—Systemic change begins with personal change—

745: Mattan Griffel, part 2: Is our dependence on polluting behavior “addiction”?


I have spoken and written at length how I see our relationship with polluting behavior as qualifying as addiction, a view that I think helps frame the challenge of sustainability. Overcoming addiction is harder than creating new technologies or taxing things. It takes powerful internal social and emotional skills. Just acknowledging one is addicted and harming others is a big hurdle, let alone acting on it. Not seeing the huge challenges of taking on one's addiction and trying to overcome it, facing withdrawal and so on leaves us not doing the hard work and using effective tools like listening, role models, compassion, and so on. Now multiply the number of people addicted by billions. If billions of people are addicted to flying, container ship-delivered goods, air conditioning, and so on, we better start soon. Mattan and I talk about how well addiction describes the challenges of changing culture toward sustainability. He's an experienced professional in the field, but not a licensed or trained professional, though licensing and training aren't necessarily as educational as time spent with people overcoming addiction. Listen for yourself, but I heard him see the comparison as valid. I'm also asking him since this addiction model of polluting and depleting appears in my upcoming book.

736: Mattan Griffel, part 1: Online opioid addiction treatment that (actually) works


Regular listeners know I focus on understanding addiction. I see people in my neighborhood and in headlines nearly daily addicted to heroin, fentanyl, meth, and crack. Since our culture promotes craving and dependence as what many would call "good business," I see people on those drugs not as outliers or anomalies from culture. I see them as slightly more acute versions of mainstream America. I see addiction to doof as serious as addiction to illegal drugs. Increasingly medical professionals are recognizing what they would call ultra-processed foods as addictive. Plenty of other polluting things---fast fashion, cell phones, etc---are addictions our culture promotes. The product sells itself! What could be better for the GDP. Mattan cofounded Ophelia, which treats opiate addiction online. He shares the deaths he and people his community experienced that prompted him to start the company. You can see in his bio his entrepreneurial background. He brings a unique, healing, effective, passionate voice to addiction. You can tell the time and effort he's put into understanding the people he helps.

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