Role Of Social Media To Literate People About Environmental Sustainability

 

1 INTRODUCTION

1.1 OVERVIEW

The post-modern age is often described as the age of information and the revolution that has been brought about by an increased level of digitization. The usage of electronic devices is quite common in this era given their advantages over other forms of social media, owing to it being faster, more convenient, cheaper, and has greater mass outreach compared to most other forms of media. This age has also witnessed a proliferation of the active mass particip##yation in social media, along with a great degree of diversification of the concept of social media, which has in fact led to the dissemination of socially relevant messages quite effective (Narula, Rai and Sharma 2018)

The usage of digital media is not a novel discovery which is typical to this age as television and radio have been in usage for quite a long period of time now. The only difference that has been witnessed in this post-modern age is that of the broadening of the concept of social media and its role in raising social awareness about various issues which require the attention of the people. On the basis of the survey conducted it has been found out that at least 50 percent of the total world population remains online on some social media site at a given point of time, which is about 3.5 billion, and the total population of the world is approximately 7.7 billion. Majority of the active users and subscribers to the various social media sites are however from the developed world, and that of the less developed world is much less, on a comparative basis (Mallick and Bajpai 2019).

Gone are the days when television and radio used to be the only source of social media to communicate messages and information having social relevance. Particularly from the decade of the 2000s there has been the expansion of the concept of social media and can be characterized as the popularization of the concept of social networking sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter, Youtube et cetera. The social networking sites were primarily meant for people to keep in touch with their beloved ones and acquaintances for leisure purposes and for strengthening the personal connections between the people. However with the passage of time, the popularity of its usage has been observed and its advantage in the dissemination of social messages has been co-opted by several governmental and non-governmental organizations (Tilwankar, Rai, and Bajpai 2019).

Social networking sites have not however replaced the traditional modes of mass media, such as television and radio, however, they are definitely functioning as subsidiaries to the existing news channels and other social media sites, and are thus complementing each other in the dissemination of socially relevant messages (Mavrodieva et al 2017).

1.2 CONTEXT OF THE RESEARCH: STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Since social media is quite important in terms of dissemination of socially relevant messages, it has been quite instrumental in championing the cause of social awareness about climate change. Not just the politicians, even civilians and other important personalities are showing their solidarity towards the cause of climate change through the social media to spread awareness. News channels these days have their social media accounts at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram for more mass outreach and they are also having quite a huge number of followers therein, which makes it very easier for them to spread the message of awareness about climate change worldwide (Tilwankar, Rai and Bajpai 2019).

Given the observed trend of a high degree of usage among people and organizations of the social networking sites, it becomes a topic worth exploring in order to find out the role of social media in creating awareness about the phenomenon of climate change, which is supposed to be the thesis statement of this research paper.

The central research question of this particular research paper shall be to examine, what has been the role of social media in spreading awareness about the issue of climate change among the masses. This is a broad question and for the purpose of coherence several supporting questions shall be provided an answer to in order to answer the central research question. Hence the discussion in the following sections shall be harping upon the role of political or governmental as well as non-governmental organizations in spreading awareness in the context of the research question; demonstrating the role of eminent personalities in making people aware about climate change, with particular reference to the year 2019; the role of media houses or news channels in spreading the message of climate change through their social networking site accounts; and an approximation ascertaining that the role of social media has indeed been effective in spreading awareness about climate change, along with its drawbacks.

On having conducted a discussion on these relevant questions pertaining to the central question of the research paper, the answer to the hypothesis that social media has indeed been effective in spreading awareness about climate change among the masses.

1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The aims of this particular research paper are as follows:-

- to demonstrate the positive role social media has played in terms of spreading awareness about climate change

- to demonstrate the role of both the governmental and non governmental organizations in spreading awareness about climate change through social media, particularly social networking sites

- to demonstrate the contributions of the eminent personalities in the year 2019 towards the cause of climate change through social media

- to demonstrate the shortcomings in the social media awareness programs about climate change and thereby recommend relevant solutions

The objectives of this research paper are as follows :-

- to extend appreciation for the social media sites to spread awareness about climate change

- to provide a constructive criticism of the social media awareness programs about climate change

- to show that expansion of the concept of social media has indeed been quite effective for the purpose of spreading awareness about climate change

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESIS

The chosen hypothesis for this research paper has been that social media has indeed been effective in spreading awareness about climate change.

The central research question for this research paper has been to examine what has been the role of social media in spreading awareness about the issue of climate change among the masses. There are five supporting research questions which shall be answered in relation to the central question and they are as follows :-

  • Role of the governmental organizations, particularly the green parties in spreading awareness about climate change through social media
  • Role of the non-governmental organizations, in spreading awareness about climate change through social media
  • Role of the eminent personalities in making people aware about climate change, with particular reference to the year 2019
  • Role of media houses or news channels in spreading the message of climate change through their social networking site accounts
  • approximation ascertaining that the role of social media has indeed been effective in spreading awareness about climate change, along with the drawbacks.

2 LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS OF NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AGAINST GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSIVENESS OVER CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES

In a democratic set up the non-governmental organizations act as effective pressure groups countering the inadequacy of the civilian governments to deal with the issue of climate change. The nongovernmental organizations having no source of income or funds of their own they depend a lot on donations, volunteers, and grants which are collected through social media advertisements. The mode of functioning of the nongovernmental organizations is similar on a global basis. Most of the nongovernmental organizations these days are being co-opted, funded and delegated the authority to carry out the task of creating awareness about climate change by governmental and supra national organizations such as the United Nations Organization (Titifanue et al 2017).

The non-governmental organizations publish their contributions in various forms through the social media to garner supporters to the cause of climate change. They even publish reports indicating the level of damage that climate has done to invoke the intervention of the ruling government. For example, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is responsible for collaborating with governmental and non governmental organizations to spread awareness about climate change, the documentation of which is published in social media and it garners social awareness (Hamid et al 2017).

2.2 POLITICAL LEADERS DENYING THE VALIDITY OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND ITS NEGATIVE EFFECTS

In response to the social media campaigning of the non-governmental organizations and supra national organizations of the world to bring about awareness in matters pertaining to the climate change, the predisposition of several state actors in the presence of the social media have had tremendous negative impact to the cause of creating social awareness about climate change. This argument is very relevant in terms of global leaders and their stance about climate change, which is of denial and retreat from global summits on climate change (Samet and Woodward 2018).

The global leaders have denied the seriousness of climate change as an issue and considers the campaigning of the non governmental as well as governmental organizations to raise awareness about climate change as a serious effort to jeopardize the efforts of the industrialists to enrich the world economy. The most iconic of all the political propagandas against climate change through social media has been that of President Trump, who had at a press conference clearly declared that he does not believe in climate change, as his reaction towards the report published on climate change. President Trump had also retreated himself from the Paris Peace Accord of 2019 on climate change and awareness (Samet and Woodward 2018).

The retreat of President Donald Trump from the summit on climate change have had tremendous amount of effect on the cause as he has propagated in social media for industrialization. That move on part of Trump, the most powerful person in the world by virtue of his office has inspired many nations to give up on conservation of the environment and embrace industrialization instead, thereby strengthening the global capitalist lobby. Not just the United States of America, there are other nations as well, Canada, Australia and Russia are also a part of the climate change denial lobby, all of which are involved in furthering industrialization over climate conservation through social media (Hestres 2019).

2.3 CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE GREEN PARTIES TO SPREAD AWARENESS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

The Green Parties especially that of Germany and England, have along with the non-governmental organizations are quite instrumental in acting as both a political party and a pressure group to deal with the issue of climate change and its negative effects on earth. These Green Parties seek to push for more reforms on part of the government to effect in favour of dealing with the issue of climate change through their social media campaigning in form of signature petition, calling for mass rallies through social Media advertisements, and also attracting followers to their party. The aim of the Green Parties is to garner support in favour of their cause from among the masses and thereby cause them to attract the attention of the government to the cause (Anderson 2017).

The Green Parties thus seek mass mobilization through mass sensitization and mass education about the harmful effects of climate change. The hold regular conferences and public marches which are broadcasted through social media to encourage participation of the masses on a large scale. The Green Parties are a new trend in the politics of the first world which have been successful in gaining some degree of influence among the mainstream political parties in forwarding their agenda because of social media (Liu and Zhao 2017).

2.4 CONTRIBUTIONS OF GRETA THUNBERG

Greta Thunberg is a teenage climate activist from Sweden who has received the 2019 Right Livelihood award, an alternative of the Noble Peace Prize for her campaign against climate change popularized through social media. She has also been honoured as the Times Person of the Year award. Her iconic speech at the United Nations Climate Action summit has been highly popularized with the help of social media and that has sent messages all over the world to raise awareness about climate change and the inactivity of the politicians to deal with it effectively (Kühn 2019).

Apart from that her fierce approach in refusing to believe the promise of the world leaders that they would gradually reduce the carbon footprint has also attracted a lot of admiration from all over the world making her a social media icon for her humanitarian philanthropic works towards the issue of climate change (Thunberg 2019).

2.5 COSTCA RICA BECOMING CARBON FREE AND THE CONTRIBUTION OF SOCIAL MEDIA

In the year 2019, the South American nation Costa Rica has been acknowledged as a nation which has shown pioneering efforts in ensuring a swift drive towards propelling in the direction of being carbon free. For the reason the nation has won the United Nations’ flagship environmental award, which falls under the policy leadership category. The award is also referred to as  the Champions of the Earth award, and is the highest honor that could be conferred upon a nation for the purpose of glorifying any achievement in the field of generating awareness about climate change (Birkenberg and Birner 2018).

The initiative of the government of Costa Rica has been a success because of extensive social media campaigning which had intimated to the people of the nation about the mission, vision and goal. In his inaugural speech in 2018, President Carlos Alvarado Quesada had urged upon the citizens to embrace de-carbonization and replace the use of fossil fuels with eco friendly sources of energies. His message disseminated through social media from time to time advising and guiding about how to make the goal a success has been quite successful. This has inspired the world to emulate their example (Manning et al 2018).

2.6 SPREADING OF AWARENESS THROUGH SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES BY THE NEWS CHANNELS

As it has been mentioned earlier that there has been witnessed a proliferation of the usage of social media among the people especially in terms of using social networking sites such as Facebook, instagram, twitter and YouTube, hence the popularity of the mainstream channeling of news has found a parallel way of reaching out to the masses on a larger scale. Most people use social networking sites and thus there news channels have their facebook, instagram, twitter accounts through which they keep in touch with the people regularly and that helps in addressing the issue of climate change easier (Ozdemir and Alkabbanie 2017).

Through the process of the social networking accounts in  facebook, instagram, twitter, the news channels garner the public support towards any cause related to climate change and through the social media and mobilise the masses towards demanding more climate friendly measures. The violation of the environmental friendly norms and the progressive steps towards reversing climate change are disseminated through social networking sites by the news channels. The social media accounts of the news channels are a medium through which a direct connection with the people are being created and they act not just as agents of awareness but also a feedback mechanism about what the masses think about climate change.(Fernandez et al 2016).

2.7 SUCCESSFUL ACHIEVEMENTS IN RAISING CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

The social media campaigning has fairly achieved a lot of success in terms of stopping the government and the capitalists from exploiting the resources of the nature and contribute to the harm of climate change. For example, by the effort of the local environmentalists, activists and the green parties, the felling of the Hambach Forest in Germany is worth the mention. The Hambach Forest is a huge area of natural forest cover in Germany and has been targeted by a construction company to be felled in collaboration with the German Government for the purpose of extraction of sand underneath (Rafaty, Srivastav and Hoops 2020).

The global demand for sand has in fact grown manifold times to meet the demands of construction and thus it has become an almost endangered commodity. However the felling of the forest would mean a huge loss to biodiversity and therefore was something to be stopped and the support for it had been garnered through social media campaigning for gaining support for the cause (Göke et al 2018).

2.8 WHAT THE SOCIAL MEDIA COULD NOT OVERCOME IN SPREADING MASS AWARENESS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

The discussion in the previous sections has dealt with the issue of how beneficial the social media has been in terms of furthering the agenda of climate change. In this section the discussion shall be based on the disadvantages and the shortcomings of the social media to deal with the issue of spreading awareness about climate change (Fernandez et al 2017).

As it has been mentioned that the effectiveness of the social media in spreading awareness about the climate change only in the developed parts of the world as there the participation of the people is much more, hence it becomes clear that the effectiveness of the social media is limited only to the first world. While the third world is deprived of that privilege as the access to the social media is highly restricted by means of economic problems and lack of general education and awareness (Sogari et al 2017). 

3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1 METHOD FOLLOWED

In the following research report, the focus shall be on how social media holds a major role in influencing individuals about Environmental awareness.  According to the given assignment brief the opted method is the Qualitative research method. Though it is seen in most of the cases that while using this research method people tend to stick with the usage of primary sources of data but in this case as the whole study is directed towards the virtual world that is social media the use of secondary sources has been accentuated. Also it is to be noted that the whole report is based on the structure of the literature review. A maximum part of the literature review discusses the presence of the qualitative data derived from various research materials such as journals, articles, online e-books. The method followed for the research thus has been the method of literature review and qualitative content analysis, both of which fall under the purview of qualitative research approach. The existing research works have been thoroughly gone through, analyzed and incorporated as a compact and coherent research paper, in a way which would be suiting the research questions and the hypothesis of the research paper (Sandelowski and Barroso 2003).

3.2 RESEARCH APPROACH AND PHILOSOPHY

As discussed earlier the report is following a Qualitative research method. But there is a very thin line of difference between the two terminologies that is a research method and a research approach. The research method is the second step of the research approach that is the Qualitative research approach. It is worthwhile to mention that the research approach is the way of dealing with the given issue or topics whereas on the other hand research method is the process of carrying out the idea or the steps to be performed in order to achieve a resolution to the issue. In this regard it thus can be said that research approach is a broad overview of the various research methods that fall under its purview. With reference to the given purpose, it can be said that the research approach has been qualitative and the method has been of literature review and qualitative content analysis (Patton 1990).

With regard to the research approach, it must also be said that  Karl Popper's theory of falsification, which is a part of the deductive approach. According to it, a theory or  information is tested repeatedly and only the valid portions are retained. If the theory or information is totally valid or totally invalid, then it is totally retained or totally rejected, respectively. However in case, some parts are valid and some parts are not, then only the portions which are valid are retained. In this research paper the falsification theory or the deductive approach shall be applied by means of determining whether the information gathered from the literature review is in tandem with the hypothesis of the research (Patton 1990).

The positivist research philosophy has been followed for this particular purpose, which is indicative of the fact that the research has been conducted by following the principle of empericism. It implies, that the information has been collected on the basis of extensive research and the inferences of the research has been derived on a rational basis (Patton 1990).

3.3 METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION

In the following report all the data are collected through extensive reading and studying of the literature review. As mentioned earlier the research has been conducted and the literature review has been written by taking help of various secondary sources of data such as e-books, journals, articles and in some cases even through actual social media insights. It is to be noted that the secondary sources are already verified and tested and has been collected by the researcher having a proficient level of knowledge. Hence the data collected are authentic and are collected from  authentic sources. Hence the literature review helps in providing with all the needed information and data for performing the rest of the study.

It is also worthwhile to mention that studying the literature review helps the reader to get a clear view about all the points discussed in the hypothesis and also mentioned in objective. This not only ensures an in depth knowledge about the whole issue but also provides with a beforehand idea about what are the shortcomings about the following topic along with how it could have been dealt with that helps in framing a translucent picture of the recommendations and the whole analysis of the study (Bricki and Green 2007).

3.4 METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS

As it is known that content analysis defines the method of summarizing an in depth discussion by counting all the aspects and presenting them in form of points of the whole content. Similarly according to the hypothesis the broad topic as to how social media influences the people about environmental awareness has been noted in broad points that covers the whole aspect of the topic. The qualitative aspect of content analysis gives a clear opportunity to understand the topic according to it's need. Therefore it is worthy to mention that in the following study the qualitative approach is used because as virtual media has a direct link with the real world therefore in order to obtain data it is convenient to observe and analyse the information thus recorded according to first person perspective. The deductive theory also justifies the need for the usage of secondary data as the study topic is already a theory passed which is to be highlighted by conducting various types of discussions and analysis. Hence in order to get a better perspective of the topic a thorough content analysis is to be carried. Thus in other words it can be said that the data analysis shall be done by means of proving the validity of the research hypthesis on the basis of the information gathered through literature review  (Camic, Rhodes and Yardley 2003).

3.5 RESEARCH ETHICS

All the rules and regulations and standard guidelines of the university have been duly made in order to collect the necessary information from the available literature on the topic. It is worthwhile to mention that no academic misconduct has been performed while carrying out the whole study; the project contains genuine referencing and all the authors and the literary sources of information have been duly credited in the project. There is no plagiarism connected to the work and all the sources of information be it the e-books, journals, articles, blogs, etc are authentic (MacDonald 2012).

3.6 HYPOTHESIS AND HYPOTHESIS ANALYSIS

According to the research a deductive approach has been used that is concerned with the development of the hypothesis. The above framed hypothesis is based on the literature sources consulted with in order to write the literature review.  As it is known that deductive defines the process of reasoning a particular subject in a general point of view. Similarly in this case the topic of impact of social media on environmental awareness deductive approach has been considered which explains the hypothesis that has been divided into five main agendas. It is worthwhile to mention that the chosen hypothesis of the following research paper about social media has indeed been effective in spreading awareness about climate change because the research paper contradict no falsification theory and as all the information are from authentic sources it can be clearly stated that the hypothesis that has been framed up in the research paper is true. Varying from the role of a governmental organization, Non-governmental organization, eminent personalities, media houses, news channels, News sources and social media itself has been discussed, those of which has played an important and extensive role in influencing people for the spreading awareness about climate change (Glesne 2016).

3.7 VALIDITY AND DEPENDABILITY OF THE RESEARCH

It is very much evident from the above mentioned discussions that all the sources of literature that have been used in order to present the whole project and carry out the whole study are authentic, dependable and the latest. The whole research is valid as there has been no such academic misconduct while performing the research and Thorough and extensive reading of the literature review has been that it gives an idea about what type of research method and approach has been used in order to fulfill all the needs for the collection of information and data in order to carry out the study. The project talks about qualitative data only because all other types of data have no relevance for the following project. The analysis of the data has been carried out according to the deductive theory because that topic has been proved rather than to be proved and the main concerns surrounding the topic have only been highlighted and discussed in depth (Eisner 1997).

4 FINDINGS OF THE RESEARCH

4.1 Role of the governmental organizations, particularly the green parties in spreading awareness about climate change through social media

The green parties function in a very instrumental manner where they perform both as a political group as well as a pressure group with the support of the Non governmental organisations fine they also seek to push reforms for dealing with the issue of Climate Change along with media campaigning which attracts followers to their party. Hence the main aim of green parties is to gain support of the population and to attract the attention of the government in order to support the cause. These green parties also hold regular public Meetings and connferences which are broadcasted by social media which encourages the Youth Mass of the population to join in and sets a new trend in the political world of the nation. This also helps them gain political support from former political parties (Liu and Zhao 2017).

It has also been evident that the South American Nation of Costa Rica has been preparing towards the direction of being carbon free in order to promote the cause of being environmentally friendly. The nation has also been awarded by the United Nations for the glorifyng achievement in the field of generating awareness about climate change. The president of the nation has also influenced the people in order to use eco-friendly sources of energy which has helped them to achieve the goal and made the whole process of carbon frequent successful which has also been covered by media campaigning (Birkenberg and Birner 2018).

4.2 Role of the nongovernmental organizations, in spreading awareness about climate change through social media

In order to deal with the issue of Climate Change the Non-governmental organisations have been proved to be successful in order to act as a pressure group that helps in counting the medical uses of political government. All the Non-governmental organisations working in the world have some similar kind of functioning where most of the revenue has been emerging from donations and Grants which are collected by volunteers through the help of social media advertisements, rallies, campaigns and meetings. But recently it has been seen that most of the tasks carried out by the Non-governmental organisations are propagated by the government and other Global organisations such as the United Nations (Titifanue et al 2017).

It is evident that the Non-governmental organisation published their contributions by a various type of media where social media is one of the prominent players and even published the report regarding climate change in order to gain support of the population and the government (Hamid et al 2017).

4.3 Role of the eminent personalities in making people aware about climate change, with particular reference to the year 2019

Being one of the most young climate activist Greta Thunberg has been awarded with the Right Livelihood award for her campaign against climate change which has been able to reach the mass over social media. She has also been honored by the Times Person of the year award. She is also known for the iconic speech at the United Nations climate action summit. The speech has influenced and popularized among all the individuals present on social media which has raise awareness about climate change and also addressed the inactivity of the politicians in order to deal with it effectively. There's also attracted a lot of viewers and supporters while her fears approach for refusing to believe the Promises of the world leaders about reducing the carbon footprint and her extraordinary work towards the issue of climate change  (Kühn 2019).

4.4 Role of media houses or news channels in spreading the message of climate change through their social networking site accounts

In the modern era of Technology social media has played a very important role in order to to keep the people informative about the recent happenings all around the world. It has been witnessed a proliferation of uses of social media among the population of the globe in terms of social networking sites such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter has gained a mainstream popularity and has channelized a parallel way in order to reach out to the masses on a larger scale to provide them with news. All the the news channels have the social media handles that help them keep in touch with the people regularly and helps in addressing them with the issues of climate change. It is evident that the news channel has been successful in gaining public support towards the cause of Climate Change through the social networking accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube and has mobilized the masses for demanding for more climate friendly measures. It is also to be noted that all the social media accounts of the news channels are a medium of direct connection with the people and helps the news channels not just to to create awareness but also influences their thought process and helps them to gain proper feedback from the people (Ozdemir and Alkabbanie 2017).

4.5 Approximation ascertaining that the role of social media has indeed been effective in spreading awareness about climate change, along with the drawbacks

It won't be wrong to say that social media has emerged to be as a boon for the current century. It is evident that in response to the social media campaigning all other Non governmental organisations, governmental organisations and other supranational organisations in the world have been successful in raising awareness about the the issue of Climate Change among the population and derived the focus of global leaders in order to emphasize on the seriousness of climate change and raise awareness about the same.  The Most iconic of all the political propaganda against climate change through social media has been that of the president of of United States of America. The Retreat of of President Donald Trump from the Summit of climate change had a tremendous amount of effect on the cause as he propagated in social media for industrialisation. And also as a matter of fact he himself claimed a nation should give up conservation of environment and embrace for industrialisation in order to stand in the Global capitalist lobby. Adding to this other Nations also were involved in furthering industrialization over climate conservation through social media. But it is Guwahati to mention that the campaign through social media has achieved a lot of success in order to stop the government and other capitalist from exploiting the natural resources and stop the negative effect of climate changes. Social media has also helped in influencing hanging support for campaigning against the cutting down of forest whitch Mein Had added up to a huge loss of biodiversity (Samet and Woodward 2018).

Lastly it won't be long to say that social media has always been a former player in raising awareness about the issue of climate change but only in the development of the world where there has been more participation by the people from the first world. It can be realised that the third world has been deprived of the privilege for the access to social media as it is highly restricted because of economic problems and lack of general education and awareness among those regions which has mark a very major shortcoming of social media in order to deal with spreading awareness about the issue of climate change (Hestres 2019).

5 DISCUSSION AND EVALUATION

5.1 CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE FINDINGS

The critical findings of the analysis say that social media has been a great influence in creating awareness about climate change. The chosen hypothesis for this research paper has been that social media has indeed been effective in spreading awareness about climate change which has been proven correct. The various non-governmental organizations and supranational organizations around the globe bring about awareness in order to secure the world from the threats of climate change (Titifanue et al 2017). Retreating President Donald trump from the climate change summit has had a tremendous effect on the cause, as he had been propagating in the social media for industrialization. On the other hand the green party organizations hand in hand with the non-governmental organizations acted as a pressure groups and also as a political party in order to deal with the various issues of climate change and its ill effects on the earth (Samet and Woodward 2018). The green parties are also seeking to push for more and more reforms on the government's part to ensure that the various issues related to climate change comes to an end. These parties have made efforts of media campaigning and called for mass rallies through the help of social media and advertisements and in turn have increased their followers and influenced a few million people to join hands with them for the cause of saving the climate. Thus it can be critically analyzed that social media has definitely impacted people in responding positively about the issues of climate change around the world. The green parties are working hard and thriving hard to push for mobilization of the thoughts and actions of saving the climate through mass awareness and making mass sensitization, and also by educating the masses (Titifanue et al 2017). The green parties have been successful in holding and conducting conferences, shows, discussions, debates and public marches, which have been highlighted in the social media to motivate and encourage the people around the world to come forward and start taking steps to ensure that correct actions are taken by the administrations to control climate change. In world Politics this is happening for the first time as many green parties are gaining more popularity and success in influencing people about the climate change and our environment, more than any other mainstream political parties on various social media platforms (Kühn 2019). The teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden, has become highly popular because of social media, as her speech on climate change was spread to masses across the world through the help of social media, which in turn has helped Greta Thunberg gain more support from people around the world, to help her reduce the carbon footprints all over the world. Country Like Costa Rica has been successful in making their country carbon free, through the help of social media, as they used this platform very effectively to change the thinking and actions of their masses, it made them more aware and educated them about the ill effects of climate change, thus also winning them the highest honor award called ‘Champions of the Earth’ by United Nations (Birkenberg and Birner 2018). News Channels have started spreading the message to save earth from climate change on their various social media platforms where they have their accounts and active followers (Ozdemir and Alkabbanie 2017). By providing information which can educate and make the masses more sensible, they have done a great job successfully in establishing a positive attitude towards climate change amongst the masses.

5.2 IMPLICATIONS OF THE RESEARCH     

The implications of the research are that the social media has been a boon for all those who wanted the cause of saving the earth from the implications of climate change. Social media has helped various bodies or administrations, Governments in providing the vital and necessary information which was required to educate the people and also make the people around the world more sensible about the effects that climate change is causing along with the effects that will have a direct impact on their day to day lives and the planet earth. Since the social media today is a very big and versatile platform, where people of all age groups, classes, creed, religion are there actively participating and watching the different trends, this way millions are getting influenced and motivated  to do things which make them feel is right and correct, people are following and doing those things which are making them feel that this is the need for the hour to bring the right kind of a change to save the earth, here the social media has been very successful in spreading the message of the various NGOs, Green Parties, Environmentalists, Government and News Channels to save planet earth from the ill 8effects of climate change. Social media has helped the farmers in getting a better, broader and wide understanding of their yield and agriculture as it is directly related with the climate (Greenhow and Lewin 2016). The losses the farmers had to suffer for the changing climate, has now been reduced as they have a better understanding and sensibility of the climate and agriculture because of social media. There have been many instances of successful campaigns in achieving its goals to raise awareness through social media, one of the instances like the felling of Hambach Forest in Germany by a Major Construction Company to extract sand from the soil underneath, was stopped by the government after the people in Germany came out to protest against this heinous act of destroying the bio diversity of a protected place (Rafaty, Srivastav and Hoops 2020). This happened only because of the wide followership and active participation of the masses in various social media platforms. Till Now the discussion has been about the benefits of social media in spreading the positive message regarding the climate change, but there are certain disadvantages and drawbacks of social media also in spreading awareness about climate change. We can say this that Social media is helping in spreading the message only in those countries which are privileged to have internet or social media platforms for majority of its population, where the masses do not have the access to internet at all, they lag behind in the race to be alert and aware about the implications of climate change because of economical problems and inequality in income, many still don’t have the access to free or monetarily cheap internet.

5.3 RELATION OF THE RESEARCH PAPER WITH THE EXISTING LITERATURE

Existing research tends to suggest that social media is indeed creating awareness among the masses about climate change, and that justifies the validity of the chosen hypothesis that social media is indeed playing a significant role in spreading awareness about climate change. Positive steps are also being taken. Hypothesis is proved to be correct hence the chosen hypothesis for this particular research is a valid hypothesis and not a null hypothesis. Social media has been a mode and medium of connectivity amongst the masses today all over the world, social media has emerged as the new source of platform of providing news and information of various kinds as per the needs of various and different types and classes of masses all across the globe (Göke et al 2018). The people around the world are hooked to their smart phones, laptops, or desktops most of the hours in the day due to their interest in it and also because of their dependency over it, as it has made the lives of the people very easy and also entertaining. The various corporate and businesses, ranging from small to large scale, are also offering their message of protecting the environment of the planet from the implications of climate change, how they are adapting to the need of the hour to save the planet, how they are recycling, and not wasting and also taking steps In preserving and sustaining the environment (Greenhow and Lewin 2016). These messages are being circulated everywhere on various social media platforms to build a positive mindset for the masses towards the climate change in both the present time and coming future (Titifanue et al 2017).  What is clearly understood is that the social media has emerged as the main weapon for Environmental activists against those who want to do not want the seriousness of this issue to spread amongst the masses. Social media has become the main platform to spread the information and education which the world really needs to know and implement to save itself from the future disasters to happen.

6 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION

6.1 FINDINGS

Thus it can be concluded that social media plays a very important role in encouraging and motivating various behaviors and attitudes around the changes in the climatic condition. It can also be concluded that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram provides everyone with a platform to promote the necessary information to the audience and create a sense of awareness amongst people of all age all over the world in order to make the world a better place for living. Government, non-governmental organizations and individuals are taking a step forward to act according for improving the negative effects of climatic change (Greenhow and Lewin 2016).  They are also using the social media platform for promoting and advertising for joining hands and make the initiative successful. It can be also concluded that social media is acting as a major weapon for the future developments around the globe (Göke et al 2018). It is necessary for all the citizens of the country to use the social media platform wisely and make sure of making sincere and productive movements that not only would affect the individual but also the society and save our future generations from the ill effects of the climatic change.  Usage of social media also has negative affects as only those people can be a part of the campaigns and social movements happening in the social media who are privileged to get the access of the internet (Sogari et al 2017). Thus, social media is affecting the mindset of the people in both positive and negative ways but its positive effects are much more than that of the negative.

6.2 LIMITATIONS OF THE RESEARCH

For studying this particular topic, honest efforts are made in order to collect relevant and accurate data from different sources. During the course of the study, certain difficulties were faced and needs to be highlighted. They are:

1. Time constraint: The study of social media affecting the people to become aware of the various issues related to climatic change was conducted in the time frame of 5 years. Thus, the time frame of only 5 years is not enough to evaluate the study and its findings accurately.

2. Shortage of funds: The study could not be carried out accurately as there were not enough funds to learn and study more about the topic. The research was carried out only in the country and hence data could not be collected from all over the world. Thus major funds could not be collected for carrying out the research and finding the accurate information required for the particular research. This was also considered as a major limitation during the course of the study.

 

Although there were certain minor and major limitations faced during the time of the research study, special care has also been taken in order to overcome the mentioned limitations but it was not possible to make it to zero.  Even after considering the limitations and human errors, the accuracy rate of study and its findings were not affected much.

6.3 RECOMMENDATIONS

Usage of social media to create awareness amongst people about the climatic changes is needed to be improved.

Recommendation 1:

it is recommended to develop more strategies that can provide input to the discussion. The opinions and engagements of the audience should also be considered in order to seek their support and appreciation and in turn increase the sense of awareness amongst the mass..

Recommendation 2:

Social media platforms should be used a soft power tool for handling the negative effects. The usage of the social media as a platform to share the fake and made up information about the climate change should be immediately stopped in order to make people act according to the needs of the environment for keeping it safe for everyone to live in.

Recommendation 3:

Australian government should play a major role in stopping the misuse of social media. The government should develop different awareness campaigns, those would help to literate the people in this regard.

 

 

 

 

 

References

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Appendix

Questionnaire

  1. Has social media indeed been effective in spreading awareness about climate change?
  2. What has been the role of governmental organizations, particularly in spreading awareness about climate change through social media?
  3. What has been the role of the green parties in spreading awareness about climate change through social media?
  4. What has been the role of the non-governmental organizations, in spreading awareness about climate change through social media?
  5. Which are the nongovernmental organizations, that have been instrumental in spreading awareness about climate change through social media?
  6. What has been the role of the eminent personalities in making people aware of climate change, with particular reference to the year 2019?
  7. What has been the role of media houses or news channels in spreading the message of climate change through their social networking site accounts?
  8. To what extent is it possible to ascertain that the role of social media has indeed been effective in spreading awareness about climate change?
  9. What have been the drawbacks of spreading awareness about climate change through social media?
  10. Is the digital revolution capable of combating climate change in the future as well?

 

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