A pioneering digital platform has been launched in a bid to mobilise younger generations in the fight against climate change.
Between them, the London-based team boasts around four million online followers.
Now they want to harness their audience to build a platform that can infuse climate activism with a strong sense of diversity and optimism as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.
Within days of landing on Instagram, Earthrise has already garnered more than 20,000 followers — and the team has barely got started.
It will develop into a curation of content from scientists, journalists and storytellers, aiming to untangle the intimidating jargon which has “too long dominated the climate conversation.”
Alice told the Standard that the space will strive to reframe the narrative surrounding the crisis at a time when the potential for real proactive change has reached a tipping point.
By breathing a more positive message into the climate activism space, she said that Earthrise hopes to stamp out widespread “eco-anxiety” caused by overwhelming and fatalistic discourses.
Alice said: “We need a new roadmap and we believe in the power of storytelling. We are going to need imagination. We are going to need optimism. We are going to need hope to create a new world.”
Twin brothers Jack and Finn, now 27, gained a massive subscriber-base aged 18 with their travel YouTube channel JacksGaps. Over the years they then turned their attention to raising awareness of environmental issues.
In 2017, while working in the Calais Jungle, Jack met — and started dating — Alice, 26, who was reporting on the refugee crisis.
The trio’s social media audience have watched them travel the world, make films, win awards and join Extinction Rebellion. Jack was even arrested at an XR protest in London last year.
Together the team now want to highlight through different channels how climate change is, crucially, a global social justice issue.
For them, telling the stories of people already living on the frontlines of climate change is key to bringing home the severity of the situation.
Finn said: “We have always felt the larger our audience has grown the larger our responsibility is to talk about things that matter."
“With Earthrise, it is fundamentally not about us or our personal narratives," he added. "We are trying to amplify voices that are so often not able to participate in this conversation, incorporating broader social stories such as the inequality that has been revealed by Covid and Black Lives Matter."
And Alice said the current landscape for activism amid the BLM movement, on and offline, is "incredible".
"There has been a remarkable use of social media and an appetite to learn about social justice issues that I just haven’t seen before," she said.
“And we are aware that we need to make great strives to improve the societies in which we live. So it feels like the right time to launch. We can build a world that is fairer, greener and more equitable for everyone."
The short term plan is to establish the community on Instagram through multiple different strands and multimedia storytelling.
The group will share articles, quotes from inspiring individuals, and explanations of "confusing concepts" like the New Green Deal and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports.
Climate in Colour activist Josslyn Longdon will run her own strand called “Climate in Colonialism 101” as part of the platform’s drive for inclusive conversations.
Then a podcast called "Down to Earth" will be launched with an interview format to spotlight guests whose perspectives on the climate emergency often go unheard in the wider movement.
The long-term plan, on the other hand, includes nationwide live events, like talks and workshop, "to activate a huge group of young people who maybe hadn’t yet engaged in climate".
Alice said: “One of the most dangerous things we are trying to tackle is this idea of, “Oh we’re f*** anyway. What’s the point? I’m just going to live my life."
"So that feeling of powerless is something that we are going to dedicate this platform to trying to fight.
“We’re saying we're not experts. We're not scientists. We’re young people, and we're inviting you to join us on our journey as we dive into these issues that are really really complex.”
Jack said that they have already been inundated by young writers, designers, activists and science researchers who want to collaborate on the project.
He said: "It’s so exciting because I think all of our generation want to take action but they don’t necessarily know how.
"And we are going to need everyone. We need to radically transform every aspect of society. This isn’t just one industry that needs to change but every sector of the economy.”
They trio argued that the language and storytelling must now change in order to push the movement forward.
"Last year’s story, mainly told by XR and the Youth Strikes, was essentially “we’re *f****ed,” Jack said, adding that they woked people up by “escalating the language from climate change to climate crisis".
“But now, especially post-Covid, the story should be: “How do we build back better? How do we build a better world for everyone? How do we make it positive?"
“We simply can’t afford to return back to normal and we are absolutely heading towards that direction. It is going to take a lot to steer us onto a new course."