Leadership and the Environment

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266: Thoughts on my MAGA interview

Ep. 266

My notes I read from for this post:


Yesterday I posted my interview on a site that strongly supports Donald Trump. I do not. Yet I described it as one of my favorite interviews. What gives?

The conversation prompted thoughts on environment and politics. Read my post on the conversation and listen to the conversation for context. For more context, the guy who hosted, Rob, his profile says "Vote Red To Save America!" on Twitter, where he describes himself as "The Conservative Black Cowboy." In videos, he wears a Make America Great Again hat. Doing these things openly in New York City may only mean you're looking for a response, but I think it also means genuine, strong feelings.

I read that he genuinely and authentically wanted to know about me, my history, and my actions -- not to attack or criticize but because he saw in me something he hadn't before but that he liked. His site criticized others as dupes for scientists looking to save their money among other what I would call attacks on climate activists, but he seemed to hold back from saying there were no environmental problems.

I read that he was looking for a voice and story worth listening to. I may have misread him. As one person, he doesn't represent the right or Trump supporters in general, but I don't think I misread that a lot of people like him would welcome

How unwelcome I felt in a blazer and collared shirt at the climate march. I suspect I impacted the environment less than most but felt unwelcome until I spoke with a friend. I don't remember the details and may have misread so can't say for sure. Even so, I consider people dressed for business the ones the crowd should have felt most comfortable since they influence so much that pollutes. Instead, it felt like there was a leftist political machine that seized on an issue to empower themselves and beat the others. That view treats others as if they want to pollute as primary goal. But no one wants to pollute as primary goal. Everyone on the left I've met pollutes more than I do. Should I conclude they pollute as a primary goal? No, they haven't figured out how to reduce their pollution yet so they keep polluting. In the meantime, they enrich themselves at the expense of others helpless to defend themselves. Just like people on the right.

If I say people on the left don't care, they would say they do and something along the lines that you have to break some eggs to make an omelet and I just don't understand them. Were I to keep pushing, they'd get angry, say I don't understand them, and disengage. My ability to influence or lead them would drop through the floor.

I wouldn't understand that they do care. They do want clean air, land, and water. If I understand that they care and find ways to help, they'll follow, which I do on my podcast in hundreds of conversations.

Well, people on the left say people on the right don't care, but don't afford that they would say they do and something along the lines that you have to break some eggs to make an omelet. People on the right conclude those on the left just don't understand them. Those on the left keep pushing, getting everyone else angry, to say I don't understand them, and disengage. Their ability to influence or lead drops through the floor.

Centuries of systems and beliefs make it difficult to live sustainably, as do uncertainties and risks. Plus our population makes it impossible, as far as I can tell, for humans to live sustainably. We all want to act. The most anyone can do is as much as we can. I find the most effective way to help people do as much as they can is through listening, understanding, and supporting.

Frankly, I suspect that when the right turns their ship around and embraces environmental action, which will happen faster the more the left stops treating it as a political weapon, they wouldn't surprise me if they achieved more.

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6/23/2020

350: Jonathan Herzog, part 1: A candidate acts with genuineness and authenticity

Ep. 350
I haven't taken political stance because I am working to removing wedge-ness from environmental policy. I'm working for people to see laws about how people affect others through the environment as we view traffic laws. We don't see red lights as red tape or bureaucrats telling us what to do. They make our world safer even if they slow us down sometimes. One day we'll see keeping mercury out of fish and other pollution similarly.I met Jonathan in person practicing democracy---gathering signatures in my neighborhood. I learned of him after meeting Andrew Yang, whose candidacy I valued.Last year I heard Andrew Yang speak and liked his message enough to read his book, The War on Normal People, and learn more about universal basic income. I listened to Andrew on several podcasts until I felt I understood what he was campaigning for and why. UBI, for example, has had centuries of support across the political spectrum. Who knew?I talked to Yang's campaign people about helping with their environmental platform. (I'll talk to any politician about their environmental platform, since they could all use help). One of the outcomes was meeting Jonathan, gathering signatures a block from home. I like people acting in my world with passion, genuineness, and authenticity. Read Yang's book to learn the platform and what's driving it.In a tradition of successful people, Jonathan had left Harvard before finishing to support Yang's campaign, then to run himself in New York City's 10th district, where I live. He cares. He also acts personally on the environment, as you'll hear in this episode.