In this minisode, Corinna reflects on her interview with David W. Johnson on Climate Change By Design. She shares the rabbit hole of research their encounter led her through and that as a result, she’ll even be interviewing Paul Hawken, bestselling author and climate activist on September 9th about his new book: “Regeneration: End The Climate Crisis In One Generation”. She even introduces you to a silly and fun podcast she’s been listening to. Enjoy!
Books & Works Mentioned:
Regeneration: End The Climate Crisis In One Generation by Paul Hawken – https://www.regeneration.org Book will be available September 14, 2021
Kiss The Ground Movie: https://www.kissthegroundmovie.com Available now on Netflix (subscription) and Vimeo ($1)
Connections by Joseph Campbell https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell
Kiss The Ground Podcast: https://kisstheground.com/podcast/
Harry Duran’s Podcast Junkies: https://podcastjunkies.simplecast.com/
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Hello Fellow do-gooders and friends, I’m your host Corinna Bellizzi, an activist and cause marketer who desperately wants to heal our planet.
In this week’s featured episode, we got to meet David W. Johnson, a lawyer who practices in the Silicon Valley — serving the tech giants we all know, and even some in the not-for-profit sector. If you listened to the show, you heard about his journey from lawyer to professor of design thinking at Stanford University — and now his current aim to change the face of climate activism for the better.
As he shared in this episode, we need a billion activists, but we’re not going to get them in the next 6 months, 2 years, 4 years or more — because we’ve had 30 years to get there and we’ve fallen drastically short — so what we need is a new kind of revolution. One that harnesses the network effect for good — that’s right. Social activism through various media. A sort of leaderless movement — or as some might call it — a leader FULL movement.
This is just the beginning of my deep dive into climate activism. Thus far, 32 feature-length episodes in to the Care More Be Better podcast we’ve talked about sustainable travel, we’ve covered subjects like sustainable minimalism — so that we can be part of the change we want to see in the world. We’ve tackled what it means to be a B-corp and why you should support them — but the problems associated with climate change are real and they are worsening. The severity of fallout is worsening quickly.
California is burning.
If you listened to my interview on Harry Duran’s podcast, Podcast Junkies, you learned that I was evacuated last year because of fires. I lived at my in-laws for 10 days with my dog, my husband, our 2 kids, my nanny, her two dogs, our bearded dragon, and a fishtank full of frogs fish and snails. We had one casualty, my beta fish.
Two of our friends lost their homes in the CZ fire complex. Our neighbor’s rental home housed more families that lost their homes to flames. Several more homes are now threatened all over Northern California. California burns.
This is just one symptom. We don’t talk about earthquakes anymore in California. We talk about fires. Because they come on worse every year. It doesn’t seem possible until it’s happening. The sound of a firetruck or the scent of wood burning is enough to send many of my friends into a PTSD spiral now. It’s not good.
So, what do we do? We don’t have a billion activists. Industry continues to burn oil. Even if we individually go zero waste, the effect we will have is akin to a rounding error, or 0.000 000 0003%. It can feel overwhelming.
Even in the face of this, there is hope. There is always hope. David Johnson is writing a book, and publishing his “Green Print” for the world to see. This new take on a blueprint may help us organize in a more effective manner. Pushing for small groups of activists to march forward with singular messages around the globe — and I think that’s what it will take to push for the change we all so sorely need. And we can and should still vote with our dollars. Think deeply about our consumerist choices. Buy used, buy durable, and buy less.
Are electric cars the answer? Perhaps not if it means we have to melt the permafrost of iceland to get at the rare minerals we need to build batteries. Is there a better solution? One that creativity and design thinking can help us unveil? There may just be. How about this. Let’s drive less. Walk more. Bike more. Use human power to propel us. Live closer to work.
Many are switching to a plant-based or meat-less lifestyle, and that could be a healthier alternative for you and for the planet. But the impossible burgers of the world are not the solution. Highly processed foods never are.
We should be thinking more about the whole in wholistically when it comes to our food choices, and especially when it comes to our agriculture. And this is the spot I’ve landed on after interviewing David Johnson. He mentioned Paul Hawken’s book “Regeneration: End the climate crisis in one generation” and man oh man did that send me down a rabbit hole.
It led me to his website. Regeneration.org, and then to youtube to search for Paul Hawken interviews, and podcasts – like Kiss The Ground… which led me to a recent film that’s of the same name, Kiss The Ground — available now on Netflix.
It’s narrated by Woody Harrelson, and features big stars like Jiselle and Tom Brady… and also climate activists like Paul Hawken.
There’s something else about this rabbit hole. It sent the tingles all over my body.
Paul Hawken is one of the founders of Erewhon natural grocers — a retailer I have done business with for years. He’s a pioneer of natural foods, the industry I’ve worked in for my entire career, and grew up in as a hippie kid.
And what’s more… Jane Goodall wrote the forward to his book Regeneration. I’ve talked about this before, but my undergrad focused on the physical side of Anthropology. I studies primatology, archaeology and evolution. I studied under a close friend of Jane Goodall’s, Adrienne Zihlman — an elite professor at UC Santa Cruz. She didn’t like me very much — but I worked really hard in my studies, working as a lab assistant too. Preparing specimens for study.
Because of that, I actually helped prepare the skeleton of one of Jane’s famed chimpanzee friends after they passed of natural causes. All in the name of learning and science.
That was a reverent experience. So… why do I bring this up?
This podcast has done something to me. It has woken up the activist at my core. The 9 year old that went door to door to get signatures from my neighbors and community — to stop animal testing on Rhesus Macaques. The little girl who saved the pollywogs that were marooned from the creek in drying puddles. The defender of the weak that adopted only the sickest looking kittens to nurse them to health.
We need to wake that kind of activistic streak in all of us and begin organizing together — to push for meaningful change — or fairly soon, we will be the weak that need that protection.
The earth can heal, remarkably quickly too — if we just give it a chance.
I don’t know if you noticed, but during the early stages of the pandemic, when almost no one was driving much at all — and when air travel plummeted, and manufacturing tanked. Noise pollution dropped considerably. Animals came into areas they had left. Coyotes trotted along in the streets of my neighborhood. Mountain lions returned to cities. The air was cleaner. The pollution index dropped considerably. And I could see the clouds just looked fluffier, more cottony. The sky was soooo blue.
Which brings me back to Regeneration and Kiss the Ground.
In these works a solution is proposed that could just be the one that brings us back to some sense of normalcy. That helps heal the EARTH — Literally — The Ground under our feet.
You see, with the invention of the plough we changed everything. Joseph Campbell talked about the plough at length in his work, Connections. The plough ultimately catalyzed civilization, because it meant we could begin producing food at scale to support a population that didn’t have to wander to find its food. Fixed in place we could focus on other things, solving other problems besides feeding our bellies. Inventions at an ever more rapid pace to solve problems we didn’t know we had. But fixed in place with the same earth being ploughed over and over never gave the ecosystem a chance to heal between farming seasons. You see, herds migrate, and so did we, until the plough.
And today, the food we grow in conventional plots lacks much of the nutrients that it once had — precisely because of this fixed practice. Spinach isn’t so useful for its iron any more. Why? Because we’ve killed the complexity of our soil with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. The microbes that once kept it LIVE and able to sequester carbon from the atmosphere just aren’t there anymore. Soil has become dirt which when it dries out — becomes simply dust.
But there is a solution here — a regenerative solution — that restores the health of our soils and enables the soil to begin storing carbon once again — drawing down that carbon from the atmosphere — and restoring earth.
And that is the subject we’re going to dive headfirst into with Paul Hawken — who I will be interviewing on September 9th at 9am Pacific time. 9/9 at 9am. Wow. just wow. It feels like a birthday present to me.
Paul and I will be talking about his work, and his new book. Regeneration: End the Climate Crisis in One Generation. We’ll be talking about the kinds of solutions that we should all support using methods like David Johnson’s Greenprint — perhaps a bit before it’s ready for mass consumption. But we can begin. We can begin collaborating, and building this community.
Join me in this effort. First and foremost, make sure you’ve signed up for my newsletter. Just visit caremorebebetter.com and either fill out the popup form, or go to the menu and select Contact Us. There you can send me an e-mail directly, or sign up for the newsletter. You can even send me a question that you’d like me to ask Paul Hawken when I interview him on September 9th.
Now, since I don’t post episodes live, you’ll have to wait until September 14th, the day of his book release, for the published episode. You can pre-order the book today by going to Regeneration.org — and I encourage all of you to watch that Netflix Film, Kiss The Ground. You can visit kissthegroundmovie.com for links to watch the show on Netflix with your subscription, or on Vimeo for only a dollar. It’s worth the expense.
And to provide you with a break from the norm as I close today’s show, I want to introduce you to a podcast I enjoy that is completely different. I venture to guess that some of you are Harry Potter Fans. I stumbled across a podcast run by a couple of fans that’s wonderfully silly and kind of adorable called “Puffcast”. Here’s their trailer. If you love Harry Potter, I think you’ll quite like it.
<<Puffcast Trailer Plays>>
So, what do you think? You can check out show notes for the direct link to this podcast so you can easily reach the show.
Thank you listeners, now and always for being a part of this pod and this community — because together we really can do so much more.