At last, a conversation with a knowledgeable economist! Longtime listeners remember Michael here after his last book. He just published a new one, The Decarbonization Imperative: Transforming the Global Economy by 2050. His book and our conversation cover why should we go to net zero by 2050, is it possible, and, if so, how? We agree on the mission of dramatically cutting emissions and most strategies to achieve it. We disagree on the relative importance of some strategies and measures. Listen to hear our respective views, healthy agreement, and healthy disagreement.
Michael's book tour was taking him to China, up and down the U.S. east coast, and across the country, but he kept at his commitment. Tell me if you don't hear him smiling in talking about it. He said it was easy, but many people considering the same action put it off. His book covers systemic change, focusing on the role of business. I find that his personal action brings in a missing piece of what you can do here and now. Partly acting here and now achieves something, but individual actions don't achieve that much, as he points out and we all know. More importantly, acting here and now leads to acting on bigger, more effective things. People who don't start little things never reach big, effective things. People who do, do. Maybe most of all, acting on your values on whatever scale improves your life. When the action take no time or other resources and make you smile, why not? Read the transcript.
At last I spoke to someone with a systems perspective! I enjoyed the conversation with a fellow academic who cares beyond the classroom. Michael spoke about how many areas we could work in, not to say it's too much but that you can find a place to contribute. Many people wish there was a silver bullet. As far as I know there isn't one. His about-to-launch book, Can Business Save the Earth, treats action on the environment systemically, a perspective I consider essential for environmental leadership. What may seem initially overwhelming doesn't end up that way when you see the big picture, which is what his book covers, and when you find a place to act. Plus, his personal challenge is one a lot of people think about doing but don't, so if you've thought of changing your diet, I recommend listening to Michael's challenge. Read the transcript.