This Sustainable Life

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509: Joe Romm: From science to working with James Cameron, leading through story

Ep. 509

Coming from a background in science but realizing that sharing numbers and data didn't influence, Joe had to unlearn a lifetime of mainstream science education. He recognized that the best known scientists, like Darwin and Einstein, were great writers. He followed in their footsteps to learn what works while maintaining scientific integrity, which he shares in this episode.

In a world of storytellers and would-be leaders who don't know science and scientists who don't know how to influence, I found talking to Joe relieving. The job ahead is hard, but he shares with us the basics and it's not just avoiding plastic, however important.

He's written books on effective communication. He's worked in government and more to see the communication devoid of science we have to face. He's worked with James Cameron, David Letterman, Harrison Ford, and more.

If you're unsure about how to communicate keeping emotion in mind, staying consistent with scientific results, listen.

His books:

More Episodes

10/11/2021

518: Killing cities, gardens, and parks, New York's cruel "Open Restaurants" overreach

Ep. 518
Don't outdoor restaurants sound nice? During the pandemic, New York City allowed restaurants that couldn't host people indoors to serve them outdoors. Many restaurant owners credit the rule for keeping them in business. We neighbors happily supported businesses in need.The landlords saw the huge profit in keeping this public space for their private property, started raising rents---profiting from a deadly pandemic---and tried to get politicians to give them that public land permanently.I might not mind if that space were coming from just car spaces, or if restaurants weren't polluting the area so much with plastic, burning fossil fuels to heat the outdoors while California is on fire, other packaging, and noise.There is a better alternative that no one thought of because we didn't know the city was willing to convert space from parking spaces and open sidewalk. We could turn it to living green spaces: community gardens, playgrounds, farmers markets, bike lanes, public pedestrian spaces, and such. There was already huge demand for such spaces. People wait years for plots in the tiny spaces we have. But search the web for "Manhattan community gardens" and you'll find almost nothing, especially around Greenwich Village.This program is already raising rents, making new restaurants harder to start. It helps a few individuals while hurting the industry it purports to help.Those who know New York City's history will see this land grab from the public on par with the failed Lower Manhattan Expressway. People organized to protect what became global destinations: Soho, Nolita, Tribeca, the Lower East Side.If you have influence with New York City politics, end this program of pollution and destruction.See images and videos I made of what Open Restaurants contributes to:https://joshuaspodek.com/another-morning-walk-seeing-litter-in-my-neighborhoodhttps://joshuaspodek.com/pride-destroyed-the-park-washington-square-park-after-a-parade (video and pictures)https://joshuaspodek.com/video-whats-wrong-with-new-york-city (video and pictures)
10/8/2021

517: Michael Carlino, part 2: Faith, God, the Bible, and Values

Ep. 517
Nearly everyone I talk to who works on conservation or would call themselves an environmentalist or something like it treats American conservatives and evangelicals as adversaries, lost causes, hurdles, or even the enemy. They love Katharine Hayhoe for being on their side while also practicing a Texas-friendly version of Christianity. They figure she'll fix them for them. (We're scheduling her appearing on this podcast, if you're wondering).What do conservatives and evangelicals believe? If you're so right, why don't they agree? Do you believe they're stupid, ignorant, gullible, greedy, or what?I don't think I've heard anyone talking about them from a place of understanding. I only hear them treated as caricatures with beliefs and motivations they only see as wrong, backward, or ignorant. I never hear them describe their beliefs as reasonable or grounded in something understandable.Frankly, I'm only starting to learn, but I don't believe they're stupid, ignorant, gullible, or greedy. Michael is only speaking for himself, but he's getting an advanced degree at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, training to become a Pastor. He worked and studied hard to reach that level and has devoted his life to it. He's knowledgeable, connected, passionate, and studied.In this conversation we continue learning about each other. Well I can only speak for myself, that I'm learning from him. I think he's learning from me. My views and goals tend to be subtly different than nearly anyone expects than mainstream environmental views. In this regard he may understand me better since I see values, beliefs, and behavior as the problem. Most environmental people focus on laws, technology, markets, and extrinsic things. I look at intrinsic. They look to study and recount. I look to act and inspire.Michael and I talk about faith, hope, belief, and more.