I see exactly two highest priorities for material goals to restore Earth's ability to sustain life. One is keeping fossil fuels in the ground. Down there it's safe. Above ground, it's poison and deadly. However clear and straightforward, almost no one focuses on this simple, effective, attainable goal. Katie does. Our first conversation was just starting when we had to stop. We mostly talked that time about her past, groundbreaking work. In this episode we talk about her present work with pipelines in the U.S., their disproportionate effects on communities based on class, race, and more, and her work on them. You can hear her passion in every sentence. I felt connected with someone so devoted and passionate, not waiting for others to act. This episode will rouse even the complacent among you. (The second priotity is outside the scope of Katie and my conversation: returning global population to a level Earth can sustain through voluntary, noncoercive means such as practiced at national levels by several nations all others could emulate.)
Katie is the sort of role model I do this podcast to bring to the world. Her challenges are huge, but her passion and determination greater. I can find a million people who say they care about the environment. They probably do. I can find some who act on this caring. I can find a few who do things that sound great like starting companies to do well by doing good. Of them, many are helping restore Earth's ability to sustain life. Then there's Katie. She's devoting everything she's got beyond just cleaning some area. She's going to what I consider as near the root of our problems, and the most effective solution: keeping fossil fuels in the ground. Most "solutions" like renewables, recycling, offsets, and what makes the news, in my view mostly just shuffle pollution around after we already brought fossil fuels out from underground where they were benign. When we recorded, she was in the middle of helping stop a pipeline, working with the local community. We talked about her current work and her past groundbreaking work with Doe v. Unocal and cases that followed its precedent. But I want most to comment on our conversation's tone. I loved talking with her as someone else who saw our problems and dove in to solve them, not dip around the edges, and she's succeeding. I love talking with someone not justifying or making excuses, but enthusiastic. How we feel depends on what we give relative to our potential. I've learned not to judge myself for things outside my control. I loved talking with her because I felt a bond over devoting ourselves to a great cause and giving all we have.