Sep 18, 2019

'Flight shame': Sweden leads the world in quitting air travel

Climate activist Greta Thunberg arrives in New York on a sailboat. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Sweden appears to be the only country in the world, or at least in Europe, where fewer people are flying for environmental reasons, the Telegraph reports.

Why it matters: Flying is a massive contributor to carbon footprints in developed countries, but based on the total number of travelers, air travel has increased this year in 38 of 42 European countries, the Telegraph notes. Drops in air travel in Iceland, Turkey and Bulgaria can be explained by economic or demographic causes, but the same can't be said for Sweden — home of climate activist Greta Thunberg and the "flygskam" (flight shame) movement.

  • Zoom in: The number of air travelers in Sweden dropped by 4.1% in the first half of this year. The trend "first manifested itself at the beginning of 2018 but really kicked into gear at the end of last year," per the Telegraph.
  • Zoom out: Air travel across Europe increased by 4.3% in the first half of this year. The smallest increases came in Sweden's Scandinavian neighbors — Denmark and Norway. The biggest jumps were in Ukraine and Austria.

Go deeper: Greta Thunberg tells Congress to "listen to the scientists" on global warming

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Kim Kardashian wants to help Greta Thunberg's social media presence

Greta Thunberg and Kim Kardashian. Photos: Getty Images

Kim Kardashian told Reuters Tuesday that she'd like to help teen climate activist Greta Thunberg's parents manage the 16-year-old's social media presence because "speaking on a big platform invites a lot of different opinions and personalities."

Why it matters: The reality TV star has proven herself to be an effective political navigator in the Trump administration, helping to free over a dozen inmates in 2019 and bringing rapper A$AP Rocky's detention in Sweden to President Trump's attention. Thunberg has more than 10 million followers between her Instagram and Twitter accounts while Kardashian has nearly 150 million on Instagram alone.

Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019

Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Greta's climate moment

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios - Note: Hover over the weekly rank on desktop to see articles and interactions for each candidate and issue.

Thanks to Greta Thunberg, climate change stories generated 18 million interactions on social media over the last two weeks, the most for the issue this year by far, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: Climate change has lagged in generating significant online interest, even as it's taken on a great urgency among Democrats and young voters. The latest findings suggest the messenger matters.

Go deeperArrowOct 2, 2019

Photo from Greta Thunberg's 2018 climate strike shows massive growth over a year

Greta Thunberg. Left: Michael Campanella/Getty Images. Right: Reuters

On the left, on Aug. 2018, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg holds a climate strike with a sign reading "School strike for the climate" outside the Swedish parliament. Only a few other students joined her.

Driving the news: At right, Greta Thunberg, now 16, speaks to a huge crowd in Manhattan on Friday as millions of young people flooded streets around the world to demand political leaders take urgent steps to stop climate change. New York City announced its 1.1 million students were allowed to skip school to participate.

Go deeperArrowSep 21, 2019