May 31, 2021

Can you fix climate change?

Can you fix climate change?

This week on Thinking Is Cool, I’m exploring the ways we as individuals can engineer a world that’s both livable and worth living in for future generations. Because at our current rate of environmental degradation, that’s looking harder and harder.

Probably not :( :( but it doesn’t mean you don’t have a part to play in mitigating the likelihood of climate disaster! 


This week on Thinking Is Cool, I’m exploring the ways we as individuals can engineer a world that’s both livable and worth living in for future generations. Because at our current rate of environmental degradation, that’s looking harder and harder.


So what can you—someone who’s neither Joe Biden nor Greta Thunberg—do to ensure the world doesn’t go up in flames by the time you retire to Naples in a few decades? I’ve got an idea or two. Listen to find out what they are.


Who you’ll hear from this episode:

  • James Casey, my cool college environmental economics professor
  • David Wallace-Wells, the cool climate writer Professor Casey turned me on to five years back


Listen if you’re looking for a little hope and a lot of insight. Remember, thinking is cool and so are you.


Season 1 of Thinking Is Cool is brought to you by HMBradley, our exclusive launch sponsor. Deposit accounts are provided by Hatch Bank, Member FDIC. Credit cards are issued by Hatch Bank under a license with Mastercard. This is a paid endorsement.


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*Pull quote*


*Roll intro music*


Gooood morning or afternoon or evening, everybody, and welcome back to Thinking Is Cool. I’m your host Kinsey Grant and I am so thrilled to be doing this with you. I have a big, thorny, hot topic for you this week and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Emphasis on the hot.


But first, huge shout out to HMBradley, our exclusive launch sponsor. More on them shortly. 


And second, thank you for already...after just two episodes...making this the most amazing community. Your words, ideas, and feedback have already informed so many of these stories and I know there’s more where that came from so hit me up if you want to join our Slack or make an internet friend or something. know the drill: Nothing is off limits. Everything is on the table. Take it anywhere...and remember, thinking is cool. And so are you.


*Fade out music*


KINSEY: I just Googled, how long do we have before climate change kills us, went to the first suggested article, which is from the Natural Resources Defense Council written in October of twenty eighteen. And here's what it says. Earlier this week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or the IPCC, issued a chilling report that sent most people, with the notable exception of the current president of the United States, into a deep funk. In some 90s, climate scientists from 40 countries conclude that if humans don't take immediate collective action to limit global warming to one point five degrees Celsius by 2040, the consequences will effectively be baked into the natural systems of the planet. With so much heat trapping carbon in the atmosphere, there will be an effect. No turning back the extreme droughts, devastating wildfires, massive floods, deadly hurricanes and widespread famines that we're seeing more and more of these days will cease to be statistical anomalies and instead be more like seasonal markers as regular as the changing of the leaves. Fuuuuuck.


I read that article on a recent Saturday morning. On the floor of my bedroom was the top I bought from Zara and wore the night before. Next to me was a plastic cup with a plastic straw from the coffee shop below my apartment. My A/C was on full blast and I could see the pile of Amazon boxes my roommate and I had accumulated over the last week staring me down from the living room.


What the F was I doing…


For one, clearly contributing to an economy built on fossil fuels. But also...being human. I’m not Greta Thunberg, and you probably aren’t either. To exist today is to deplete the Earth of resources. I know that as well as I know my own name.


But guilt seeps in through the cracks of that we’re-all-human veneer. I feel like shit when I throw away single-use plastic, I try to recycle to mixed success, and I never buy almond milk because one time my friend told me almond milk requires more water than other dairy alternatives. I want to save the bees.


I would call myself a baseline environmentally woke individual. I don’t think about my carbon footprint daily, but I know I should think about it more. I don’t compost but I know that I should more. I really don’t eat meat all that often. I bring reusable bags to the grocery store and shop vintage quite a lot. I don’t succeed every day, but I try to do my part to protect the environment and our planet.


And yet...the temperatures continue to rise. Even the most environmentally conscious among us can’t seem to stop that, at least not on our own. So...what are we expected to do? Sure as hell not nothing.


That’s what we’re thinking about today: How, where, and when can we mitigate the likelihood of global climate disaster, and whose responsibility is it to lead the charge? What roles can individuals, oat milk drinkers or not, play in helping to slow climate change and potentially reverse it? Where do corporations and governments fit in? And frankly, how much time do we really have left to figure all this shit out? 


It boils down to this: Who can save us from ourselves?


I’ve been thinking about this episode for what feels like my entire adult life. As far as I’m concerned, there is no issue more pressing than this one. We won’t have any hot topics to debate if the world becomes uninhabitable. Our legacies will mean nothing if there isn’t humanity to leave them to.


It can feel really daunting to stare a problem like that in between the eyes. I mean, we’re still arguing over a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own body. How are we supposed to solve a problem like climate change?


Not with a defeatist attitude. We can do this. We can make a difference. We can leave the world livable, if not better off. There is still time, and there are things you, me, anyone can do. So what can I do? Give to charity? Make a documentary like Leonardo DiCaprio? Who can I hold accountable? How can I, Kinsey Grant, do my best to bequeath a better (or at least livable) world to the next generation?


Let’s get to talking. 


*roll transition music*


I don’t think Tucker Carlson listens to this show, but on the off chance that he does...allow me to be crystal clear: The science is irrefutable. Humans have monumentally accelerated the natural pace of climate change to a point that will eventually put us out of a livable planet.


I want to start today’s conversation by better understanding what that means. To comprehend what we can do, we need to comprehend what we’ve already done.


This is from NASA: “Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth’s climate system observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere.”


You probably know this, but the world getting hotter has been...not great, Bob.

  • More than 1 million species are at risk of extinction because of climate change. Think about the silly looking frogs and their silly looking colors. Dead.
  • Warming has changed weather into extreme weather. We have had five separate 500-year storms in Houston in the last five years, according to David Wallace-Wells, who you’ll meet in just a minute. 500-year storms are the kinds of storms that are only supposed to hit...once every 500 years.
  • And warming isn’t getting’s getting a lot worse. The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2005, and seven of those 10 have occurred since 2014, according to NOAA.


That pace, that acceleration—that’s what should give us the most pause. Climate change has always happened—it occurs naturally over the course of many, many years. You’ve seen Ice Age. The scientists have seen the geological record. 


But natural climate change is not the same as anthropogenic climate change, which is induced by humans. Anthropogenic climate change has happened at a rapid rate and startling magnitude ever since the Industrial Revolution.


DWW: “We’re at one point three degrees Celsius, one point two, one point three degrees Celsius of warming today, and that doesn't sound like very much, but it means that we are already entirely outside the window of temperatures that enclose all of human history. So that means that everything that we've ever known as a species took place on the basis of climate conditions, which we have already left behind. The entire span of human history is the result of climate conditions we have left behind and permanently. It's like we've landed on a new planet and we have to figure out what of the civilization we brought with us can survive these new conditions.”


That was David Wallace-Wells, an American journalist who’s climate coverage is known far and wide for being really effing good. He wrote the 2017 essay "The Uninhabitable Earth", which he later made into the 2019 book The Uninhabitable Earth.


DWW: “At two degrees of warming, we're talking about one hundred and fifty million additional deaths from air pollution, storms and flooding events that used to hit once a century, hitting every single year. Cities in South Asia and the Middle East becoming so hot during summer that you wouldn't be able to walk around outside without risking heat stroke or death. So, for instance, in Calcutta, I just two degrees, you would have 200 days of water. What's considered lethal heat every year? The UN thinks it's likely that we have several hundred million climate refugees at that point. This is like our best case scenario. You know, agricultural yields could fall by 20, 30, 40 percent, maybe even more, war could double. All of this is in a world that is quite likely, if not inevitable. That's our baseline.”


It’s a deeply concerning baseline. But recognizing it in the first place is...kind of incredible. We haven’t always understood our roles in climate change, and we have to do that before we can change our fate.


Speaking with David taught me a lot of lessons, but perhaps the biggest and most important was the lesson that—historical context matters. The world feels different today because it looks different today. I mean, think about what the climate conversation would be like had there never been an Industrial Revolution? It changed everything. It feels at times like the anthropogenic ground zero.


Post-Industrial Revolution, a sonic boom of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere started absorbing heat radiation, which in turn led to increased surface temperatures worldwide. There’s also the stuff about cow farts and aerosols and deforestation that changes the way the sun is reflected from Earth back down to space.


I’ve never been a cow and I’ve never chopped down a tree, but I ate a burger last night and I...use paper, obviously. I know there are decisions that I as an individual can make to reduce my personal carbon footprint...but will my decisions change the fact that, in 2019, the tropics lost close to 30 soccer fields' worth of trees every single minute?


From where I sit writing this—in bed, surrounded by evidence of consumerism—reality looks like this: My decisions as an individual are important, but they lack the scale needed to really affect change. Even if I were living life as carbon neutral as climate activist Greta Thunberg, I probably wouldn’t be able to change the world as quickly as a corporate titan or an elected official.


So who’s the bigger environmentalist...Greta? Or Elon Musk? Or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?


The answer is complicated, and it’s born of a patchwork approach to climate action decades in the making. We all have a part to we play it? That’s up to us. We know at least this, though: We’ve got to do something.


DWW: “In order to stabilize the planet's temperatures at any level, even a really hellish one means not just reducing our carbon emissions, but totally zeroing them out. So 50 years from now, we're producing even five percent of the emissions that we're producing today. The planet's still going to be warming from there. So if we want to stop warming, we've got to get all the way to zero. And that means that reducing individual emissions, reducing our individual carbon footprints, even reducing national emissions, even by some large chunk, is not sufficient to the task. And we need to get all the way to zero. And the things that we need to do to get all the way to zero are like totally changing our electricity and energy systems, completely reinventing our infrastructure and industry and agriculture. You know, coming up with a new way to fly and coming up with a new way to raise food. And every aspect of modern life produces a carbon footprint and we have to get all of them to zero.”


Here’s how we get to doing that.


*Roll transition music*


I’m going to tell you something that might change your entire perspective on your individual role in taking climate action: Your carbon footprint doesn’t really matter.


DWW: “I think ultimately what you're focused on is your individual carbon footprint. Getting even getting that all the way to zero is so trivial in the grand scheme of things and changing the social dynamics, the political dynamics, the policy dynamic. Is much more important and individuals who are really hoping to make a difference, I think should focus their efforts there, that is on know political action of one kind or another. And I think one way to really, you know, sort of draw that point home is just to remind your listeners that the idea of a carbon footprint. Was invented by BP, an oil company, in order to make us feel like we were the guilty parties, not them.”


Your impact on the climate, as David put it, is determined by forces much larger than you can control. Unless you’re Joe Biden or the CEO of Exxon. In which case, my DMs are open.


It’s a startling realization, but maybe we’re reducing, reusing, and recycling to make ourselves feel better. We do it for the planet, but we mostly do it so we can sleep a little better at night.


I recently went on a couple of ill-fated dates with someone who a) lived in Brooklyn and b) was hyper climate conscious. He made being green most of his personality. Every time we hung out, I felt the need to avoid wearing any clothing I’d bought retail. I only wore vintage around him, because the thought of him seeing my Zara tag sticking out of my dress was mortifying.


Our last date, we went vintage furniture shopping together because we’d both read about the environmental atrocities of the furniture industry. That day, he told me he didn’t want to pursue anything romantic. I went home and ordered a dresser for my new apartment on Wayfair dot com.


We all handle breakups differently, okay?


I know I’m not alone in posturing about my carbon footprint as an individual. I’ve seen your thirsty Earth Day instagrams. We want to make ourselves feel better and also not be publicly shamed. But none of us are perfect, and the good news is...that doesn’t really matter anyway.


DWW: “But if we're really trying to, like, get, you know, 40 billion tons of CO2 down to zero in the space of 30 years, whether I'm buying this t shirt from this store or this t shirt from this store is not ultimately going to make all that much of a difference.”


Thank you, David. What does make a difference, then? Perhaps our greatest power lies in simply knowing that something needs to change.


Or perhaps it’s in our back pockets. I’m assuming everyone else also carries around their voter registration card in their wallet, right? Next to your phone?


Your instruments for conversation and for voting...those are your biggest agents for change as individuals. Our toolkit for climate action certainly includes green consumption and smarter travel and things like that. But the biggest tools, undoubtedly, are conversation and voting.


Let’s talk about that first one, conversation. This episode wouldn’t be in your ears without the work of James Casey, an associate professor of economics at my alma mater, Washington & Lee University. 


Professor Casey teaches environmental economics, a class I took my senior year and have thought about every single day since. He’s the person who got me interested in the intersection of capitalism and environmentalism. Here’s what he said about the real role of the individual.


CASEY: “So, honestly, one of the best things that I have heard is from a woman, I think she's at Texas Tech. Her name is Kate Heigh-Ho. I don't know if you've come across Katherine HIJOS name, but definitely someone to look up. And she says the best thing that we can possibly do as individuals is to have conversations with people about climate change. And she has dedicated probably the last almost decade of her life as a scientist to making public and personal conversations more accessible, more informative and more hopeful. One of the things that she has found is people when they get into that sort of mindset, well, climate change is too big of a problem to solve. It's already too late. There's nothing I can do as an individual. I mean, not only is that bad for our individual mental health, but then it's bad for the collective action piece, which is going to be required in order to adapt to climate change that's already going on and hopefully. Right. Mitigate the worst possible change.”


Jim was obviously calling me from somewhere beautiful. Chirping birds are not an effect I added in post-production. I reached Professor Hayhoe, but she’s deep in book promo. Some other time, we’ll make it happen.


The message is loud and clear: Conversation is at the root of mitigating climate disaster, at least as far as you and I are concerned. We can buy carbon offsets when we travel. We can plant more trees. We can have meatless Monday. But the real change conversation. And not meaningless conversation that consists of Instagram infographics but nothing deeper. Real conversations about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it with anyone who’s willing to talk. Conversations that go beyond the surface level and press us to think about our motivations and responsibilities...that’s what accomplishes change.


Well, that and voting. Talking and casting ballots are two of the best things we do at scale, and when we use those scalable actions in a targeted way, we can accomplish change. We can leave this planet livable for future generations. 


Let’s talk about voting a little more. It’s the linchpin in any plan for accomplishing climate action, mostly because even the most evil and monopolistic corporate interests are in some way beholden to the rules made by our legislators and policymakers, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Here’s Professor Casey and no I will not call him Jim.


CASEY: “On an individual basis and I'm not saying this is the only issue that people should care about or vote about, but if this is your issues and ultimately you have to turn out to the polls and vote for people who are going to implement carbon tax policies or cap and trade or whatever it might be. But there has to be a price on carbon.”


Putting a price on carbon is how we fix this, at least as far as the experts are concerned. It’s at the core of this triumvirate of climate action—individuals, policymakers, and corporations. When we as individuals vote for climate-minded candidates, those candidates enact climate-minded policies. When climate-minded policies are put into place, corporations have little choice but to do and be better.


Here’s David. But before you hear from him, hear this. Military spending accounts for 3.7% of US GDP. Just for reference. According to the World Health Organization, climatic changes are estimated to cause over 150,000 deaths annually. Okay, now David.


DWW: “There's been a lot of enthusiasm, even among climate activists over the last couple of months for Joe Biden's the climate policies embedded in his jobs act. And, you know, by any historical standard, you have to applaud them for being far more ambitious and consequential than anything that's ever been enacted by an American president before. But I spoke a couple of weeks ago with, I guess a couple of months ago now with Hank Paulson, who it's like a Republican appointed Treasury secretary was like, you know, under George W. Bush, the secretary of the Treasury. He thinks that the US needs to spend five percent of its GDP on climate change and Biden's plan is less than one percent. So, you know, if, like Hank Paulson is no climate activists, activist, and yet, like by his metric, the US plan, historically unprecedented, ambitious, enormous, is woefully inadequate. And that's another way in which it's useful to try to keep two ideas in your head at once that we're doing much, much more than we've ever done before. And yet we're doing much, much less than anyone who really takes a clear eyed, cold hearted look at the science says that we need to do so.”


We’re on the right track, but we still have an incredible amount of distance left to cover. That’s not to say we can’t do it...


I kinda of suggested earlier that our individual actions are pretty useless. They’re not. Not at all. Remember, you can do something. You have done something by pressing play on this episode. Here’s David again.


DWW: “I think that the most dramatic change that we've seen over the last few years has started at the level of just social awareness and concern was amplified through protest movements and activism in the streets and eventually sort of filtered up to the level of both political and corporate leadership such that today we are in twenty, twenty one. What an American president. What a Chinese president, what a CEO walking around Davos. What all of these people think of as necessary is radically different from what they thought was necessary just a few years ago. Part of that is because of extreme weather and more and more people just seeing the impacts of climate change. But a lot of it is a result of greed, score, strokes, extinction, rebellion and all of the sort of related social activism that's that's come from that awareness. And so, you know, that to me is incredibly inspiring.”


  • Pause 


Let’s take a short break to hear from our friends at HMBradley. Back in a jiffy with more inspiration.


*Roll ad*


Thanks a million, HMBradley.


Before that break, I explained that our decisions as individuals to engage in conversation and vote intelligently are our best bet for accomplishing climate action. Because when we do those things, we can manage a fighting chance at getting corporate giants to give a shit about the environment. And those giants, with their massive scale, are the best bet at moving the needle away from climate disaster.


Let’s set the corporate scene, shall we? Professor Casey.


CASEY: “There's this one paper that I teach. It was written by Paul Krugman back in the 1990s, and he talks about why we can never do anything green. And it's because of the Three I's interests, ideology and ignorance. And then he wrote this essay on who has the vested interests, what is the ideology, and how do those who have the vested interest literally create ignorance? And if you think about something like. Climate of doubt and some of these other, you know, like frontline pieces that have been done about the fossil fuel industry, they have intentionally held us back from progress for 30 years now because that's what's in their interest. 


CASEY: “I just I have no doubt that so much of the reason that we are not where we should have been at least 20 years ago on the climate front is simply from very, very powerful, very, very wealthy interests that I mean, they don't want to lose their monopoly profits. They come straight out of economic theory. If you think about it from a behavioral standpoint.”


And they won’t hand over those monopoly profits until it becomes too costly not to.


CASEY: “You have to change the rules of the game so that internalizing the externalities doesn't become something that puts you at a competitive disadvantage, but it's something that you're actually incentivized to do through the profit seeking mechanism. So, again, the carbon tax, my ultimate goal, if I'm a firm if there is a carbon tax, is to either generate the technology or adopt the technology that allows me not to emit carbon anymore. And then I don't have to pay the tax rate. So instead of it being a negative where oh my goodness, if we try to cut our carbon emissions, that's going to cost more, puts us at a competitive disadvantage. Public policy can flip that switch and make it do the exact opposite thing.”


It’s a little depressing to recognize that a government issued price signal—aka making polluting the environment or emitting carbon expensive—is the only way we can expect business to care. But that’s show biz I guess. Capitalistic waters run deep, and if convincing corporate America that being environmentally responsible is a profit-generator is what it takes to accomplish change...then so be it.


Because so far, corporate America’s efforts to be change agents and climate stewards have largely fallen flat. Instead of doing things, they’re selling things. Marketing green endeavors to we consumers, who in all fairness are blissfully unaware of our own disillusionment. 


That’s in part because we equate new lids at Starbucks with the environmental Garden of Eden. For many companies, that’s led to an epidemic of greenwashing, a phenomenon The Guardian defined as follows: “making diverting sustainability claims to cover a questionable environmental record.”


It was first identified back in the 1980s, but the interceding decades have only magnified the bullshittery of greenwashing. Think of what any company posts on Earth Day about sustainability and environmental consciousness and you’ve likely got yourself an example.


So how do we ensure that we’re not getting got by companies hoping to engage us further in consumerism under the guise of doing right by the environment? Perhaps...we don’t? Here’s David.


DWW: “Big picture? I think this political fight is too big. For us to exclude even hypocrites, I think we need the like the empty support of as many people as we can get because, you know, it's just it's too big a challenge.”


I think what David means is this: At least companies like BP with their “carbon neutral by 2050” pledges are saying something. Greenwashing is preferable to inaction. 


There are, of course, good examples that don’t consist of that kind of hypocrisy we should probably just tolerate. 


DWW: “I think the sort of gold standard at the moment is, is Microsoft, which has done a good job of, you know, laying out how they're not just going to get to zero carbon, but actually take all the carbon into the atmosphere that they've ever been responsible for in the past? I'm not sure that that's a standard we can or should hold every company to, because not everybody has the, you know, the long view, foresight and or R&D money to make that happen. But I do think it illustrates just that there are many different paths forward for anyone hoping to behave responsibly. The absolute bottom line is that, you know, we need to be moving towards a zero carbon world and corporations at the very least through how they power their operations, are playing a role there.”


It’s important to note how different Microsoft is from, say, a coal mining company in Appalachia. The only thing they have in common is wanting to make money...wanting to make money and needing an inhabitable Earth on which to make it. I know the immediate response from a good deal of people is that making changes at the scale we need to right now will cost us jobs, especially for businesses like that coal mining company. are right. It will.




CASEY: “If the United States doesn't want to go along for the ride and this is something I've been talking about again for multiple decades, I think ultimately we're going to lose out on the types of new technology, new markets that get generated, new job opportunities, because dealing with great energy acquisition and dissipation is especially in the context of global warming or greenhouse gases. That's the future, if you ask me.”


We need to take the long view here. Plainly put, I don’t give a shit about Exxon’s stock price. I do give a shit about re-training a workforce that can succeed beyond our fossil fuel economy and better compete in a future that, if we have our way, will be very different, and necessarily so.


And while I’m on the topic of corporate incentives...there’s a lot of money to be made in earning America’s first-mover advantage for next-gen climate tech. This is a direct quote from a piece my cofounder Josh sent me from Bloomberg: “As the planet’s climate crisis accelerates, the fastest-growing fortunes in the world are now green thanks to a new generation of tycoons amassing wealth in the clean energy boom.” Just a thought...innovation, disruption, competition...all words we love.


But...I don’t want to get so wrapped up in the capitalism of it all that I lose sight of the most important part of talking about climate change. We are talking about preserving human life that is being unduly lost. There is a deep moral imperative to fix this. Here’s David again.


DWW: “Right now the average resident of Delhi, their life expectancy is reduced by air pollution by nine years. That is, every single person in Delhi is living on average nine years less than they would have without air pollution. And that means that all those people who are whose deaths are attributable to air pollution are having their lives cut by considerably more than that, because that's the median, you know, three hundred and fifty thousand stillbirths and miscarriages every single year because of air pollution in India, just in India. Three hundred and fifty thousand miscarriages and stillbirths. Three hundred and fifty thousand newborns dying before they were one month old. In addition to the miscarriages and stillbirths, this is every single year in a single country. Now it is the most polluted country in the world and is a country with one point three billion people. So it's nevertheless, if you look at that data with clear eyes, you don't need to imagine what future generations are going to think of us. That moral argument is so strong, like we need to help those people. We need to address the fossil fuel pollution that is driving those those damages. And we need to reduce that suffering. Like there's just there's sort of like no arguing with it, you know?”


We’re a nation of people who have been spoonfed the idea that we can do it all. We can pick ourselves up by our bootstraps, do the hard work, and accomplish our goals. We got a man on the moon. We’re home to incredible, generation-defining technologists who’ve connected billions of people. We have Taylor Swift!


We can do this. We can do green capitalism. We can engineer a world that’s as much livable as it is worth living in. We can make money and be innovators and not ruin humanity’s chances at survival in doing so. We can do that.


*Roll transition music*


At the beginning of this episode, I posed this question: Who is the bigger environmentalist? Greta Thunberg? Or Elon Musk? Or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?


I’m not going to answer, because it seems the answer doesn’t matter. None of their efforts matter without each other. It’s a beautiful metaphor for a commentary on the environment, really. 


We are nothing without one another. Great Thunberg and Elon Musk and AOC couldn’t seem more different. Their biggest, rawest, most important similarity, though, is this: They all only have one home, at least for right now.


Action is our only option to protect that home. And while it can seem daunting, taking that action is actually quite simple.


What you can do: talk and vote. Use your voice and your ballot to create a better values system for the future, one that rewards climate stewardship. One that puts opportunity and responsibility and accountability on equal footing. One that sounds like this, as David describes:


DWW: “We have to figure out a way, I think not just to, you know, navigate those impacts, but also to your question, to your point, to feel hopeful about it and to find some opportunities for, you know. Joy and satisfaction and flourishing, and I think that's a really significant challenge that we have today when, you know, it's almost beyond our imagining that we could live in a world defined by those impacts and still live well. But inevitably, I think we will you know, they're going to be billions of humans on the planet and those lives are going to be filled with joy. Many of them are going to be filled with some suffering, too. But, you know, there is the fact that we are entering into a really difficult phase is not the same as saying it is the apocalypse and past which there will be no human life of value or joy. I think quite the opposite.”


Joy is on the horizon. It always is. All it takes to get there is a little hard thinking, a little hard conversation, and some pretty rudimentary economics. Nothing we haven’t done before. 


So when this episode is over in a few seconds, what are you going to do? I’m going to talk about air pollution with my friends over drinks tonight instead of our usual boy gossip. You could share this episode with someone and ask for their thoughts. Or send your ideas my way and I’ll share them far and wide. 


As long as we’re talking, we’re heading in the right direction.


Remember...thinking is cool, and so are you. See you next time.