Following in Barack Obama's footsteps
President Barack Obama has been famously quoted saying “Don’t ever let anybody tell you that your efforts don’t matter or that your voice doesn’t count. Don’t ever believe that you can’t make a difference.” President Obama’s words have inspired many, but can our efforts truly turn the needle on the single greatest challenge of our time - climate change?
Far too often, we’ve been led to believe that what we do as individuals doesn’t matter in the bigger picture. But let’s remember that as President of the United States, Obama himself protected more public lands and waters than any other US president in history. Of course he had teams of advisors, experts and people making stuff happen on the ground, but without his leadership and determination there would have been no vision to support. Now, how’s that for proof that as individuals we can make a difference?
Ok, ok. You may or may not be the next US president (or the president of any other country for that matter), but you can still follow in Obama’s footsteps, and the first step is starting from within you.
Repeat after us: nature isn’t something that only happens on the other side of the world. It’s all around us. It is the very air that we breathe. It is us. And, in the same way that humanity as a whole is now having a profoundly negative impact on nature’s health, we have the power to protect it through our own actions.
Some of the steps we take may be smaller and some bigger. From the food we eat, to the things we buy (or don’t buy!), the conversations we have, the organizations we join - it all adds up! Whatever we choose to do, our impact only grows bigger if we act collectively.
For example, what if instead of driving short distances, more of us decided to hang up the car keys and walk? We would save on gas money and get healthier. And if instead of doing it on our own, we invited our family and neighbors to do the same, and they invited their friends and networks, soon enough there would be fewer cars on the road, which would also mean less traffic, less noise and less pollution.
Simple steps such as choosing to walk over drive, when done by many of us at the same time, could also encourage our local governments to consider the way we move around, opening up more space for trees and wild spaces in our towns and cities to make our daily commute more enjoyable and in harmony with our local wildernesses.
To help us connect with nature, and to see the positive impact of our actions when we take them with others, Count Us In is powering Wild For All - a collaborative initiative with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Freeborne Impact, and Higher Ground.
Launched in conjunction with the Netflix series Our Great National Parks, a five-part documentary narrated by President Barack Obama, Wild For All encourages everyone to experience the wonders of nature, and to take steps to protect the world’s wildlife and wild spaces - not only in faraway places, but in the everyday wild at our doorsteps too.
And who better to invite you to join than Barack Obama himself?
President Barack Obama invites you to join Wild For All