Pam Frank is the CEO of ChargEVC, a non-profit promoting carbon reduction and clean energy through electric vehicles.
I wanted to talk with her about the political, social, economic, and technological challenges to shifting to all all-electric transportation grid. We covered those topics, but ended up swapping visions of a fully transformed world.
We talked about how humans see ourselves as separate from the rest of the world, a perspective encoded in the way we talk about “the environment” like it's some thing apart from and outside of ourselves. (Frank prefers “ecosystem,” which points to our embeddedness.)
And how greening up our transportation system, while a technological approach, is actually a potential “gateway drug” for millions of people to embrace an ethos of care and stewardship for the planet.
We also covered the possible reimagining of cities, and how to heal their relationships with exurbs, suburbs, and rural communities. And how that might begin to repair some of the “red/blue” distrust and damage that plays out politically.
And how perhaps we can learn from the failed cities of the past (basically, all of them imploded after a few thousand years, for predictable reasons), to create urban centers that are not only exciting and diverse and creative but also deeply connected to the earth and the land bases that support their life.
We also looked at solar power and offshore wind power as ways to cut down on the climate damage done by fossil fuels.
Drawing on Systems Theory, Frank pointed out that flows are much more generous and reliable and efficient than fuels. And that the transportation sector, the largest contributor to carbon emissions in her home state of New Jersey, is not just the problem, but the potential solution. Not just to global climate destabilization, but also to the problems of inequality and cultural Balkanization and social injustice.
Imagine a transportation system that truly connected humans, and allowed for the efficient and equitable sharing of the resources necessary for our survival and thriving.
We ended by musing on how nature does transportation, through chemical messengers in the air, through mycelial networks in the earth, through flows of energy from sun to plants to animals to fungi and decomposers, and back to plants in a beautiful dance of sharing.
And whether we humans can become humble enough to let nature be our teacher in this crucial realm of our existence.
Iron Bound Farm – Asbury NJ
Donut Economics, by Kate Raworth
Rethinking Humanity (Tony Seba)
NY Times article from January 15, 2021: Electric Cars Are Better for the Planet – and Often Your Budget, Too
You CAN Change Other People!
Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.
What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.
Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.
Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight
Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.
It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂
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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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