Our Earth Day series started with the 1970s and rounds out as we make our way toward the most recent decade – the 2010s.
The remarkable rise of social media defined this decade. Our Facebook and Twitter profiles enable us to connect, share ideas, argue, and organize in ways that no one could have predicted.
The consequences have been both glorious and dangerous. The power of social media to reach the masses fueled transformative movements, like the Arab Spring and a wave of youth climate protests.
But the same platforms that have connected us have also polarized us, fueling the rise of left and right-wing populism and anti-establishment sentiment, exemplified by Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street on one side and Brexit and the Tea Party movement on the other.
These movements mirrored a populist electoral wave, with Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, Jair Bolsonaro, and Boris Johnson among others occupying key positions in many of the world’s most influential governments.