In our third conversation, Whitney and I get more friendly and conversational, fun conversation. He's been picking up more garbage, which I hope is part of a journey of continual improvement. Since long before we met, he rides his bike to get around the city. Otherwise, he's focused on other things in life than sustainability. He's examined a lot of parts of his life, but not his impact on other people mediated through the environment. I'm not trying to change people who don't show they want to change, so we just talk. You'll hear a very thoughtful, active leader speak with me about his views and environmental values.
We start by my reading the emails where I invited Whitney to this podcast by cursing with a few f-bombs, showing how we started our interactions. Before recording our first episode we met in Washington Square Park and picked up litter together. Read my emails cursing at Whitney Tilson that brought him to my podcast Whitney shares how he created and maintains his following, speaking his mind, deliberately sharing provocative opinions. He shares how and why he engaged so much on the pandemic. I see that passion raising the potential for him to engage on sustainability, but we'll see. He became as knowledgeable as anyone I know and led a large number of people on it. Then we talked about carbon offsets. I shared my Two Carbon Cycle Explanation, though I've since simplified it in The simple explanation why offsets don’t work. We talked about flying. I since found some peer-reviewed numbers, which I posted in Some flying pollution numbers. In the week before recording, he flew round trip to Seattle, Miami, Bahamas, and in the next week Rwanda. Then he shared his reasons for not engaging on the environment. You'll recognize them. Remember when he said he was uninformed? On the contrary, I'd say, he learned everything he needed to to justify feeling good about not changing his behavior. Even so, I respect and admire that he engaged in our conversation and started finding ways to act.
Whitney's background and accomplishments are incredible and we start with them. He shares his beliefs and mindsets that lead to his high performance in business, philanthropy, fitness, family, and more. Then we share a fun part of how I invited him to this podcast. After he, in a friendly, helpful way, cursed at some of his newsletter readers in criticizing their behavior during the pandemic, I cursed at him in the same friendly, helpful way. The email got his attention. It led to us meeting in person to pick up litter in Washington Square Park (where he saw his first drug deal in the corner with the syringe drug users), then to recording in person at my apartment. When we spoke on the environment, I heard a common mix: he connected deeply with it, including majestic experiences at some of Earth's most extreme environments, and he also felt about its problems that he couldn't do anything meaningful. My favorite part of my conversation with Whitney was how he put up nearly every form of delay, resistance, and obstacle any other guest has responded to my invitation to act on his environmental values. I believe we were both patient, listened, spoke to be understood. After he found something to act on, you'll hear the change in his perspective on acting on intrinsic motivation versus what sounded to me like trying to save the world, or feeling you have to, but disconnected from intrinsic motivation. EDIT: Read my emails cursing at Whitney Tilson that brought him to my podcast