Stellar podcast this week with Sailesh Rao, climatehealers.org.
Listen to Rich and Sailesh starting at @ 29:34. This totally summarizes what’s wrong and what we all need to do if we want to live on the planet another 100+ years.
The conversation shifts to the work Sailesh was doing with Al Gore, how Al Gore wanted to keep the discussion narrow to fossil fuels :
Al Gore is basically off the current (currency) system. He’s not going to do anything to upset the current system. The current system is based on economic growth. It’s all about growth.
If you suddenly decide to shrink it, it’s not a politically viable message. If you talk about switching from animal foods to plant based foods, you’re taking about shrinking the foot print of human beings a significant amount and thereby releasing land back to nature to regenerate forest and bring back life. But the economic footprint also shrinks.
Yeah. The message to consumers is you have to change your habits. Not only in the kitchen and the grocery store, but your consumer habits overall. Which means spending less money or spending your money on different things.
It’s more than…In terms of consumption, the #1 thing we need to do is reduce our consumption of animal foods. To me, that’s the biggest bang for the buck.
And of course if everyone in the world wants to build 3000 sq. foot homes, there isn’t enough to support something like that.
Or everybody wants a car…1 car per person. We really don’t need 1 car per person. What you need is to be able to transport yourself…you don’t have to have a separate car for each person to do that.
But the industry would rather that you do this. The industry would rather that you buy 1 car per person or you change your phone like you’re changing diapers. This way you get a lot of circulation of material…they sell you a lot of goods. But you create a lot of pollution and you create a lot of ill health. And then they can create a lot of drugs to create that ill health.
@ 58:30 Sailesh talked being optimistic and how “we live out our stories”. He talked about going to see Cinderella with his grand daughter. Here’s 3 quotes that stuck out to him, he thought to himself, “I better pay attention to this movie”:
#1 Have courage, be kind, and all will be well.
#2 Just because it is what is done, doesn’t mean it is what should be done.
#3 Imagine the world as it should be, not the world as it is.
@ 1:32:00 Rich starts talking about “the Ghandiesque, lighthouse approach”. Rich is more of an advocate of taking a softer approach, lead by example. Sailesh politely rebuffed Rich.
Gandhi never really said, “be the change you want to see” (popular Gandhi quote, I’ve used it). He wasn’t a pacifist. He was an activist. He was quite militant about making people wear Khadi. He said, “I consider it my duty, to use every available means at my disposal, to persuade people to wear Khadi“. So this was not a passive man who’d say wear Khadi and look at me. He went out and told people, please wear Khadi.
So activism is absolutely essential for social movements. But, we have to be nonviolent in our activism as well. When you attack people…abuse people…when they’re not doing what you think they should be doing — you’re not going to win them over.
Yes, we have to be activists…participate and protest with direct action everywhere. I’ve stood with them in Whole Foods and talked about what it is really going on with the products they are selling. And that kind of activism is essential to, to, basically snowball the movement.
As far as consumerism is concerned, I’ve realized that it’s everywhere. The violence is everywhere in everything we do. Everything we do, there is pollution being poured out in the streams.
So you say, where do we start? The way I did that is if I really think I need some product, that’s not an essential product, I just write it down on a piece of paper – I don’t go buy it. I do a buy everything day.
Yeah I heard that. You go shopping once a year…for things that you would like. So what did you buy on your last big shopping spree?
I really didn’t need anything. Because my clothes are still lasting me, I’m doing fine with what I have.
I only travel if I know I’m advancing my cause. I only fly for those reasons, I’ll only drive for those reasons.
I really think that these tools are available for us to do this healing work. We shouldn’t just allow these tools to be used by those who are destroying the planet. Those of us who want to heal the planet should get in and start using them as well.
@ 1:38 Rich puts the bright light on consumerism.
The level of single use items that we go through on a daily basis is insane.
The statistic is 99% of what we buy we don’t use within 6 months.
Sailesh then quotes a teaching. I’ll drop Rich a line to see what it is. He paraphrases:
Take just what you need and no more. For the earth and all her bounty does not belong to you. But to the lord.