Shall We Solve Environmental Problems with Individual or Collective Action?

A New Generation of Leaders Understands That Individual Actions Won’t Fix Our Environmental Problems. By defining environmental citizenship as responsible consumption, sustainability advocates downplay the need for mass action to catalyze structural change.

The media coverage of the Green New Deal, a plan unveiled by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of Congress to overhaul the U.S. economy by investing in renewable energy and green jobs, focused as much on its reception as on its substance. Republicans panned it as socialism.

As its name suggests, the plan is predicated on the idea that individual behavioral change will not lead to sharp reductions in greenhouse emissions or deliver meaningful environmental progress in other areas. We must, its authors insist, overhaul our economy to meet our environmental responsibilities.

 Individual vs. Collective Action

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