Leadership and the Environment
306: Covid-19, avoiding people, and family
I chose to stay at my mom's outside the city
- Read stories, saw difference between places with SARS and MERS experience versus not
- NY and US woefully underprepared govt, corps. People didn't get it
- Not worried about my health, but system
- Advice is distance
What could happen
- Closer to Italy than China or Iran
- Talked to friend in medicine
- Talked to friend who had been following most
- US lacks central authority
- Mom is 76. Stepfather close. I could unknowingly bring disease
- Solution isn't possible for everyone. On the other hand, everyone who can slow spread should
At first felt privileged
- But hard to find precisely
- Having mom?
- Having mom still alive?
- Her living outside the city? Many other situations doesn't help.
- That I can afford to go somewhere else?
- Normally couldn't but situation demands it. Like many, I can't afford. My largest source of income last year was corporate speaking, which is all disappearing
- In any case, able to relocate possibly for months results from work at pruning unnecessary, which anyone can do
- I don't have kids, which enables a lot, but a major factor in not having kids is not being able to afford them.
- Feels like the opposite of privilege, not being able to afford something
- Still, people have told me I'm privileged for it.
- Candidly, it feels that way, but I can't put my finger on it. My family isn't loaded. If middle class is privileged, I guess, but then everyone outside poverty is privileged.
Back to Covid
- What made case for me was seeing scientific models that what we're seeing with minimal testing implies far more we haven't tested, which implies far more who can transmit but haven't shown symptoms, which could be you or me
- Biggest problem would be if we don't learn from it.
- Biggest lesson so far: can't not fly -> can not fly
- Because however big Covid, scientists have predicted pandemics based on overpopulation and over travel for generations
- They've also predicted a lot more to come.
- Best course beyond this pandemic is to implement globally what Thai people did: lowering birth rate globally to around 1, 1.5 children per woman.
- In the immediate, follow expert advice, of course
The two articles that influenced me most:
- Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now
- How Will Coronavirus Spread? Liz Specht Breaks Down Systemic Risk – by the Math – As 16 Million Are Quarantined in Italy
The chart I described, from the first link above:
352: I don't want to act on the environment
I think I've accidentally led people astray, sharing how much I enjoy acting in stewardship. I would prefer doing anything I wanted whenever and wherever, on my terms---that is, if I didn't have to consider how my behavior affected others, especially those powerless to stop my effects from hurting them.Today's episode shares how I'm doing on the personal level what science suggests---no magic, nothing personal, just following the advice that makes the most sense. On the social level, I'm leading other people, corporations, institutions, and government. I'm not making things up or denying.
352: The War of Art and Nature
I loved Steven Pressfield's book The War of Art. I found it inspiring. It had a property that qualifies for me that something qualifies as a work of art: it said something I always knew was true but that I'd never seen expressed that way."I mention it for two reasons. One, I recorded a podcast episode with Steven the other day, which led me to reread the book. Two, I found the book applies to acting in stewardship. Substitute a few words and new meaning emerges, mainly changing art to stewardship. Most of the rest follows.I describe the analogy in this episode's recording. I share a few examples. I hope it helps motivate.I recommend The War of Art to nearly anyone. I recommend it especially to people who want to work on the environment.
351: A Rough Day in New York City
Today was a rough day for me in New York. Most of my solo episodes I start with a point. Today brought me down enough that I decided to share more openly some thoughts I get when seeing situations that look hopeless and are deteriorating. Normally I try to support others. It occurred to me, I hear almost nothing back from listeners, friends, family, or the world providing hope or support. More commonly people seem mystified that I or anyone would try to live sustainably when they could instead eat, travel, buy, etc with nary a thought of stewardship or empowerment.Below are my notes reminding me of a few things during the day to cover while speaking. As I'm writing these words, fireworks---that is, loud explosions---are going off within a block or two, unofficial.Helicopter since 5:20No masksLitter everywhere, every mealJust saw Story of PlasticNobody seems to care. We can go a day without water, but 8 oz bottlesPolice everywhereMayor absentPresident exacerbatingWhy bother?Am I missing signs of mainstream effective action?Plastic production higher than ever