This Sustainable Life
583: Growthbusters called me extreme, so I responded
The notes I read from for this episode:
- “Lead by example”. I’m not leading by example.
- “Extreme” implies values, as does “middle ground” and “balance.” Everyone is extreme by someone else’s views.
- Everyone I talk to says they are balancing, that extreme is too much. What are you balancing with if one side is sustainability? How can the answer be anything but growth and unsustainability? People will say family, work, making money, but it doesn’t change that they are fueling growth and driving a system we are trying to change. Nobody said changing systems is easy, but systemic change begins with personal change.
- Our greatest challenge is not finding theoretical solutions on degrowth.
- If we want others to live by values like sustainability and stewardship, how can we influence them if we live by the excuses they do? If they hear us live by growth, why shouldn’t they? What’s the difference?
- Every person who resist degrowth agrees they prefer clean air, land, food, and water to polluted and nearly all say they have to balance, not be extreme.
- I would only ask this challenging a question if I had discovered that every step toward sustainability, while often hard at first, improved my life.
- When I hear someone say I’m extreme, it sounds like calling a parent who changes their child’s diaper extreme.
- If you own a pet or garden, you’ve changed your life more than I have.
- “It’s okay for Lloyd to set an example of living a 1.5 degree lifestyle that many many people aren’t close to.” My point isn’t the logistics of how to do it, but our values and character. No one raises their kid halfway. We do it out of love, passion, joy, fun, and all sorts of reward, no matter how much poop, vomit, injuries.
- My goal is to help people live by values of stewardship and freedom our culture has led us to suppress so much we think we should balance them with dishwashers and flying to vacation.
- If you want to experience the world, get rid of your bucket list. If you want to love your family, don’t fly to visit them rarely.
- I don’t want to sound like I’m pushing too hard on them. On the contrary, I believe that all of us, when we switch cultures, will wish we had earlier. I feel like I’m suggesting to a parent who abuses their child that they’ll prefer not abusing it? I don’t want to suggest nature or Earth are human children, but we sure are abusing them.
- When you pursue sustainability enough, you go through many transitions. One big one is from thinking of yourself first,.
- If I sound uncompromising, it’s because nature is uncompromising. Too many people measure their sustainability action by how much they feel like they tried. That’s why they say it’s so hard, so that every little bit counts for a lot. But two things. One, nature doesn’t respond to your feelings, it responds to your actions.
- Two, it’s not hard! It only looks hard until you commit and sweat the withdrawal.
- Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
- The Growthbusters podcast
- The Growthbusters documentary
598: Bill Benenson, part 2: Dirt! and Kiss the Ground, behind the scenes
I indulge in asking Bill about his and his wife Laurie's passions, filmmaker friends, goals, and so on. He talks about passionate peers he's worked with like Michael Pollan and Paul Stamets. The names Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen come up too, as two other people who appeared in his movies. He explains the value of celebrity.He shares his storytelling techniques not to make political films or push people, despite covering fields others treat more bluntly. He and Laurie share nuance and subtlety. Also joy and appreciations.He takes an interest in the Spodek/AIM Method so I describe it to him, not just do it. I hope everyone practices it and spreads the joy, fun, freedom, and rewarding emotions and experiences that connecting with nature does.
597: Josh Martin, part 2: If at first you don't succeed . . .
Josh Martin started to do his commitment to shop at the farmers market, but it didn't connect. I think we didn't connect it to his experience of the environment.We decided to find a new commitment by connecting more intrinsically. We spoke on sustainability, nutrition, health, sports, and many things, him from the position of an entrepreneur former athlete, me from a troubleshooting perspective. The result was covering many topics, eventually leading to a new commitment. My read from his tone at the end is that the new one resonates more for him.One of the main discoveries of this podcast is that with rare exception, everyone cares about the environment. What's separating most people from acting isn't a lack of facts or lists of "ten little things" they could do for the environment. The lack leadership, meaning the tools leaders use, especially connecting with their intrinsic motivations. In the case of the environment, everyone has intrinsic motivation.Hitting people over the head with facts, numbers, and what to do devalues their intrinsic motivation. I find the opposite works better: listening, empathizing, stories, and such.Josh's home page
596: Sandra Pérez, part 1: Keeping New York's LGBTQIA+ Pride March clean
Sandra took responsibility when she didn't have to, as the Executive Director of NYC Pride, to respond to my requests to talk to an organizer. Longtime listeners and readers of my blog know that last year, I was disgusted by the garbage covering Washington Square Park the morning after New York City's 2021 Pride March. I posted pictures and video with the quote from another person in the park I saw that morning, "Pride destroyed the park."It turns there are two Pride Marches and the other one ended in Washington Square Park, not the one Sandra organized, but she knew not everyone would know to distinguish them, the public could associate the mess with the whole community, and, in any case, both polluted too much.Beyond responding, we met in their headquarters with about a month before the March. They were very busy. We talked about what they could do this year and for the future.We also did the Spodek Method you are all used to hearing me do with leaders as guests on this podcast. We didn't record that first conversation, but agree to record the second---that is, this one---where we'd cover what we didn't record and she would share the results of that commitment.She also put me in touch with other staff to incorporate sustainability more in their efforts. It remains to be seen how much happens. Can they follow in my footsteps to improve participants' experiences by reducing their pollution ninety percent in under three years? I hope to help them do it. Everyone benefits.NYC Pride's home pageMy pictures and video of Washington Square Park the morning after the 2021 March