—Systemic change begins with personal change—

704: Gernot Wagner, part 1: Guiding Misguided Economic Forces in the Right Direction


Gernot and I go back a few years from meeting online over sustainability issues, finding out that we lived about a mile from each other, then meeting in person. Our first meeting, we got annoyed at each other, but our second we found we agreed on more controversial topics and had a grand old time. We also ran into each other at the conference where I met his longtime collaborator Bob Litterman, who was a recent podcast guest. Gernot combined economics with sustainability before others did and kept at it, putting him at the forefront of environmental economics. As regular listeners know, I value experience and living by one's values, not just talking about it. How else can you gain relevant experience, credibility, integrity, and character? How else do you know what you're talking about? Gernot has acted plenty. He talks about living more sustainably in his personal life along with his family. (As a side note, you wouldn't believe how many people tell me living sustainably with a family is impossible. It's not impossible for him, nor was it for all humans for 300,000 years. What makes it hard is marrying someone who doesn't share your values, which is another problem from sustainability, but not for Gernot). He talks about how he renovated his loft here in New York City. He also led renovating the house he grew up in in Austria as a teenager. He also shares an experienced environmental economist's view of the world and life. He speaks in plain English, not academic-speak, so I find him engaging and enlightening.

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