This Sustainable Life
360: Sparta could make history
Here are the notes I read from on recounting the potential I saw for the Spartan Race community and its founder, Joe De Sena, if they chose to prioritize environmental stewardship.
- Context: Joe: carries chain up 1,000-foot hill, brings others with him, invites people to climb hill for 24 hours, leads to Spartan Run.
- Brings people up to carry boulders up steep hill, which they pay to do.
- Community: Integrity, personal motivation, fun, supportive
- Tasks: Learn about yourself, great joy, striving, constantly improving They understand the mental and physical side, learning, growing, deeper satisfaction and reward than cookies and ice cream.
- Got me to go to Vermont and run up and down hill seven times.
- Environment: abysmal: trash, doof, little fruits and vegetables, bottles, ignoring well water, no natural fibers
- Texts from kids
- But huge potential. 7 million members. They know you have to go through uncertainty, pain, struggle, mostly self-doubt, your mind telling you reasons to stop, working through them.
- I've spoken with world-class leaders. Joe and his community see what to do and have lived doing it in other areas.
- Competitors included blind, one foot, 61-year-old, black, white, hispanic, carrying 100-pound load, loads of kids.
- I proposed one trash bag per event that all have to use and only fill
- one, maybe one recycling container, but keep it empty too.
- No single-rider cars. Joe said needed big fine. Given their integrity, I
- proposed internal motivation. After speaking I thought instead give them cash and time off their finishing time so the'll go on record as having beaten people they didn't deserve to.
- If Joe and his team act on my ideas, could become first main community to lead. They'll enjoy the process -- eating healthier, saving money, carpooling -- they'll enjoy discovering nature too.
- Everything they get now in mind and body, they'll re-create in their
- relationship with nature.
443: Nobody understands what's so bad with climate change
Here are my notes I read from for this episode------It hit me recently that nearly nobody knows what's so bad about climate change. I've started asking people and nobody knows. Actually, of the dozens I've asked, one knew, though it took prompting for her to say it.Everyone gets sea level rise, biodiversity, loss of coral reefs.I'll grant we have to move cities. But I'll respond that after some loss, we'd rebuild, which could create meaning.I'll grant more and bigger hurricanes, but I'll respond that we'll learn to build hurricane-proof buildings. Katrina's losses in lives and property, while tragic, are nothing compared to the material gains. Most people see fossil fuels brought billions out of poverty, longevity, prosperity. That trade seems worth it.You've maybe read books like The Uninhabitable Earth or ones describing the hellscape we may turn the Earth into, but most people see science and technology able to fix those problems. We'll live underground or undersea.To describe the problem I have to retell a story regular listeners have heard before. My friend Kevin and the elk.Climate change means looking back doesn't work and the collapse increases. I'll describe the problem in simple terms. It may sound moralistic or ethical, but I'll just state it like if I drop something it will fall. The sun rose this morning in the east and set this evening in the west. Dogs growl. Cats purr. And climate change would result in billions of people dying.This result is why I devote myself to changing course. My podcast is practice leading people. I plan to use my book to help lead more people and to launch big-time to reach the most influential people in society.Business people should get this most. They know how markets can drop in recessions and that companies can have to downsize. They know the pain. The problem with them is that they think, "well, we recover from recessions." They don't distinguish between people losing jobs and people losing lives.So I don't agree with the trade with Katrina, because we don't only lose thousands of lives. But as long as people see that as the loss, climate change doesn't look so bad to them.It looks bad to me.
442: Jonathan Hardesty, part 1: The Journey from Absolute Rookie to Mastery
Longtime listeners and readers of my books and podcast know I draw the analogy to learning and mastering a skill to learning to play piano or a sport. You start by playing scales or practicing groundstrokes. Likewise with leadership or taking initiative, acting entrepreneurially, both performance arts you can master. Also acting in stewardship. People don't get that learning to cook without producing tons of garbage took training from when I started, producing a bag a week. Maybe I should explain better.Some listeners my have heard how I once found but lost a web page of a guy who sketched every day for a year and posted each day's sketch. Chicken scratches for 300 days, then a month of interesting stuff, then beauty. Anyone can master if they train. It takes neither a lot of time or money, just keep at it. Most people spend much more time and money watching TV or scrolling social media, which they get good at instead.Jonathan Hardesty, today's guest, kept at it. Starting without experience, connections, or resources, he reached mastery. On the way, he recorded and posted his years of development. You can see how rudimentarily, even remedially, he began. Watch that video, Journey of an Absolute Rookie. Prepare to be inspired at how accessible your potential is.He's kept going beyond where that video showed. In this episode he describes where he began and where he went. You'll love how accessible mastery is and how much more you get from it than you expect.It's also one of my most fun conversations. Can you tell how much I learned about self-expression and personal growth?I don't think I'm fooling myself to think acting in stewardship, in service of others is a performance art one can do with sensitivity, nuance,personal discovery, and what other performance art forms bring.Jonathan's video: Journey of an Absolute RookieMy singing episode: I sang every day for two months, unplugged (still going)Abbey Ryan's episodeSteven Pressfield's episode
441: John Sargent, part 1: The CEO who reduced a Big Five publisher's footprint
I learned of John's work through his statement at Macmillan's Sustainability page while researching Ray Anderson: In 2009, after reading Ray Anderson’s “Confessions of a Radical Industrialist,” I decided it was Macmillan’s responsibility to lessen our impact on the earth, and in particular, to lower our carbon emissions. We created a senior position in the company and spent well over a year measuring our carbon footprint. We then set ourselves the daunting goal of reducing our scope one, two, and “major” three carbon emissions by 65%, and we gave ourselves a decade to get it done. Over the course of the last nine years, we have made sustainability a major component of all our decisions at the company. In 2010 we instituted a carbon offset program to supplement our efforts. Over the last nine years, we have lowered our carbon emissions by roughly 50%, and with our offsets, we have been carbon neutral globally for the last two years.Getting here has not been easy. We have initiated lots of projects. We have often failed, but we have been relentless in our efforts. We always tried to make good common sense decisions along the way, keeping a balanced approach. In the end, we will not reach our goal of a 65% reduction, but we have been relentless in our approach and it has become a matter of great pride in our company.The completion of our ten-year plan leaves us again at the starting line. Climate change is now a burning issue (as I write this the Amazon rainforest is literally burning). We must rededicate ourselves to the cause, and willingly sacrifice when called upon. There is a lot to do, and I’m looking forward to getting after it.I often lament the lack of what I call leadership in the area of sustainability. What I call management, plenty, which I'm glad to see. That's things like measuring, facts, figures, seeking compliance. By leadership I mean stories, images, working on the system not just in it.It looked like John was leading so I brought him to share. I believe I found a role model and leader in business.