Category Archives: Nature

Environmental inaction and selfishness, Environmental action and selflessness

on November 14, 2018 in Leadership, Nature

I’ve spoken to a lot of people about environmental action and inaction. While I haven’t done double-blind randomized controlled experiments, I have seen one broad trend: People who act on their environmental values do so for others. People who don’t act on their environmental values do so for themselves. Action Typical reasons people give for acting include: “I want to leave the world better than I found it,” “Other people[…] Keep reading →

Environmental Hypocrisy

on November 12, 2018 in Nature

Hypocrisy is a challenging, accusatory, powerful word. Let’s get out of the way that I’m not perfect, I don’t claim perfection, and I often don’t act. Here are examples of things I hear from people who claim to care about the environment and probably believe they pollute below average, but pollute comparably to average Americans, meaning more than nearly any in history. “It’s the journey, not the destination,” yet they[…] Keep reading →

Amtrak torture

on November 10, 2018 in Nature

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I took Amtrak to California instead of flying. But I’m concluding that one of the worst tortures humans could inflict on each other might be to force a Japanese train engineer or conductor to work for Amtrak. I can only imagine his or her suffering. Late Today, Amtrak canceled two trains without warning. On the way west from New York, we arrived in Chicago[…] Keep reading →

The most beautiful, life-giving places on Earth, we paved over

on November 9, 2018 in Nature, Visualization

Humans seem drawn to the most beautiful places. Our ancestors probably settled where life was easiest—that is, providing the most for life. Then we make them easier for us to live there—a hut here, a path there, a well, a dock, a road, etc. In other words, we’ve likely paved the most beautiful places on Earth. Here’s Manhattan before and after. Here are two pictures of Thailand jungles, then two[…] Keep reading →

A simple, low-cost proposal to reduce pollution

on October 20, 2018 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Nature

How’s this for simple and effective: Require all single-use items to carry a message that they pollute. I’m not sure the best wording, but something like: Short version: This object pollutes and is unnecessary. Please reuse durable alternatives. Long version: This object pollutes and is unnecessary. Making it created greenhouse gases and depletes resources. Disposing of it poisons our food supply. It may take centuries to break down. Using it[…] Keep reading →

Answers to common questions on polluting less

on October 17, 2018 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Habits, Nature

A new reader and listener asked some questions I get a lot about polluting less and how to start. I’m sharing the answers so people can find them faster. I’ll preview the questions, then share his whole email for context, with my answers. Feel free to scroll down if you just want the answers. Just the questions: Packaging: What parameters did you start with? Do you buy everything at a[…] Keep reading →

Why I’m not waiting for the government to act on the environment

on October 16, 2018 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Leadership, Nature

Social and cultural change generally start from outside government. Government nearly always follows. Mandela, Gandhi, King, Havel, etc all started outside government. I’d love to see government lead, but the most effective thing for anyone who wants government to act to do is to act first. That’s why I’m acting, or one of the reasons. When enough other people see the pattern, they’ll stop blaming others’ inaction and act themselves.[…] Keep reading →

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