Think Global, Act Local with Billie Eilish

Talking Trash: A Conversation about Climate Change

Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Billie Eilish discuss climate change and how to think globally and act locally. Learn what you can do to make your voice heard.

Last updated: September 27, 2021
7 min read

What We All Can Do To Save The Planet

By Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

When I sat down with Billie Eilish, we discussed our shared commitment to being part of climate solutions. From renewable energy to electrifying transportation, to regenerative agriculture and restoring ecosystems—there are so many solutions we have at our fingertips. From our expansive conversation, a few major themes emerged:

  1. Each person has specific and powerful ways they can contribute. Scientists, artists, activists, teachers, students, executives, farmers, lawyers, trendsetters, web developers etc., all have a role to play.
  2. We need a cultural shift, and young people are leading the way. Raise your voice, live and vote for your environmental values, and change the status quo for climate justice, sustainable fashion and climate policy.
  3. Being informed is key, but that's not enough—we need action!

What Can You Do?

This is the question I get asked most often. Love that so many people are asking!

For years I just said, "I don't know, what are you good at?" Because so often the climate movement asks everyone to do the same things (march, vote, donate, spread the word—and YES, do those things!), but fails to ask us to each bring our superpowers, our magic.

And then I added, "It's not about what you can do, it's about what we can do". Find your crew, your climate squad. You can't do this alone. Join a group, volunteer with an organisation, team up.

And now, after many conversations with students who were really grappling with how they can be most useful, this is my current answer, a Venn diagram. Find the overlap of:

  1. What are you good at?
  2. What is the work that needs doing?
  3. What brings you joy?

Find the epicentre of your Venn diagram and spend as many minutes there as possible. While this is the work of our lifetimes, there is really no reason it needs to be miserable—don't leave out joy!

Talking Trash: A Conversation about Climate Change

Singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and marine biologist and climate expert, Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, tune in from LA and Brooklyn to discuss how to think globally and act locally by deciding what to care about, and how to channel their energy.

"You don't have to be called an activist to talk about what's right".

Billie Eilish

Billie has spoken frequently about her climate anxiety and how it affects her music, partnerships and stadium tours—where she doesn't allow plastic straws in concert venues and even asks audience members to bring their own water containers. But she's always eager to learn more. In the case of Ayana, not only does she have a long career in science and policy, she is also co-founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for the future of coastal cities, co-founder of The All We Can Save Project, to support women leading on climate, and co-creator of How to Save a Planet, a podcast on climate solutions.

"Climate justice is making sure that everyone has an equal opportunity for a healthy and safe life".

Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

The two chatted about speaking up and staying optimistic. Ultimately, they both agreed that every action counts—and the most important thing is to keep trying.

Tips: 10 Tips for Being a Climate-Justice Advocate

By Xiye Bastida

Talking Trash with Billie Eilish
Talking Trash with Billie Eilish

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