This Sustainable Life

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386: Bob Inglis, part 1: the EcoRight, a balance to the Environmental Left

Ep. 386

Everyone can lead when everyone around them agrees. How about when your conscience tells you what's right differs from everyone around you?

Bob Inglis is a former Congressman from South Carolina---the reddest district in the reddist state, as he puts it. The short story is that he stated he believed the science behind climate change. That was ten years ago. They voted him out.

You'll hear in this episode the story of how he transformed to take such a risk, how he responded, and what's come since. Last month he "endorsed Joe Biden for president Monday, arguing the Democratic nominee will help stabilize American politics and restore the country’s institutions."

I'm linking to his two TEDx talks, a Frontline interview, and his new organization, RepublicEN, which I recommend no matter your political views. I consider acting on your values leadership. I've met or heard of few people who have led on sustainability as much as Bob. Many people on the left talk about it, but haven't led---that is, they've mostly spoken to people who already agreed with them. They haven't worked with hearts and minds.

Most of us want to act on ours but hold ourselves back. I bet you'll find him a role model for actions you've held back on, whether related to nature or elsewhere in life.

We talk about meaning, purpose, and faith. I hope we can wrestle the wedge from those at the poles of our polarized society, as Bob spoke at the end.


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11/20/2022

644: Janet Allacker, part 1.5: Joy first

Ep. 644
In our second conversation, Janet reveals that she did part of her commitment, but found traveling not by car took longer than she expected and didn't do it often.At one point in this conversation, she shares she felt she had to reduce pollution. I point out I didn't say she had to reduce pollution. I invited her to manifest emotions she liked.Our society burdens us with thinking we have to ACT BIG! SCALE! SOLVE GLOBAL PROBLEMS!, which create obstacles to starting and prime us to expect it takes work and sacrifice. Environmentalists create that burden as much as anyone. Yet nature is a joy!The Spodek Method aims at first at the modest effect of leading someone to act on intrinsic motivation, which makes acting meaningful and purposeful. I contend the fastest, most effective way to act big, scale, and solve global problems is to start where you can, engage intrinsically, and keep going.After the Spodek Method's mindset shift comes the process of continual improvement, which I distinguish from lots of people doing small things. It's leading to where you enjoy it so you want to keep improving so you do big things because doing them improves your life, so you do more. Big things that spread out of joy, fun, and freedom scale.You'll hear Janet reset her feelings of obligation---extrinsic motivation---in favor of intrinsic motivation to continue joyfully.She also asked me many questions about what I'm doing and following up many episodes she's listened to.
11/16/2022

643: Gaya Herrington, part 3: Five Insights for Avoiding Global Collapse

Ep. 643
At the end of our second conversation, Gaya was finishing her book, leaving KPMG, and soon starting at Schneider Electric. The book just came out, Five Insights for Avoiding Global Collapse: What a 50-Year-Old Model of the World Taught Me About a Way Forward for Us Today (a free download), and she's worked at Schneider a while.We talk about the book, how the world has tracked two of the Limits to Growth simulations, and how working at Schneider is.The book treats how to respond to a complex, systemic problem, which is different from how to respond to a simple, linear problem. I consider the advice right on, rare to find, even among environmentalists. To change a system, some of the best levers are its goals and values. Don't change them and you retain the system you're trying to change, which most people are doing.Gaya's views are a breath of fresh air that give direction for people who want to lead to act.Gaya's new book, Five Insights for Avoiding Global Collapse: What a 50-Year-Old Model of the World Taught Me About a Way Forward for Us Today (a free download)About the book: Looming environmental and social breaking points, like climate change and massive inequalities, are becoming increasingly apparent and large in scale. In this book, Gaya Herrington puts today’s key societal challenges in perspective. Her analysis, rooted in her research on a 50-year-old model of the world that forecasted the onset of global collapse right around the present time, brings some structure to what otherwise might feel like the overwhelming task of achieving genuine societal sustainability.Herrington's research, first published in 2020 in Yale‘s Journal of Industrial Ecology, went viral after it revealed empirical data tracked closely with the predictions of this world model, which was introduced in the 1972 best seller The Limits to Growth. Her book Five Insights for Avoiding Global Collapse contains an exclusive research update based on 2022 data and is written in a more personable and accessible style than the journal article. Herrington also elaborates more in this book on the many interlinkages between our economic, environmental, and social predicaments, and on what her findings indicate for future global developments.Herington lays out why “business as usual” is not a viable option for global society and identifies the root cause of this unsustainable path. Most importantly, her book teaches us what systemic changes humanity still has time to make to achieve a better tomorrow. A future in which society has transformed beyond the mere avoidance of collapse and is truly thriving.