Greg is a friend of mine from Boston, and I was surprised and pleased when he asked to receive the talk. How we know each other is sort of complicated…let’s just say that it involves an 88 year old Catholic priest with a penchant for penis jokes. Our mutual interests include basketball, breakfast foods, and recovering from the trauma of being fat during high school. The timing of this talk was important, as Greg was moving back to his home town of Austin TX in the next couple of days and really wanted to sit down with me before he left.
Greg brought with him a lovely girl named Jasmine. Greg and Jasmine met online only a couple of days prior, so it was a little weird to be giving the talk to someone I was only meeting for the first time. But hey, roll with it. She turned out to be really smart and put together, it was great having her there.
My pitch in each of these sessions is essentially the same, so I won’t be including the full video of the talk each time (they will all be stored in the archive once that’s up and running). What’s much more interesting usually is the after-talk Q&A, and this one didn’t disappoint.
Before we get started, we spend some time shooting the shit about my dog Bindi. I love that little wolf, and everyone else who meets her ends up loving her too.
We spend some time on new sources of natural gas (fracking) vs. new sources of oil (Canadian Tar Sands). One of these is a good idea (with caveats), and one of these is a terrible idea (without caveat).
Greg asks me straight up how he should vote in the upcoming presidential election. I’m never going to tell anyone who to vote for directly, but I spend a little time praising the Green Party and explaining the major parties’ relationship to Big Oil.
We talk about the size of the problem compared to the lifestyle and consumer solutions available to the individual. Are these actions useful, merely symbolic, or somewhere in between?
Greg throws the idea of a carbon tax out there, and basically breaks down the whole thing for us. I am impressed by his analysis.
Jasmine brings up tax breaks, so we spend a few minutes discussing Greg’s roommate Colin. Colin is the founder and CEO of a company that helps businesses go green and save money in the process. Economics will always be one of the best motivators for change!
Here we discuss one of the political elephants in the room, Solyndra. This is an issue that I’m sure will come up more frequently as I branch out in to more conservative circles, so it’s good for me to practice talking about it.
Jasmine brings up a great point which is: it’s all fine and good if Americans change, but what about other countries? Aren’t China, India, Brazil etc. just as bad as we are? Do we have the moral authority to tell them not to develop like we did?
Greg calls me out for saying “cheap energy” one too many times, bringing up $4 gas, so we delve in to that a little.
Thanks again to Greg and Jasmine!