This Sustainable Life


678: My talk to the International Society of Sustainability Professionals

Ep. 678

The International Society of Sustainability Professionals invited me to speak to their New York Chapter. Here is that recording. We "whooshed" out the participants' words, so it's just my speaking. Their mission is "ISSP empowers professionals to advance sustainability in organizations and communities around the globe."

I described my work, my path to get here, intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, how you can't lead others to live by values you live the opposite, and concepts relevant to sustainability leadership.

I didn't take them to task as much as I could have for living unsustainably, undermining their credibility and trust.

More Episodes

Sunday, May 28, 2023

688: Maya K. van Rossum, part 1: Green Amendments for the Environment (State and Federal)

Ep. 688
Some context leading to my conversation with Maya:When I first thought of a constitutional amendment to protect us from pollution, I thought the idea was crazy, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. The more I did, the more it made sense.Since learning about the Thirteenth Amendment prompted me to think of it, I first spoke to previous guest James Oakes about it. Since it involved constitutional law, I spoke to previous guest (and Nobel Prize holder) Seth Shelden, who put me in touch with his constitutional law professor and previous guest Michael Herz. Besides my conversations with them one-on-one, I also spoke with Michael and Jim together. I recommend listening and watching those conversations for context.My conversation with Maya:Then I learned of Maya's work with "green amendments," as she calls them, at the state level as a foundation for the federal level. She has been working on it for years. She shares that history, including a major win in Pennsylvania and New York State's recently becoming the third state with a green amendment.She describes the value of an amendment over statutory law, how current legislation doesn't prohibit pollution it legalizes it, the state of the movement, and goals.If you, as I did, considered environmental amendments interesting but far-fetched, you'll love this episode. Maya is achieving the seemingly impossible and showing it's beyond possible. It's happening.She is the Delaware Riverkeeper, leading the watershed based advocacy organization, the Delaware Riverkeeper NetworkGreen Amendments for the GenerationsHer book: The Green Amendment: the People’s Fight for a Clean, Safe, and Healthy Environment
Friday, May 19, 2023

686: Gautam Mukunda, part 1.5: Is Technology Necessarily Good?

Ep. 686
In the first part of our conversation, we start by reviewing Gautam's commitment to sailing, which seemed and still seems a good idea to him. but maybe too much for now. We revisit what motivated him and come up with a new commitment.The second part gets more exciting. Gautam expresses that we need to develop technology to help people who aren't living as well as us so we can help them. (I may not have summarized accurately; listen to his recorded words for his precise meaning.) This view is like waving a red flag to me since I used to think things like that but now see otherwise.We engage in different views on technology, progress, how humans used to live versus how we live today, values, and such.In other words, we openly talk about the underlying beliefs driving our culture and individual behavior we don't question or talk about, but that guide our decisions and behavior. If we can only imagine a world working a certain way, we can't change course. If that course leads to billions of people dying, being stuck in beliefs is a problem.I greatly appreciate a civil, productive conversation on topic that many find inflammatory.The paper on human lifetimes: Longevity Among Hunter- Gatherers: A Cross-Cultural Examination, by Michael Gurven, Hillard Kaplan. Michael Guvern was a guest on this podcast. Quoting from the paper:The average modal age of adult death for hunter-gatherers is 72 with a range of 68–78 years. This range appears to be the closest functional equivalent of an “adaptive” human life span.