—Systemic change begins with personal change—

758: Peter Singer, part 2: A philosopher approaches sustainability


I started by sharing my experience giving after reading Peter's book The Life You Can Save. I confess I only read it after our first conversation, but loved it. I feared reading a book by an academic philosopher arguing a point would be dry and boring. Instead it led me to donate to causes. Then, even though I didn't donate for recognition or personal benefit, the organizations I donated to contacted me with gratitude, connected to me, and one even invited me to its annual dinner. Then we talk more about flying, following up our last conversation. From Peter's perspective, I view flying too black-and-white, not considering someone's reason for flying or what benefit it might provide. I don't challenge that perspective. I'm just looking to learn from my guest. My book treats that perspective. Then I share my new take on his drowning child analogy as it relates to sustainability. Other topics too, but we close with our mutual appreciation for calm conversation and democracy, both lacking these days.

702: Peter Singer, part 1: Calm, reflective talk considering not flying


With Peter Singer, I could have picked several topics relevant to sustainability leadership: veganism, vegetarianism, and charity come to mind, as does my post about him six months ago, Fixing Peter Singer’s drowning child analogy for sustainability. The day before recording, I saw him speak live and asked during the question-and-answer period at the end about not flying. He answered thoughtfully and reflectively, not with the usual reactivity and emotional intensity most people do, protecting their feelings of guilt and shame, as I see them (I wrote The reason you feel judged isn’t because environmentalists are judging you. It’s because you have a conscience.) Several audience members told me they appreciated my asking the question. So when we spoke after he finished his stage performance, I asked if he'd mind following up the question in our podcast conversation. So we spoke in more depth about flying versus not flying. I think I can safely say we both learned from each other, though I think he hasn't spoken with many people who have stopped flying to gain from their experience. Coincidentally, his talk on stage was fireside chat-style with podcast guest AJ Jacobs. Small world. If you like intelligent, thoughtful conversation, check out Think Inc., the company that organized the talk. They host events with many speakers who are peers.

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