#62 | Sustainability through the economic & political lens, with Noel Bagwell from The Honest Lawyer Podcast

Join us on a new-style episode with Noel Bagwell as we peel the onion around the economics and politics of sustainability. In just about an hour and a half we scan through a lot of difficult questions on our grandest sustainability and development challenges, such as “Should we regulate pandemics?”, “Should we ban conquest?” and “What political regime is best for sustainability?”.

Noel deep dives into the role of the government to provide public goods, freedom, and property, as well as its limitations in solving our issues. In the end, sustainability requires a systemic perspective and the involvement of all socio-economic actors. Tune in to listen to an interesting conversation & send us any questions you may have afterward!

What you’ll learn: 

●      What new perspectives economics and politics can bring to sustainability;

●      How to look differently at our grandest humanity challenges;

●      What the role of the government and legislation is in enabling sustainable development.

Books & other resources mentioned:

Podcast: The Honest Lawyer by Noel Bagwell

Website: https://executivelp.com

Game: Civilisation, by Sid Meier


·      The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, by Eric Hoffer

·      Common Sense Economics, by James Gwartney

·      Against empathy: The case for rational compassion, by Paul Bloom

Quotes of the guest:

When you start talking about regulating big things like carbon emissions, you have to ask yourself not “Is anthropogenic global warming real?” but ”What would we have to do in order to get for example 1 degree of cooling?”

I don’t think humanity wins the sustainability game by just looking at one type of solution, like a political solution; I think we need a holistic perspective. 

I think you have to look at having the political piece right and understanding that if you have the political piece right, but you have the cultural, economic, and military pieces wrong and other pieces wrong and things go sideways it doesn’t mean that you don’t have the right political system. 

That’s like trying to use a hammer for every construction job; we can’t use a political system to solve every problem.

One piece of advice (well, actually two): 

1. Try to be kind, yet in a rational way. Rational compassion helps us understand other people’s situations and offer our help without letting our feelings run amok. 

2. Open your mind about what a majority and a minority are these days. We’ve really thought about it in very visible, visceral terms in the past. In terms of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities and majorities.

This has partly led to poorly run identity politics, causing more divisiveness than equality. In this informational age, however, the way that we think is more defining of who we are, even if it’s much harder to categorize.

Progressivism vs. libertarianism.

Big government vs. small government.

These are much more accurate as ways to define majorities and minorities. Liberty and having the rule of law, not just the rule of people, may be more conducive to eliminating corruption.

Having everyone treated equally under the law means the government does not look at your identity at all when they’re enforcing rules and regulations.