Best and Brightest … Genius — Esquire

A once-in-a-lifetime game-changing advance
in our field everyone else will follow
— Marshall Goldsmith

Astrophysicist turned new media whiz — NBC

Passionate … confident … — Forbes

You don't just learn theory from
him, you improve your life.
— Inc.

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard University, Standford University, Princeton University, MTV, IBM, US Army

My Mission

My mission is to help change American (and global) culture on sustainability and stewardship from expecting deprivation, sacrifice, burden, and chore to expecting rewarding emotions and lifestyles, as I see happen with everyone I lead to act for their intrinsic motivations.

In my case the emotions have been joy, fun, freedom, connection, meaning, and purpose.

Systemic change begins with personal change.

Some of my values. What are yours?
Months living off the grid in Manhattan: 24 (and counting)
Loads of garbage I filled in 2024 so far: 0
Loads of garbage I filled in 2023 so far: 0
Loads of garbage I filled in 2022: 0
Loads filled in 2021: 0
Loads filled in 2020: 0
Loads filled in 2019: 1
Loads filled in 2018: 1
Loads filled in 2017: 1
Days picking up litter: 2,582 and counting
Years not flying: 8 and counting
2024 grid electric grid use at home: 0 kilowatt-hours
Annual carbon emissions: about 1 ton
Daily burpees: 229,551 and counting
Resting pulse: 47 bpm


756: Kimberly Nicholas: How Fly Less? Fly less.

on May 22, 2024 in Podcast

Kimberly has, by dramatically reducing her flying, improved her life, living more deliberately and consistent with her values. I met her when she was a panelist at an event on promoting hurting people less by flying less. I invited her as someone to explore her journey of reducing her flying. In our conversation, the shared how she went from learning the possibility to promoting staying grounded. Many stages overlapped with[…] Keep reading →

He who lives by pollution dies by pollution.

on May 21, 2024 in Freedom, Leadership

I was reading an account of Martin Luther King during the Montgomery Bus Boycott and noticed how a few things he said, often quoting or paraphrasing Jesus, applied to today. The big one was “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword,” which doesn’t seem a stretch to say those who live by pollution die by pollution. Despite everyone saying their flying does so much good it’s worth[…] Keep reading →

My new book title and subtitle

on May 20, 2024 in Creativity

I’m done editing anything more than grammar or factual errors, and while some slip through on many books, they’re all fixed. I’ve gone through many titles, each working at its stage of development, but this one seems right for launch: Sustainability Simplified The Definitive Guide to Understanding and Solving All (Yes, All) Our Environmental Problems I welcome your thoughts. What do you think?

This week’s selected media, May 19, 2024: The Power of Habit, Conservatism

on May 19, 2024 in Tips

This week I finished: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg: Approaching a quarter-million burpees without missing a day in over a decade, among other habits, I always enjoy reading about habits. This book is engaging. Duhigg tells stories, presents science, and builds engagement over the course of the book well. I still haven’t found someone who treats how not[…] Keep reading →

A question for those who believe “more people solve more problems”

on May 18, 2024 in Nature, Visualization

Several bestselling authors on the environment suggest that people solve problems, so more people solve more problems. They conclude that we should keep growing the population. A century and a half ago people believed “rain follows the plow.” They created what looked like science proving that settlers moving west across North America creating farms would cause rain to fall more. To me, “more people solve more problems” looks like a[…] Keep reading →

755: Stefan Gössling: Busting self-serving myths about flying

on May 17, 2024 in Podcast

People who fly think most people fly, but it’s more like a few percent. A small fraction of people fly, let alone across oceans or multiple times per year. If you fly, it’s probably your action that hurts people most through its environmental impact, but you probably rationalize and justify it. Unlike many other polluting activities, most of the money you spend on flying goes to polluting, displacing people and[…] Keep reading →

Another reason we’re failing at sustainability: relying on the wrong people

on May 16, 2024 in Education, Leadership, Nature

When I started graduate school in physics at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the faculty members in the department confused the students. He didn’t confuse us with complex science. He was a world leader in his subject, but the subject was tennis—the physics of tennis. I studied there in 1993-94. When the professor, Howard Brody, died, the New York Times published his obituary, Howard Brody, an Expert in the[…] Keep reading →

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