilish)1569006490.0
Billie Eilish - all the good girls go to hell www.youtube.com
Eilish also addressed some of the accusations of hypocrisy that are sure to appear in the comments for this article, and which are typically thrown at environmental activists who don't live their lives in a perfectly sustainable way yet still have the nerve to call for systemic change.
"Dude, I always see these posts that are like, 'Why is this f***ing artist saying this sh*t when they're taking planes to places?' Bro, would you rather I just shut the f**k up and say nothing and then no one will ever do anything?" Eilish said. "Yeah, maybe I'm doing something that's not as perfect as somebody else, but there are things I can't change. So because of those, I want to get the word out to other people. I want to do as much as I can and I want other people to do as much as they can."
While flying is a problem and individual change is important, climate change won't be solved by individuals' decisions to reduce consumption and waste, as just 100 companies are responsible for about 71% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
Still, the myth that individuals are responsible for climate change persists, as does a blatant refusal to act at the scale of the problem. Perhaps it's not surprising that some of the greatest actions against climate change are coming from the youth. It's becoming clearer and clearer that many members of older generations don't care at all about the future of the planet, which admittedly they won't be around to experience—but they're more than happy to damn their children to suffering and increasing inequality. People like Thunberg and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and allies like Eilish are breaking through, but it's not enough.
Thunberg, who has just arrived back home to Sweden, has expressed exhaustion at all the acclaim she's received that hasn't been accompanied by tangible action, and she's called for a shift in focus to other climate activists. "It is people especially from the global south, especially from indigenous communities, who need to tell their stories," she said at a U.N. climate meeting in Madrid. Thunberg seems well-aware that climate change is already harming vulnerable and low income communities and communities of color, who are much more affected by natural disasters, rising prices, and unclean air.
Unfortunately, as Thunberg made clear, the message was not enough to spark action at the COP25 summit in Madrid, which she described as "failed." It seems the future really is in the next generations' hands.
Greta Thunberg accuses world leaders of 'creative PR' at climate summit https://t.co/CnyEixupGv— BBC News (World) (@BBC News (World))1576061487.0
"Never have I seen the almost total disconnection we've seen here (...) between what the science requires and the p… https://t.co/dUR08lRody— Frank Jordans (@Frank Jordans)1576326385.0
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