This Sustainable Life

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391: Bob Inglis, part 2: Is Biden better for conservatives on climate legislation?

Ep. 391

Bob and I begin lightheartedly, covering mulberry trees, gingkos, and how our views of nature change when we act in stewardship of it. Then I ask him about the decision as a conservative to endorse Biden. Question to you, the listener: will Bob describe that decision as hard or easy? Did he face serious repercussions, wide support, or something else?

What would you do in his situation? I couldn't put into words what he does. It's his leadership journey, so you'll have to listen.

Another question for you. Who traveled more since our last conversation: the guy who wants to travel but can't but committed

if he does to bring a spoon to avoid polluting or the guy who isn't flying?

We also talk about conservativism, sustainable living, and how to practice them both. Do they need reconciliation or do they make sense

together already?

2020 has meant most political talk is polarizing and divisive. I've learned any two people can find something to disagree on. I've also found any two people can find things to learn from each other.

I hope he's wrong about future generations not knowing what changed things. I believe that people who take a stand today to live by their values---when the overwhelming culture motivates keep doing what you've done, maybe recycling a bit more when convenient, even among people who call themselves environmentalists, who mostly tell others to change first---I believe we will leave legacies that others look back on.

He described Wilberforce's difficult, decades-long challenges. Whatever challenges he and his peers face, I know he feed better doing what he did, knowing his world and how doing anything different would prolong an industry he knew he had to do everything he could to end.

t hit me yesterday as I walked home from my daily picking up other people's litter in Washington Square Park. I used to think it curious to

view picking up litter as spare-time activity like going to a park or beach. Yesterday I asked myself, given my neighborhood's litter, what would I rather do, watch Game of Thrones? What would you rather do, clean up your neighborhood or watch Game of Thrones?


More Episodes

1/20/2021

431: I sang every day for two months, unplugged (still going)

Ep. 431
What do you do if you use less power? No social media? No listening to music? No TV?Sound like a fate worse than death?Inspired by guests on my podcast who find amazing activities to live by their environmental values, I committed to turning off all my electronics to sing every day. I've almost never sung in my life beyond Happy Birthday and The Star Spangled Banner so I'm mortified to play my remedial results live, but I love it. I know I'll keep going so today's recording isn't the end.I recorded singing a couple songs at the beginning. to record I opened the laptop, all other times I sang with the power off. At night I had to open the door to the hallway to read the words until I started singing outside during my daily walks picking up litter.So far I've spent zero dollars on it. The first two weeks I sang fifteen minutes a day. Later I shifted to at least one song, so a few minutes a day.Today's episode starts with my describing the experience and a few stories, then with neither pride nor shame, I play the "before" recording, then the "after."The track listing:Before14:42 The Beatles, Across the Universe19:30 The Beatles, While My Guitar Gently WeepsAfter22:40 The Beatles, Across the Universe26:28 The Beatles, While My Guitar Gently Weeps28:44 John Denver, I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane31:26 Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi33:01 Spandau Ballet, True36:12 The Cure, Pictures of You38:54 Earth, Wind, and Fire, September42:19 Woody Guthrie, This Land Is Your Land
1/19/2021

430: Rabbi Yonatan Neril, part 1: The Eco Bible

Ep. 430
In the midst of several episodes on religious approaches to sustainability I learned of today's guest, Rabbi Yonatan Neril's book The Eco Bible: An Ecological Commentary on Genesis and Exodus.He founded and directs the international Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, including its Jewish Eco Seminars branch. He wrote the book to shine new light on how the Hebrew Bible and great religious thinkers have urged human care and stewardship of nature for thousands of years as a central message of spiritual wisdom.He has spoken internationally on religion and the environment, including at the UN Environment Assembly, the Fez Climate Conscience Summit, the Parliament of World Religions, and the Pontifical Urban University. He co-organized twelve interfaith environmental conferences in Jerusalem, New York City, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Los Angeles, and elsewhere.On a personal note, I saw the chance to learn about my family and upbringing. My father is the person I know most knowledgeable and practicing about Judaism. He is also among the people I know among the most resistant to reconsidering views on nature, pollution, and considering changing how he interacts with it. I was curious how his religion influences him.Yonatan presented another approach full of joy, community, connection, service, and faith. I can't say others all approach it like a chore or burden, like something wehave to do butreally don't want to, but I sure see that approach more. I like Yonatan's mood more.
1/17/2021

429: What about jobs?

Ep. 429
"What about jobs?" people often ask to counter proposals to constrain some activity. Today's episode answers.Here are the notes I read from:What about jobs?People out of work drain on society, not so happyStore near me that sells trinketsOf any value?I'd prefer a hug, shoulder rub, or make me dinnerMany stages to make: plastic from oil, factory to make, transportation, store clerkFactory, put near landfillWhat about trucks and boats?Better to drive and sail around in circlesAbsurd, but actually better world paying to do worthless work with more hugs, shoulder rubs, and home-made dinners, oil in ground, people not displaced, skies clearerClassic historical case of buggy whipsIf legislated, people wouldn't die.People out of work now clamor to work. People love to serve.I don't know where people's faith in entrepreneurship goes. Constraints breed creativity.Need problem to exist to solve it. If you wait for planned jobs to exist before demand, will never happen. If you keep going in counterproductive industries, we'll destroy Earth's ability to sustain life and society.Economists are incredibly wrong in this area, especially free-market, Ayn Rand types.I'm studying Edwards Deming. Japan: government and industry post WWII did what would be anticompetitive in U.S., but transformed nation and world, more happiness and products, no shortage of competition. Have you seen pictures of Sao Paolo before and after banning billboards.So I'm pretty sure that if we outlawed just producing dioxins and PFOS and carcinogens and created some jobs programs to teach Initiative, which would be enough, or something better if you know, as other nations without our addiction problems do, we'd improve the world by everyone's standards, including the free-market, Ayn Rand types.I think at the root is a belief that people want to be lazy. I just don't see it in at least 99%. If last 1% say 5% scare you, are you really going to let your fears of 5% of people drive economic policy to ecological ruin?I would much rather have shoulder-rubs, dinner made for me, or to make dinner for her, hugs, and what entrepreneurs come up with than destroyed planet. Remember, all those trinkets mean extracting oil for materials, to drive factories, truck, boats, etc to deliver, $1.6B to haul away.When São Paulo introduced its Clean City Law (Lei Cidade Limpa) a decade ago, over 15,000 marketing billboards were taken down.Sao Paulo: The City With No Outdoor AdvertisementsWikipedia's page on Lei Cidade Limpa (Portuguese for clean city law)Five Years After Banning Outdoor Ads, Brazil's Largest City Is More Vibrant Than EverAd Ban in São Paulo São Paulo No LogoAlsoReddit post with many before and after pictures of Poland banning billboards