When it comes to planetary health, many of us ask ourselves the same question: "What can I do to make a difference?" We might make changes at home, shifting our habits around water consumption, limiting our electricity usage, or changing the vehicle we park in our garage. We may even hop on a bicycle more often or switch to a plant-forward diet.
While that is a good place to start, it's not the right place to stop. According to Katharine Wilkinson, PhD, "The best thing we can do for our planet is to think less about what I can do and think instead about what we can do."
In an interview with Taking Charge, the author and editor-in-chief of Project Drawdown proposed moving away from simply making lifestyle changes and instead grappling with the bigger systemic issues that drive the climate crisis in the first place.
"It's helpful to think about the climate crisis as a leadership crisis," Dr. Wilkinson said. "The folks who are holding the reins of power have not been getting the job done right. They have the capacity to be in service of present and future generations, but by and large they've just totally abdicated that responsibility."
Thus, it is often up to ordinary citizens to take ownership of the climate crisis to try to drive change. But we can't do it as individuals - we have to create a movement of collective action.