Reading front-page headlines about activist investors gaining some control of Exxon's Board of Directors reminded me of past guest Dar-Lon Chang, who worked at Exxon for sixteen years. I asked if he had inside information on it. He told me he did, which he shared. He also shared his personal experience living in a community striving to live sustainably in Colorado. Living more sustainably is why he left Exxon. Now a real estate developer is undoing their work after apparently lying about his intent to honor the community's interests. You'll feel outrage, though also, I hope, motivation, that he and his neighbors aren't just accepting gas lines being fed to houses in this community. They're fighting back.
Do you know anyone whose company pollutes more than they'd like, who wants to change things, but whose company keeps not acting? I think that situation describes almost everyone. Even the most sustainably companies aren't close to sustainable. They just pollute a bit less than everyone else, from Patagonia to Greenpeace. Maybe it describes you. Maybe it fits your elected officials, school administration, church leaders, etc as much as your employer. Today's guest worked at Exxon for 16 years. If any place qualifies as the poster child for contributing to climate change, well Dar-Lon Chang can tell us the view from the inside. If you'd like to change but feel frustrated, Dar-Lon probably faced bigger hurdles, with more to lose. After 16 years, with wife and daughter, with no job, he left for a new life. He'll share his story, but a preview of what to listen for, he prepared, but he also shares why he wished he had acted earlier. Another major theme that I consider more valuable coming from someone who knows the science, technology, financing, and history, he found technology has a role but is not the answer. It's much more about culture, which I'm bringing his story to help change. As I told him, once I read his story, I knew I had to do what I could to amplify his story. If you're thinking of acting but think you won't make a difference or your risk is too great, first, consider Dar-Lon's risk and how he wished he'd acted earlier. Over and over I see the people with the most resources, who say others with less can't do it, are actually the ones who feel the most trapped even though they can. Exactly what they got to create freedom traps them. If you feel you can't, consider that you may be more able to.