109: Flying and Polluting Helps Elect Trump (transcript)

December 20, 2018 by Dani Mihaleva
in Podcast

Joshua Spodek

Here’s an episode for everyone out there who can’t stand Trump and doesn’t want Trump 2020. Now for those of you who love Trump I’ve got words environmentally speaking for you as well. But this one’s for the people who can’t stand Trump. As for you anti-Trump voters, it may sound critical of you. It probably is. But if you listen carefully, it’s about a winning strategy for you. My goal in this podcast is not to criticize or give people a hard time. I don’t see much point in that. It’s to enable leadership in the area of the environment. Leadership meaning creating joy, passion, meaning, purpose, delicious. All these things that this podcast is about creating and that’s what I want to help you create. I’ve talked to hundreds of people about my not flying. In almost no case do I suggest that they consider not flying themselves since I’ve learned from experience that they flip out when I do. Nonetheless, their number one response, “Oh, that would be impossible for me. I have to do it for my job.”

When people who can’t stand Trump hear about him saving jobs in coal, they say there are tons more jobs in solar, wind and renewables and they say that those people should just change their jobs. If it’s not obvious, I’m going explain to you how your not considering not flying helped get Trump elected. If you care about Supreme Court justices, how the world views America and so on. If you don’t get this concept, you can look forward to helping him to another four years. So how did you help get Trump elected? First of all, if you voted for Trump, it’s obvious, you voted for him. And I hope that many listeners are Trump supporters not because I think that’s going to help the environment but because many see the environment as a liberal issue. I don’t. Nor do I see leadership as a liberal issue. I see these as universal issues but Trump’s actions on the environment are contrary to what I think we should do.

If not, if you didn’t vote for Trump if you voted against him, if you’ve taken a few flights, you yourself pulled out from the Paris agreement. How can you criticize him for effectively representing the behavior of the nation? Because almost everyone’s in this country is over the IPCC recommendations for greenhouse gas emissions. If you tell others that they should change but you don’t, like that they should follow an agreement that you don’t or you criticize someone for pulling out of an agreement that you yourself personally pulled out of because if you fly a couple of times a year, you did, people pick up on it. It sounds to them like hypocrisy. No matter how well you justify it for yourself. It sounds elitist, it sounds sanctimonious but mostly hypocritical. If your reason for continuing to fly was your job, nearly every piece of environmental legislation ever that hasn’t passed has been for jobs. Eagles, owls, national parks, wildlife reserves, almost obvious it’s jobs on the other side. Only when the jobs are for coal miners or loggers, people in the city say, “Yeah. well there are more jobs in solar anyway. These are just switch jobs.” Easy for you to say when it’s not your job. How easy is it to switch from coal to solar? You have no idea, do you? Well, how easy is it for you to switch from your high-flying job to one where you don’t fly so much? Why don’t you switch? Because I’ve talked to hundreds of people and they spend more time telling me why they can’t switch. Then I can’t get to say anything at all on the issue. They just talk over me.

Do you think people don’t see the pattern that you want to keep things in ways that work for you nut don’t mind when your votes uproot others’ lives? I’m not trying to influence your thoughts on jobs or flying. I’m suggesting you ask yourself what you care about abortion, gun rights, justices, racial equality or whatever issue you disagree with Trump on. Can you see why others might say, “Ha, I can vote too. You want me to sacrifice? Why don’t you sacrifice first?” Have you felt like coal miners, loggers and fishermen should change their jobs? Have you said you have to fly for work Do you see how appealing you made voting against your interests for them? Do you see how you’re using an argument to keep polluting that you don’t accept from others? Do you see that a way to win future elections is to behave by the values that you want others to but you do it first? That means making your neighborhood squeaky clean with no garbage and not just on the ground but minimal going to landfills from your house. It means dropping your waste in greenhouse emissions and everything below IPCC recommendations. Everything, not just the stuff that you think about. All of it. You’ll enjoy it when you get used to it. You’ll want to share it and then share it.

I saw a study that said that Germans who waste per person weigh less than Americans they could reduce their waste by 75 percent without affecting their standards of living. That means that Americans could reduce their waste by something like 85, maybe more percent probably improving their quality of life. On a personal note, I’ve dropped my ways to below 90 percent lower than the average American. That means my global footprint is under 10 percent of the average Americans and that improved my life because it was way up there before because I flew and used packaging and all sorts of things that kept me somewhere around where most Americans polluted. It improved my life. Changing people’s voting patterns also means changing your job or your polluting patterns. You want coal miners to change jobs and vote with you? Share how you changed your job and loved it. Or else, except that you’re helping re-elect someone you probably detest but represents your behavior more than you’d like to accept. Be the change you want to see. Share how it improves your life. Then people will follow or keep doing what you’re doing and enjoy Trump 2020. As for me, I hope that you’ll clean up your act because I care about the environment and I care about its effect on people and I don’t want you to keep getting someone elected who keeps increasing the amount of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

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