Yes, that’s Maga as in Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again,” and yes, I consider it one of my favorite interviews.
To clarify, we spoke about the environment more generally than just climate.
Magamedia.org’s other articles on climate criticize Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Al Gore, Greta Thunberg, the Green New Deal, and others. One article calls climate change:
a hoax, folks. It is a get rich scam for politicians that liberals have fallen for. Of course scientists say it is a problem. Trillions of dollars moving to their industry is at stake. Of course they want to push this narrative in public.
I disagree with this view. I disagree with many of the site’s articles.
So why did I speak with someone at a site calling what I work on a hoax and scam?
Why speak with Magamedia?
To me, the value of speaking with someone with different views goes without saying, especially after reading Jonathan Haidt‘s The Righteous Mind or John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty: everyone disagrees with everyone else on something. I disagree with Ocasio-Cortez, Gore, Thunberg, and many others on many issues too.
How do we know what we know except when we communicate with someone who disagrees?
Many today seem to prefer not to communicate with those they disagree with. I’ll explain further.
First, how they came to invite me.
Rob, who interviewed me, introduced himself to me after I spoke at Google a few weeks ago. He told me he came for a talk on starting a podcast, didn’t realize I would speak on an environmental podcast in particular, and lamented what he inadvertently got stuck into.
When he heard me sharing my actions—not accusing, condemning, shaming, guilting, etc—he sounded pleasantly surprised and wanted to hear more. Someone was speaking on the environment in a new, meaningful way. He invited me to be a guest on his show, with a new audience because he wanted them to hear this new view on the environment.
Second, I haven’t yet met someone who doesn’t care about the environment. They may doubt climate change, but they don’t want mercury in their fish or lead lowering their children’s IQ. They don’t want their neighborhood and yard covered with other people’s trash.
I’ve met many who don’t know what they can do, who feel overwhelmed into helplessness, who feel uncertainty, and other reasons not to act, but not acting doesn’t mean not caring. Everyone I’ve met who concludes others don’t care because those other don’t act as much, they aren’t acting as much themselves. They excuse their own inaction but don’t afford others that consideration.
Third, I don’t consider litter, plastic in the oceans, pollution causing children asthma, or other environmental issues political any more than I consider traffic lights political. I look forward to when the mainstream sees laws regulating behavior that hurts others like going through a red light or crossing a double yellow line. Yes, you can benefit from it personally, but you risk hurting others and if enough people do it, everyone suffers.
Those three reasons combine to tell me he and likely his audience are like nearly everyone, including myself. We want to do more but aren’t sure what and feel vulnerable when people seem to attack us.
I want to help people in such situations because my experience tells me that we’ll appreciate acting when effectively led over inaction, no matter how lofty the goals the talk isn’t achieving.
Leadership and the Environment
Leadership to me means helping people do what they want but haven’t figured out how. Find me someone who doesn’t want clean air, water, and land, and I won’t be able to help or lead them, but I’ve looked and haven’t found such a person yet.
As long as I keep finding people who care about the environment, I’ll keep helping them act on that caring. If you say others don’t care and your logic for concluding it implies you don’t care either, I’ll probably help you to act on your inaction because I know you’ll enjoy the result.
In the meantime, I enjoyed my conversation with Rob at Magamedia.org and hope it leads to an audience with more people who care about the environment but haven’t figured out how to act on it.