The Planet and Humanity Standing On a Knife’s Edge

Karthiga Ratnam
3 min readNov 11, 2022

“The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This is it isn’t it? That period in time that future generations will point to and say “they should have done something.” This is the MOMENT.

With all the news about climate change, layoffs, war, and recession, time feels like it's slowing down. Pointing at us and telling us that we need to stop and really think about what's next for us collectively as a species.

And yet…I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing, how I am supposed to be helping the people and the planet. It's like watching a trainwreck. I know I should get up and do something but what?

Mother Earth is screaming for attention but do we really hear her? Any yet…even knowing that we are standing on the precipice of a great danger is a privilege. It means I have the luxury of being able to stop and think. It means I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is coming from or how I keep my children safe.

It's safe to say I am feeling conflicted. How do we save humanity and the planet? How I am feeling reminds me of a passage from Lord of the Rings.

In the gathering dark, the will of the Ring grows strong. It works hard now to find its way back into the hands of men. Men, who are so easily seduced by its power. The young captain of Gondor has but to extend his hand, take the Ring for his own and the world will fall. It is close now, so close to achieving its goal. — Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers

I hate to be all doom and gloom, but I am losing hope. I fear if I am called upon I will have to look upon future generations with shame and guilt. If they point to me and ask, why didn’t you do anything? What am I to say?

Photo by Wesley Carvalho: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-blue-and-white-floral-long-sleeve-shirt-holding-a-round-shaped-puzzle-4126255/

But even as I fear for the fate of our planet I also know there are billions that will starve tonight, billions will not have access to clean water or healthcare. Billions will not have a roof over their heads. Can we save the planet and the people? Do we just roll the dice?

If we really are civilized as species as we like to claim then surely people and the planet can’t both be suffering? If we are to paint a picture of what civilized means, is what's going on on this planet today supposed to be what we draw?

Darkness is gathering all around us and those that fight it are growing weary.

I go to bed tonight with a heavy heart knowing that if I can’t change the world the only thing I can do is change myself.

So I chose:

  • a plant-based diet
  • to air dry my clothes
  • to walk where possible
  • to buy local where possible
  • to help feed at least one person every day

And I naively pray that these little changes will be enough to save both humanity and the planet. But I know in my heart that it's not.

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Karthiga Ratnam

Impact-Driven Category Designer | Working group member Wicked 7