The Keeping Things Alive Podcast

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been recording interviews with the leaders of Buffalo’s 2015 Climate Justice Campaign, which arose in Western New York during the months preceding the Paris Climate Conference and led to the creation of the Climate Justice Coalition. I participated in many of the 2015 Climate Justice Campaign events and I loved how it brought a variety of progressive groups together to take action on a single issue: climate justice.

Here is a list of the Climate Justice leaders that I interviewed:

  1. Lynda Schneekloth is the advocacy chair of Western New York Environmental Alliance, Professor Emerita at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, former Sierra Club chair, co-founder of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, and a grandmother.
  2. Jim Anderson is a civil rights activist, the President of Peace Action New York State, and the Vice President of the Citizen Action New York Board of Directors.
  3. Roger Cook is the Chair of the Issues Committee for the WNY Working Families Party, Sierra Club political committee chair, former director of the WNY Council on Occupational Safety & Health, and founder of the Ecumenical Task Force of the Niagara Frontier, which advocated for the relocation of Love Canal and Forest Glen residents and built the NYS Labor-Environment Coalition.
  4. Sister Eileen O’Connor is a Sister of Mercy, organizer for Interfaith Climate Justice Community, and has given talks on the Pope’s Encyclical.
  5. Rebecca Sophia Strong is a contemplative psychotherapist, social artist, yoga teacher, and was the consultant for the Sierra Club Niagara Chapter’s 2015 Rise Up for Climate Justice campaign.
  6. Agnes Williams is a member of the Seneca Nation, social worker, founding mother and board president of the Indigenous Women’s Network, Standing Rock Buffalo Support Group member, and an activist for U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Click here to listen to the interviews on my Keeping Things Alive SoundCloud page!



Worlds Collide

When I read a book, listen to a podcast, watch a documentary, converse with someone, or learn in some other way, I internalize the information that resonates with me and leave the rest.  This lifelong-learning method keeps me coming back to two modern-day writers/creators that continue to expand my mind in their own special ways: Mr. Money Mustache (Pete Adeney) and Tim Ferriss.

Neither of them are perfect and I roll my eyes when they take their philosophies to extremes that don’t work for me, but each has a unique and important perspective on how to live an intentional, good life that provides freedom to create and (hopefully) help others.  I owe my current lifestyle (working remotely and using my spare time to recharge and pursue what I care about) to many of their ideas and creations.

Mr. Money Mustache, through his incredible 400+ article blog, has drastically reduced my financial stress by motivating me to spend less and save more. Because of his work, I ride my bike, cook nearly all my meals, and invest in activities that actually make me happy (spending time with people who inspire me, cooking, walking, reading, and writing).  It’s amazing how all of the activities that bring me the most joy are not that expensive. Here is a recorded talk that distills his philosophy into a little less than 30 minutes.

Tim Ferriss, through his books (on working, health, cooking/learning, and life design tools) and podcast, has inspired me to get my work and required life tasks done efficiently, question the status quo, and use my life in the best way possible (whatever that means to me). He has interviewed some amazing human beings on his podcast, and I love the way he asks interview questions and dissects the small details of their approaches to living a good, meaningful life.

So imagine my surprise and (admittedly) fan-girl-freak-out when I found out that Tim Ferriss interviewed Mr. Money Mustache for his podcast! It’s excellent and worth listening to. Here are a few of my takeaways:

  • You can skate around the city of Ottawa in winter.
  • Optimization of anything, including finances, is fun and beautiful.
  • Never spend more than $10,000 on a car, and then don’t drive it as much as possible so it lasts longer.
  • Walking is a powerful action and way to get somewhere.
  • The U.S. is “the furnace of the world” because you can start something without anyone noticing until it’s big. MMM loves the grid of U.S. cities and islands – there is so much range and variety of geography.
  • MMM is a true environmentalist, in the best sense of the word. He rules out his spending based on knowing the consumption/science/ecology consequences.
  • Everyone should build a house or shelter in their lifetime.
  • Optimize for happiness, not money.
  • Success is a balanced thing – it depends on how kind you are to the people closest to you.
  • MMM is very passionate about energy issues (as every environmentalist should be in current times), and believes we are at a tipping point where fossil fuels are becoming infeasible. I completely agree.
  • Do the things you want to be good at as often as you can (MMM repeats “use it or lose it” to himself multiple times per day).
  • “Just walk. You’ve paid a high evolutionary price for this ability and let’s not squander it.”

Trump is Working to Eliminate Clean Water Rule

This just came out: Trump is rolling back protections under the Clean Water Rule, which I summarized here at FedGreen.

It makes sense for the Trump Business(es) to want to get rid of the Clean Water Rule – requiring federal permits for construction around smaller bodies of water makes development more expensive because the developer must pay for permitting and consultants and maybe even lawyers to make sure they are complying with the law. 

And Trump is, among other things, a developer.