Visitors of this blog know I love the Rich Roll podcasts. I think Rich has some work to do to move his message down the ladder, yes. But that doesn’t cancel out the great work he does.
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.
Great post (I read your comment on Rich’s blog post). Agreed that he caters to up-scalers and I wish he didn’t sell out to advertisers either. I don’t relate to him as much as I used to anymore, but still grateful for his work. This was one of his best podcasts in a while though. I loved Sailesh’ message.
If you’re interested in an awesome podcast that’s sort of like RRP (but not really), check out Deb Ozarko’s work (debozarko.com). She’s the host of the Unplug podcast and it has a punchier, grassroots feel and no advertising. She knows Rich and Julie and they’ve both been on her show. She’s the real deal!
Thanks for pinging me.
I’m with you, very grateful for their work. Their book has become the baseline for what my wife cooks each day. And if I hadn’t found Rich, well, who knows? All I know is we found Rich and since then we changed how we eat. We’ve haven’t ate meat or dairy since 5.1.15, we’re not going back.
My dream is the Internet how it was supposed to be, fresh food is subsidized, we rebuild our country starting from the poorest areas out.
We’re not only staring at the end of the planet. We’re creating a world where 5 companies control all we do and say. Make no mistake about it, Google’s plan is to index our minds. Facebook wants to be the Internet, AOL redux.
We’re literally helping them execute their plans. Not only that, we’re recruiting others. And we’re doing it for free. It all began with dot-com, which has turned out to be the biggest con of all time.
2 companies make the computers we’ve become addicted to, that we now can’t get by without. They’re in charge of what goes on the computer. Soon, Google will control the connection to the computer. Americans should be up in arms about this. Instead, we’re walking around like zombies. Why? Because social is free and the computers are cheap. Well, duh! That’s been their plan all along — to hook us on free and cheap.
Our relationship is our tech, not each other. Tech has more to do with gap between the haves and have nots than anything. Each time we login to social, use Google, we’re helping them take over more of our lives. It blows my mind, that people can’t see this.
If we don’t change our consumption habits, we’ll lose the planet. Way before that, we’ll have lost our freedom. But what are we doing all day every day with our phones and on social? Consuming. What do we need to stop doing? Consuming.
Our addiction to an always on way of life and the damage to our society is what Cowspiracy is to climate change.
Rich had us at hello. Now, I wish he’d retune his message.
For me, it’s a contradiction to have a podcast about consuming less on a medium that’s all about consuming more. It doesn’t make sense to encourage people to live healthy lives then ask them to follow on social or plug into a guest’s social feed. If the message is about consuming less then it ought to be consistent. But it’s not. Rich constantly encourages his listeners to get more connected, to consume. When he should be encouraging his listeners to disconnect, consume less.
Did you see this piece?
What Exxon knew about the Earth’s melting Arctic
Facebook, Google, now Snapchat aren’t any different than Exxon. They’ve known for years that they were hooking people on free software. Their plan was to create a monopoly, no different that what AT&T had before Divestiture. They knew that no one would read or could understand their Terms of Service agreements. But they kept on trucking, gradually taking over more and more of our lives. They were drug dealers who gave away free drugs.
Look what’s happened. This is not, innovation. It’s an abomination.
If the message is about helping people lead healthier lives, the message should be brought to the poorest cities.
The NYT piece was right on to call out “glam”. I wish Rich would see where the criticism is accurate instead of brushing it off.
Agreed with all of what you say. There’s something blatantly wrong with speaking a message about simplicity, yet promoting advertising and consumption. Especially techno-consumption. The hypocrisy is a turn-off…talking it, but not walking it. That’s why I love the Unplug podcast (https://bitly.com/) so much. If I’m going to consume mind food that feeds me, I want it to be mind food that’s congruent – talk + walk. We live in a disappointing world of such dysfunctional illusion… Still enjoy Rich’s podcast, but I’m very selective which ones I listen to now.
I think Gore Vidal would be scoffing at today’s liberals. The very definition of liberalism is the discussion of all thoughts. The food movement has been successful at reaching people like you, me, and our circle. Now, I’d like to see thought leaders like Rich focus on moving the message down the scale.
On consumption. I started in tech in 1989. I think our obsession (mine too) has gone off the back. We’re relying on tech to feed us all we know now. To me, that’s just not healthy. It’s never good when a few companies are in control. Google, Facebook and Apple control just about everything tech now. We should all be concerned about this.
Look what’s happening now. Where are we getting our information about Paris? From Twitter. Are journalists on the ground giving us the information or is it coming from random people on the street? I think it’s the latter. Not good.
We’ve backed ourselves into a corner. All in the name of consumption. The only way out is to put an arm around someone and talk. If the relationship is purely digital, there is no relationship.
What people like you and I can do is talk about it. Speak up. And take action.
I struggle with posting on Rich’s blog. He’s been kind enough to accept my comments, most of which are acerbic. As long as I’ve got something to say I’m going to keep saying it. But I’m also weaning myself off of tech. I’m so hooked on tech I’ve lost the ability to sit down and read a book. That bothers me.