Understand how to stay calm during challenging and stressful times.Learn more about our online consultations, events and shop: https://www.wuweiwisdom.comIn this episode, you'll learn how to stay calm and grounded during stressful times, so you can avoid emotional overwhelm and cope in a more authentic and healthy way.With your hosts, David James Lees (ordained Taoist monk, emotional and spiritual health teacher) and Alexandra Lees (mindset and business coach).Other related teachings on our YouTube channel that will help you:Our INNER CHILD PLAYLIST https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9NQ_PWX4zICGLRS1b7q1HSJhZRash5qqOur GOLDEN THREAD PROCESS PLAYLIST https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9NQ_PWX4zIAsS_wgdRN7QGBKIk54sbyDOur GUIDED MEDITATION PLAYLISThttps://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9NQ_PWX4zIA12P7BftG6a18lIWFDjL35&si=KOZWHiXLKO2EBDNtIs there a question you'd like answered on the show? Submit it at: https://bit.ly/askusyourquestion Join our free Wu Wei Wisdom Community Facebook support group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wuweiwisdomcommunity If you love our work, you can now make a small donation to help fund the continued production of our weekly teachings by buying us a 'virtual coffee'! https://www.buymeacoffee.com/wuweiwisdom Book an online Golden Thread Process & Inner Child Consultation with David: https://www.wuweiwisdom.com/therapies-for-body-mind/ Follow us on Instagram: @wuweiwisdomSign up to receive a relaxing guided meditation gift, plus our weekly newsletter + offers via email: https://www.wuweiwisdom.com/signup -Disclaimer: This podcast and any associated teaching and comments shared are not a substitute for professional therapy, mental health care, crisis support, medical advice, doctor diagnosis, or professional healthcare treatment. Our show episodes provide general information for educational purposes only and are offered as suggestions for you and your professional therapist or healthcare advisor to consider and research.Music by Earth Tree Healing
In this not-to-be missed episode, Lynn and Robin talk to the expert Lynn values most, Dr. Michael Yapko. Dr. Yapko is one of the world's foremost experts on depression, how it moves through families, and what parents need to do about prevention. He knows the research and shares it, busting myths and offering advice we guarantee you haven't heard before. WE'RE MAKING PLAYLISTS OF OUR EPISODES TO HELP YOU FIND RESOURCES ON SPECIFIC TOPICS. Here is our first: Parents of Anxious Kids, Start Here For those brand new to the podcast, we suggest starting with this playlist featuring Lynn Lyons and the 7-part anxiety disruptor series as well as a 3-part series on the skills most helpful in managing anxious kids: flexibility, problem solving, and autonomy. Consult our Spotify profile for the most up-to-date selection. WIN A COPY OF THE ANXIETY AUDIT COURSE! We will select two listeners who complete our listener survey. We hope it is you! FOLLOW US Join the Facebook group to get news on the upcoming courses for parents, teens, and kids. Follow Flusterclux on Facebook and Instagram. Follow Lynn Lyons on Twitter and Youtube. VISIT OUR SPONSORS FOR SPECIAL OFFERS JUST FOR YOU: Right now, listeners can subscribe to Earth Breeze and save 40%! Go to earthbreeze.com/flusterclux to get started. Sign up for Greenlight today and get your first month free when you go to greenlight.com/fluster. Head to go.mycopilot.com/FLUSTERCLUX to get a 14 day FREE trial AND 20% off your first month of personalized fitness with your own personal trainer if you sign up before February 1st, 2024! And right now, our listeners will get an additional 15% off an annual membership at masterclass.com/fluster. To match with a licensed therapist today, go to Talkspace.com/FLUSTER toget $80 off of your first month. Go to Zocdoc.com/FLUSTER and download the Zocdoc app for FREE. Then find and book a top-rated doctor today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
I received an email from one of you that saddened me. It opened with, “Listening to today's podcast has left me feeling more hopeless than ever.” Hopelessness. Feeling despair. And its counterpart – helplessness, which is believing that nothing can be done to prevent what's happening - are two of the worst feelings of depression, and two of the ones non-depressed people often can't seem to understand. Maybe even my own mantra that I repeat in almost every episode, “Look for what you can do about," for those who are fighting these two demons – sounds like I'm skimming the surface of deeper depressions and not talking about the heavy burden and darkness that you might feel. Since I'll be using much of this one listener's email, we won't feature another for today. I promise you this listener's life holds much to be understood, and to have compassion for. She did say toward the end, “I felt the need to write this. Much of it has never seen the light of day. Perhaps that alone might help? I can only hope that featuring her email might help as well. Advertisers' Links: We have a brand new sponsor of SelfWork - moonbird. What is it? It's the world's first, tactile breathing coach designed to fit in the palm of your hand. To try it yourself, click here and use the code SELFWORK! Have you been putting off getting help? BetterHelp, the #1 online therapy provider, has a special offer for you now! Vital Links: Dr. Margaret's podcast episode on "stinkin' thinkin' You can hear more about this and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive my weekly newsletter including a blog post and podcast! If you'd like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome! My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression is available here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life. And there's another way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You'll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you're giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I'll look forward to hearing from you!
Boyle is in Toronto. Tickets to Boyle's Canadian shows below VANCOUVERhttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/david-boyle-finally-here-tickets-731105936537?aff=oddtdtcreator TORONTOhttps://www.eventbrite.ca/e/david-boyle-backroom-comedy-club-tickets-727186092177?aff=oddtdtcreator
Simon T. Bailey returns teach us the process of manifesting our future self. Source: BITCON 2022 Simon Bailey Kickoff Keynote Connect with Simon T. Bailey: Website: http://www.simontbailey.com Instagram: simontbailey Twitter: @SimonTBailey Book: Brilliant Living: 31 Insights to Creating an Awesome Life (Brilliant Living Series) Previous Episodes: 329 | Simon T. Bailey: "Relationships Are More Important Than..." 253 | Simon T. Bailey: "There Will Never Be A Perfect Time." Hosted by Malikee Josephs (Pronounced Muh leek Jo seffs) Give Me A Shout: Follow Me On Instagram @DepressionDetoxShow. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org Support The Show: Donate
Bonds are screaming bloody murder. By contrast, stocks are taking everything in stride, betting more strongly on disinflation, soft landing, a few rate cuts, every possible Goldilocks angle. Or so it would seem. What do equities really price? Not fundamentals like "liquidity" as is so often claimed nor the economy. Valuations are a fiction. History shows us where the heart of the NYSE really lies, which means there is substantial risk diverging from bonds. Eurodollar University's Money & Macro AnalysisCNBC: A brief history of the 401(k), which changed how Americans retirehttps://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/04/a-brief-history-of-the-401k-which-changed-how-americans-retire.htmlRobert Shiller 2013 Nobel Prize Lecturehttps://www.nobelprize.org/uploads/2018/06/shiller-lecture.pdfTwitter: https://twitter.com/JeffSnider_EDUhttps://www.eurodollar.universityRealClearMarkets Essays: https://bit.ly/38tL5a7#recession #money #recession2023 #money #inflation #deflation #interestrates #dollar #economy #credit #interestrates #eurodollar #income #stocks #retirement
In this episode we discuss the value of abstaining from various distractions and the potential value in fully indulging or experiencing the joy and sensations of the present moment. • Includes a guided meditation about deciding to abstain from a distracting habit in order to notice your experience more directly. Don't forget to subscribe for more ingenious ways to tap into the ever-present stillness and joy of our true nature. NEWS: Jonathan's new book, Ecstasy as Medicine: How MDMA therapy Can Help You Overcome Trauma, Anxiety, and Depression...and Feel More Love is out in Kindle and Paperback. And keep your ears peeled for the audiobook version, out soon. Awareness Explorers has made the following top listener charts on Goodpods: #3 in the Top 100 Spirituality chart #5 in the Top 100 Religion & Spirituality chart #32 in the Top 100 Meditation All time chart To learn more about Awareness Explorers, and to listen to all of our podcast episodes, please visit: https://www.awarenessexplorers.com/ If you want to listen to the meditations alone, you can find all of our meditations excerpted either in this playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLThffcko0gAVvivvVVGNfQgJxbWB6dF6Z Or on our Awareness Explorers website: https://www.awarenessexplorers.com/meditations To Support Awareness Explorers, please consider clicking the "Donate" button on any AwarenessExplorers.com page, or becoming a Patreon supporter: https://www.patreon.com/awarenessexplorers To learn more about Jonathan Robinson and Brian Tom O'Connor, please visit https://findinghappiness.com/ and https://www.playawarenessgames.com/ You can listen to all of our episodes on this YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLThffcko0gAXyaArC4OyY0y84CZ8uSb_n Enjoy, Jonathan and Brian Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash
Yikes! The end of the year is approaching fast. Are you where you thought you would be in your recovery? In life?If you're feeling the sting of exhaustion, disappointment and discouragement, please know there is no shame in your recovery game. This throwback episode is a pep talk for you to keep your perseverance alive in spite of the delayed gratification and doubts that recovery will ever happen.It can happen. It will happen. You gotta take a step back and get a new approach. Use the 3 principles discussed in this episode to guide you as you step into new ways of thinking, being, and believing in yourself and your recovery in the year ahead. JOIN THE COURAGE CLUB WAITLISTVisit jointhecourageclub.comCONNECT WITH RECOVERY WARRIORS Check out articles on the Website Follow on Instagram Like us on Facebook Learn more about the Podcast
Welcome to Episode 133 of The Madhappy Podcast. This week, we are running one of our favorite episodes from the archive. We are excited to welcome Chelsea Cutler onto the show to learn more about her mental health journey throughout her music career. We kick things off as Chelsea speaks to how her music became an outlet for her to talk about mental health (3:04). Mason asks Chelsea about her experiences with therapy (9:16), leading Chelsea to share more on her experiences with depression and distorted thinking (21:31). Chelsea and Mason talk through their relationships and experiences with mental health medication (28:36) before the two switch directions and discuss their thoughts on social media and the role it plays in their professional & personal lives (40:13). Mason and Chelsea talk through the concept of joy (44:34), before wrapping up as Chelsea outlines how she currently supports her mental health on a daily basis (57:51). We talk about some serious topics on this show. We are not professionals and are not giving advice. If you or someone you know needs help, please text start to 741741 and for additional resources please visit LocalOptimist.com/Get-Help The Madhappy Podcast is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Follow us: @Madhappy | @LocalOptimist Visit us: Madhappy.com | LocalOptimist.com
This week licensed therapist Kati Morton discusses why we can overly attach to teachers, how to know if our burnout is turning into depression, and how to get through trauma processing without using unhealthy coping skills. Kati then explains why we can sometimes want to keep our eating disorders, why OCD squashes our insight, and how to sleep when struggling with PTSD. Ask Kati Anything- your mental health podcast, episode 193 1. I think I overly-attach to my teachers who also happen to be my research advisors. I really wish they could be my moms, I constantly seek their validation and approval. I want to make them feel proud of me. You get the idea. How can I become more aware of this? How can I stop trying to fill my parents' void by pushing other people into it? 2. How do I know if what I'm feeling is more related to burnout or is entering into the realm of depression? I am not necessarily sad all the time but am at a point where I am just down and don't really have any interest in doing things anymore because I feel I have no energy or motivation, which I know sounds a lot like depression... 3. I just started reprocessing trauma with my wonderful therapist. My problem is that with just one session of this, I have become unraveled. My emotions are so intense that I am wanting to cope in unhealthy ways such as cutting which I haven't done in a long time and having suicidal thought of which I have attempted before and am angry that I lived... 4. My question is what if I want to keep my eating disorder? What if the pros to keep it far more than the pros to lose it. It helps with my c-ptsd symptoms and even though I do not, not, not see it it keeps me small. Like being underweight gets me closer to being invisible, it helps me hide, I can hide in more places, and it's comforting(??)... 5. My question is about OCD and insight. I have a diagnosis of OCD but sometimes I don't actually think I have it at all. There are rooms in my house that I cannot use because they are contaminated and I can't get them to be uncontaminated no matter how hard I try. The person that lived here before me was a heavy smoker and the place was coated in nicotine to the point that it was ingrained in all the woodwork and silicone round windows etc... 6. I can't sleep. I don't want to close my eyes. I have panic attacks if I am woken during the night. I can't stop and relax at all and I find myself doom scrolling social media until I am absolutely exhausted. I know I shouldn't be on my phone before going to sleep. When I was a little girl my bedroom was not safe. I don't feel safe. I feel like I'm trying desperately to avoid having to stop. Keeping busy gives my mind something else to focus on. I've tried melatonin but that just makes me feel awful and like I'm hungover the next day. It doesn't help sleep anyway. I've tried changing my room around to make it different and I have a night light so when I awake through the night I can quickly identify my surroundings. I feel so embarrassed that I have to have a night light in my 40s. Do you have any suggestions to help with sleep when it doesn't feel safe? ------------------- MY BOOKS Traumatized Are u ok? ONLINE THERAPY While I do not currently offer online therapy, BetterHelp can connect you with a licensed, online therapist, please visit: PATREON SUPPORT THE CHANNEL BY SHOPPING HERE InstacartAmazon Kati's Merchandise PARTNERSHIP Linnea Toney email@example.com PLEASE READ If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call a local emergency telephone number or go immediately to the nearest emergency room. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/askkatianything/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/askkatianything/support
Financial Advisor and NYT bestselling author Ramit Sethi is back to teach us the importance of money in our relationships. Source: I Will Teach You to Be Rich | Ramit Sethi | Talks at Google Connect with Ramit Sethi: Website: https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com Instagram: ramit YouTube: I Will Teach You To Be Rich Book: I Will Teach You to Be Rich: No Guilt. No Excuses. No B.S. Just a 6-Week Program That Works (Second Edition) Previous Episodes: 482 | Ramit Sethi: "Buy Appetizers Without Looking At The Price" Hosted by Malikee Josephs (Pronounced Muh leek Jo seffs) Give Me A Shout: Follow Me On Instagram @DepressionDetoxShow. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org Support The Show: Donate
Leo Flowers shares a random episode about sources of electrolytes, how to find your voice and emotional corsets. Sponsor:Is there something interfering with your happiness or is preventing you from achieving your goals? https://betterhelp.com/leo and enjoy 10% off your first month and start talking to mental health professional today!! 1-on-1 Coaching: If you want go from feeling hopeless to hopeful, lonely to connected and like a burden to a blessing, then go to 1-on-1 coaching, go to www.thrivewithleo.com. Let's get to tomorrow, together. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline988Teen Line (Los Angeles)800-852-8336The Trevor Project (LGBTQ Youth Hotline)866-488-7386National Domestic Violence Hotline800-799-SAFE [800-799-7233]Crisis Text LineText "Connect" to 741741 in the USALifeline Chathttps://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/International Suicide Hotlines: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.htmlhttps://www.nowmattersnow.org/skillshttps://sobermeditations.libsyn.com/ www.suicidesafetyplan.com https://scaa.club/
Curiosity is the key to growth! Discover the ripple effect of personal growth and how it can positively impact those around you. Kathy Batista is a mindset coach specializing in helping individuals navigate midlife, which she explains can occur between the ages of 35 and 70. Kathy's approach involves regulating the nervous system, developing intuition, and working on mindset. This episode is filled with valuable insights and actionable tips you can start implementing today. Remember, life is all about embracing curiosity, learning, and growing. Join us on this transformative journey and unlock your full potential! Visit www.kathybatista.com for more about Kathy and to take her 3-Pillar Quiz. Learn which pillar needs your focus and get some helpful strategies to overcome limiting beliefs so you can start feeling better now! Connect with Kathy @coachkathybatista on both IG and FB Please follow along with A Well + Nourished Soul podcast on your favorite listening platform and leave a rating and review of the show. If you want to dive even deeper, visit www.awellandnourishedsoul.com to join our private community. Schedule your Angel Message Session: https://www.awellandnourishedsoul.com/book-an-angel-session Come connect with me on Instagram @AshleyJGeorge. I love hearing from you!
#talkintuff episodes are designed for me to interrogate my thoughts, and feelings. They hardly ever make sense, that's kind of the point. My mission is to give you permission to do the same.Talkin' Tuff w/ Norense Every Thursday! #talkintuff ✅ FOLLOW ME HERE:https://instagram.com/kingno_?igshid=OGQ5ZDc2ODk2ZA==https://instagram.com/mindbullypodcast?igshid=MmIzYWVlNDQ5Yg==Support the show
Oil prices down big again. A lot more contango, too. Bond buying remains heavy and while not quite to the bull steepening it's moving in on that key point. All signs point to lower rates ahead, but isn't that a good thing? That's what we're supposed to believe...Eurodollar University's Money & Macro AnalysisBen Bernanke: Before the Joint Economic Committee, U.S. Congress April 2008https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/bernanke20080402a.htmCNBC: Bernanke Says US Could Be Facing A Mild Recessionhttps://www.cnbc.com/2008/04/10/bernanke-says-us-could-be-facing-a-mild-recession.htmlTwitter: https://twitter.com/JeffSnider_EDUhttps://www.eurodollar.universityRealClearMarkets Essays: https://bit.ly/38tL5a7#recession #money #recession2023 #money #inflation #deflation #interestrates #dollar #economy #credit #interestrates #eurodollar #income #fed #federalreserve
Dr. Kathy considers a recent article that linked depression to the decrease in outside play and forming identity. She has some important insights for parents to inspire being creative, guiding outside play, and forming identity for their kids. According to some, the mix of those three in repeated succession drives kids to strong mental health.
Host: Andrew Crowe | Released Thursday, December 7, 2023 Argument 1: The Bible never speaks of depression, anxiety, or anything of that nature. Answer: · These terms did not exist when some translations of the Bible came to be. · Depression was known as melancholia. o It came to be through an excess of “black bile” in the […]
Jorge V Gonzalez shares his personal journey of reinvention, after spending two decades perfecting his craft, Jorge was faced with a disability after a bad accident, that left him unable to continue working, and plunged him into the depths of darkness. But rather than succumbing to anger and grief, he drew inspiration from his family's legacy of taking calculated risks and began to pursue a path forward with new found strength. Jorge talks about his family who moved to the USA from Mexico in search for a better life, and drew from the courage of his Grandparents, so he could honor them, and they would be proud of who he was. Jorge shares the lesson that with the right mindset, setbacks can be transformed into opportunities for growth and self-discovery. He emphasizes the importance of resilience, hard work, and high expectations in achieving success and reinventing oneself. By sharing his own experiences and examples, Jorge hopes to inspire and empower others to pursue their true purpose in life.Links From JorgeBook: www.AnswerTheCall.meSite: JorgeVGonzalez.comRealtor: https://jorgevgonzalez.exprealty.com/Support the show
Join Luke Colson fo a little After Thought on Jorge's Story (the previous episode)Jorge shares the lesson that with the right mindset, setbacks can be transformed into opportunities for growth and self-discovery. He emphasizes the importance of resilience, hard work, and high expectations in achieving success and reinventing oneself. By sharing his own experiences and examples, Jorge hopes to inspire and empower others to pursue their true purpose in life.Links From JorgeBook: www.AnswerTheCall.meSite: JorgeVGonzalez.comRealtor: https://jorgevgonzalez.exprealty.com/Support the show
You Will NEVER Miss out and Regret in Life if you Realize this. God's gift to us comes in strange ways in our life. If so, why do we miss out on them, leading to regret later? It's due to our mindset and limited perception. How can we make the most of God's graces bestowed upon us to transform our lives? Listen more to learn as Swami Mukundananda explains it in detail.
Host: Andrew Crowe | Released Thursday, December 7, 2023 Argument 1: The Bible never speaks of depression, anxiety, or anything of that nature. Answer: · These terms did not exist when some translations of the Bible came to be. · Depression was known as melancholia. o It came to be through an excess of “black bile” in the […]
Fasting isn't the hungry problem that I always thought it was growing up. Although the hunger may set in at some point, it isn't a "no pain, no gain" situation. Today, we'll talk about that more. Have a listen. Highlights: Even though I felt great, there was nothing to show a breakthrough. (11:30) What if fasting is a gift to my body to finally allow it to go through its full cycle? (14:40) Everybody's talking about a painful death, but your body is designed to make that not happen, if at all possible. (17:50) If you give somebody a promise of something that they haven't experienced, they'll make believe what those words mean without realizing that those words connect to something already in their experience. (40:20) Need help unlocking mental, emotional, and physical freedom in your life? Grab my new book, Built for Freedom: Adventures Through Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Addiction, Trauma, Pain, and Our Body's Innate Ability to Leave Them All Behind on Amazon (or Audible) here: https://www.amazon.com/Built-Freedom-Adventures-Depression-Addiction/dp/B0BS79GMYN Or head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you've been missing.
In the 1947 classic Christmas film It's a Wonderful Life!, George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, goes through a tough time during Christmas in dealing with two serious financial problems caused by someone else. This most beloved and joyful man in all of Bedford Falls is overcome with depression, anger, hopelessness, and despair. In the midst of all this, George's wife, Mary, steps in and shows us how to help the people we love when they are in a dark place, especially at Christmas It's what today's episode is all about. But before we get into today's episode, here's what this podcast is all about. Welcome to You Were Made for This If you find yourself wanting more from your relationships, you've come to the right place. Here you'll discover practical principles you can use to experience the life-giving relationships you were made for. I'm your host, John Certalic, award-winning author and relationship coach, here to help you find more joy in the relationships God designed for you. To access all past and future episodes, go to the bottom of this page to the yellow "Subscribe" button, then enter your name and email address in the fields above it. The episodes are organized chronologically and are also searchable by topics, categories, and keywords. Christmas is all about relationships Of all the times of the year to find joy in our relationships, can there be a better time than Christmas? Christmas only exists because Jesus wants a relationship with us, and he came to earth to make that really clear to us. There's certainly joy in this relationship, and also in our relationships with friends and family. But sometimes things get in the way of experiencing the kind of relationship God designed for us with the people we love. We see this so vividly in what I think is the greatest Christmas movie ever made, It's a Wonderful Life! The film is overflowing with many different kinds of relationship struggles. But in the end, it leaves you feeling good about being alive in community with other people. I like this movie so much that I did an entire podcast on seven relationship lessons we learn from It's a Wonderful Life! It's episode 045 and I'll have a link to it at the bottom of today's show notes. It's a Wonderful Life! in a nutshell If it's been a while since you saw the film, or if you've never seen It's a Wonderful Life!, here's a brief summary of the plot: The main character, George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, grew up in a small town by the name of Bedford Falls prior to WWII. From the time he was young, George was a very popular, engaging person, well-liked by everyone. Small-town life was not for him, however. He talked often about his dream of traveling to far-away places where he would work as an engineer to build big things, like skyscrapers and bridges. George grew up in a loving family where his father and uncle ran the Bailey Brothers Building & Loan, a business in competition with the bank in town owned by the antagonist in the movie, Henry Potter. “Old man Potter” as he was called. At one point George's father, Peter Bailey, died suddenly and George took over the Building & Loan. The plan was that once George's brother Harry graduated from college, he would take over the Building & Loan, so George could leave Bedford Falls to pursue an education and his dreams. But things didn't turn out as planned. Harry returns from college, not just with a diploma, but also with a wife and a job out of town with his father-in-law. All this leaves George with the responsibility of running the Building & Loan, causing him to feel all the more trapped, which is a major theme of the movie. Money set aside for a honeymoon George ends up getting married to a woman named Mary. On their wedding day and on their way out of town for their honeymoon, there's a run on the bank. This was not unusual during the Depression of the 1930s, which is when the movie takes place. Everyone wanted to withdraw their savings in cash, but there's not enough money to pay out the withdrawals. Mary sees what's going on and turns over to George all the wedding money and savings she and George have saved for their honeymoon. George then uses it to pay out the cash withdrawals. This is the first example we see from Mary of how to help the people we love when they are going through a rough time. How many women do you know would sacrifice their once-in-a-lifetime romantic vacation to help her husband solve a problem at work? Not many. Most women would say something along the lines of, “This is our wedding day and we're leaving for our honeymoon. Let your co-workers deal with the problem. They'll understand. Aren't I more important than your job, your business? But that's not Mary. She sacrifices her desires and her resources to help the person she loves. Sometimes to help the people we love we have to set aside our dreams. And sometimes to help the people we love will cost us financially. Investing in relationships This run on the bank that George and Mary are dealing with is an interesting metaphor for relationships. Just as deposits we make with our money into financial institutions, we also make “deposits” in our relationships. George Bailey had certainly done that with the relationships he developed and fostered in Bedford Falls. The movie shows how he invested in people, and the things he did to help people who needed help. Watch for it the next time you see the movie. I'll comment more on this in a few minutes. But I wonder about you and me. To what extent are we investing in relationships, where we pour ourselves into being there for other people? Will we have enough in our relationship account that there will be something to withdraw when we need help? Another problem at work After the problem with the run on the bank is solved. Another work-related problem arises like the whack-a-mole game you play at the fair. On Christmas Eve Uncle Billy misplaces $8,000 worth of deposits right as a bank examiner shows up for an audit. In today's dollars adjusted for inflation, this would amount to about $110,000. If the money isn't found, it will mean bankruptcy, scandal, and jail time for George. He's beside himself with fear, and it brings out the worst in him. The rest of the film shows how George goes about dealing with this problem, and how others deal with George. If ever there was a movie about relationships, this would be it. For example, at one point in the film George tries to help Uncle Billy remember where he left the money. But he gets impatient, roughs up Uncle Billy, and calls him “a silly old fool.” George then comes home in his irritated, fearful state and yells at his kids. He makes one of them cry, in fact. At which point Mary steps in to protect her children. She positions herself in front of the kids and confronts George very sternly with “George, why must you torture the children? Why don't you…” A change in behavior Before this scene, Mary observed this marked change in behavior in her husband and asked him “What's wrong?” George doesn't answer, in part because I think he's trying to protect his wife from work problems, and in part because he's confused by his own anger and rage. Mary is puzzled by George because it's not like him to be so angry. But she doesn't give up on George when he doesn't answer her “what's wrong?” question. She reflects in her mind what might be the problem. George didn't go to work that morning angry at the world, so it's logical to consider that maybe something happened at work to set him off. George isn't any help in figuring out the problem, so Mary logically and wisely calls someone who works with George to see if he might know. It's one thing you can do to help someone you love. She picks up the phone and asks the operator to call Bedford 247. And guess who answers? Uncle Billy. Now we don't hear what Mary says to Uncle Billy. But by the end of the movie we find out. George gets help for dealing with his problem After George walks out the door after yelling at his kids we see him encounter Clarence Oddbody AS2 (Angel 2nd class). He's sent by God to help George put his problem in perspective and to realize the impact he's had on people. It's interesting that God doesn't send Clarence the angel to solve George's problem, but rather that despite his problems it truly is a wonderful life that George has been living. God still works like that today. Often not solving our problems, but always putting them in perspective in light of eternity and God's purposes for our life. Bold action to help the people we love Getting back to Mary and her phone call to Uncle Billy. After George's encounter with Clarence Oddbody, Angel second class, he returns home a new man. Oh so grateful to be alive and even at peace with the potential consequences of the misplaced $8,000 of deposits. It's here we see what Mary and Uncle Billy talked about in their phone call. She now tells George, “It's a miracle, George! It's a miracle!” Then Uncle Billy walks through their front door with a large wicker laundry basket, sets it on a folding table, and tells George one of the key lines in the movie in an excited tone. “Mary did it, George! Mary did it! She scoured all over town telling people you were in trouble…” With that, crowds of people come pouring through the front door with cash to put in the basket. What a bold action on Mary's part. Sometimes to help the people we love we have to step out of our comfort zone and ask other people to help us care for the one we love. Sometimes we have to make withdrawals from our relational bank account. It's just how it works. What we've learned from Mary in It's a Wonderful Life! Mary shows us that we can help the people we love who are going through difficult times by first observing any change in behavior. What's different about them now, and when did the change happen? Often knowing when will give us further clues to help those we love. We also learn from Mary how it's important to reflect upon what might be causing the distress in the people we love. Be direct and ask them. They may not know themselves, but don't give up. Probe further. Take action as Mary did. Ask other people who may be in a position to know what the root of the problem is in the angst our loved one is experiencing. Call someone. Don't text. And then when you finally understand the heart of the problem. Take more action. Evaluate what you can do to help, and what you need from other people. Finally, we learn from Mary that helping the people we love going through a really bad season is done behind the scenes. I love behind-the-scenes-people. They have no hidden agenda and they want to bring out the best in people. It's never about them So what does all this mean for YOU? How can you use what you've heard today to help you find more joy in the relationships in your life? Make it a goal to be a better observer of the important people in your life. Notice any changes in behavior. Then reflect upon what might possibly be causing those changes. Finally, take action. Do something that tries to help. And like Mary in the movie, do all this behind the scenes. Be a behind-the-scenes person. It's pretty fulfilling helping the people we love this way. Closing In closing, I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about today's episode. I hope your thinking was stimulated by today's show, to consider how you can help the people you love this Christmas - behind the scenes. For when you do, it will help you experience the joy of relationships God desires for you. Because after all, You Were Made for This. Well, that's it for today. As we close up shop, please don't forget to spread a little relational sunshine around the people you meet this week. Spark some joy for them, kind of like Mary did and all the people of Bedford Falls. And I'll see you again next time. Goodbye for now. Other episodes or resources related to today's shows 045: Seven Relationship Lessons from the Greatest Christmas Movie Ever Made 021: The Most Important Relationship of All A prior and most recent episode 206: Thankful for the Stories of Others All past and future episodes JohnCertalic.com Our Sponsor You Were Made for This is sponsored by Caring for Others, a missionary care ministry. Donate Please consider making a donation to help cover the costs associated with this podcast and the other services we provide missionaries around the world. You can make a tax-deductible contribution to Caring for Others when you click here. 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In this episode, Peter Lehner, head of the food and farming sustainability program at Earthjustice, gives his expert perspective on the upcoming Farm Bill and its potential impact on agricultural decarbonization in the US.(PDF transcript)(Active transcript)Text transcript:David RobertsAs longtime subscribers know — indeed, as the name makes plain — Volts is primarily focused on the energy side the climate fight. I haven't paid much attention to agriculture over the years. I understand that agriculture is a huge piece of the puzzle, both for decarbonization and for sustainability more generally. It's just not really been my jam.However! The Farm Bill — which requires reauthorization every five years — is likely to pass in coming months, and it is arguably the most important climate bill Congress will address this session.To talk me through the agriculture/climate nexus and discuss opportunities in the upcoming Farm Bill, I contacted Peter Lehner. He is the head of Earthjustice's food and farming sustainability program, and the author of Farming for Our Future: The Science, Law, and Policy of Climate-Neutral Agriculture.We talked about how US agriculture has evaded environmental laws and become the source of 30 percent of US greenhouse gas emissions, ways that the upcoming Farm Bill can be tweaked to better fight climate change, and what's next for agriculture decarbonization.Peter Lehner of Earthjustice, welcome to Volts. Thank you so much for coming on.Peter LehnerGreat to be here, Dave.David RobertsAs you may know, if you have read my work over the years or followed me at all, I'm pretty heavily, deeply into the energy world as the source of most of my time and attention in the climate fight. I know on some level, partially because I've been lectured by people numerous times over the years, that agriculture is a big piece of the puzzle — and land use and oceans, which are other things that I also don't spend much time on. And I fully acknowledge that they're important, they're just not my personal passion. However, I've felt vaguely guilty about that for years.And I know the Farm Bill is coming up, which is a significant marker, I think, possibly the source of some significant action. We'll discuss that in a while. But at the very least a good excuse, I think, for me to check in and just sort of see like, what's the state of climate and agriculture, you know, action stuff, what's going on there? So, that's what you're here for, Peter, because you are the expert author of a book on the subject, numerous podcasts, been studying this for a long time. So before we get into the Farm Bill, just maybe — I know that the subject of the ties between agriculture and climate and carbon and methane greenhouse gases is very complicated.You've written entire books on the subject. But I wonder, for people like me who have had their nose mostly in the energy world, if you could just summarize relatively quickly what are the big kind of buckets where agriculture overlaps with carbon and decarbonization and climate generally? What are the big areas of concern that people should have their eyes on?Peter LehnerSure, you know, I should say, Dave, that I came to this really the same as you. I'd been working on energy issues for a very long time. For three decades, I've sued many power plants. I've worked on many different environmental laws dealing with regulation of the power sector. And what happened is, over time, doing general environmental law for New York State, for NRDC, for Earthjustice where I am now, I kept seeing the impact of agriculture as really being enormous and impeding our ability to achieve our environmental and health goals unless it was addressed. So that's why I'm focusing on this now.But like you, I think most environmentalists focus much more on the industrial sector, the power sector, the transportation sector. And part of what I've come to realize is that we all should pay a lot more attention to the agriculture sector. And we'll talk about the Farm Bill coming up. But really the Farm Bill is the biggest environmental law Congress will address that most people have never heard of. Now why is that? So, I'll tell you quickly. First, agriculture uses most of our land. It uses about two thirds of the contiguous U.S.David RobertsCan I pause you there?Peter LehnerSure.David RobertsThat took me two or three seconds to catch up with that before my mind blew. Two thirds of the land of the contiguous United States is devoted to agriculture?Peter Lehner62%, yeah. And that's about using rounder numbers, about 400 million acres of cropland. About half of that is used to grow food that people eat, and about half of that is growing food that animals eat. And close to 800 million acres of grazing land, some of that is federal land, some of that is state land. A lot of that is private land. But all told, it's over a billion acres of land, almost all in the lower 48 is used for agriculture.David RobertsThat is wild.Peter LehnerSo think about it. If you fly anywhere and look out the window, what do you see? You really see agriculture, whether it be the irrigation circles or just the fields or whatever. That's what has transformed our landscape. And part of the result of that, of course, is agriculture is really the biggest driver of biodiversity loss. So much of biodiversity loss is habitat loss. And look, I've spent decades working on issues like grizzly bears and wolves. But what those issues are at bottom is agriculture because we are grazing in grizzly and wolf territory. And so much of habitat loss, whether it be land or polluted waters, is driving other biodiversity loss.So in addition to that, what I was going to mention is the environmental laws that you're probably familiar with, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act have actually done a pretty good job of addressing air and water pollution from industrial sources, from the energy sector. But they really have not done a very good job addressing air and water pollution from agriculture, whether it be these hundreds of millions of acres of row crops. Or these hundreds of million acres of grazing. Or these more industrial scale facilities where thousands or tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of animals are crammed together into buildings — those are called concentrated animal feeding operations. Those are now the largest source of water pollution in the country.David RobertsDid the laws pass over them or just inadequately address them?Peter LehnerA little bit of both. What happened was in 1972, say, when the Clean Water Act was passed, Congress really wasn't thinking that much about agriculture. But also agriculture has changed tremendously since then. It has become so much more industrial. So that a small number of facilities that are gargantuan produce, for example, almost all of our meat, but those didn't exist in 1970. And as you probably know, in the Clean Water Act, it did a good job dealing with pollution coming out of a pipe. But pollution, say, coming off of city streets, that's called non-point source pollution.The regulation was much less strong, and they relied more on grants and education and sort of nudges, as we say. And much of agriculture — 400 million acres of cropland, 800 million acres of grazing land — that's not, by and large, water pollution coming out of a pipe. So essentially, the Clean Water Act doesn't cover it. And similarly, the Clean Air Act does a great job of addressing stuff coming out of smokestacks. And while there's some, like from these concentrated animal feeding operations, there's very concentrated air pollution coming out of the vents. But out of all of those acres of cropland and grazing land, those are called area sources under the Clean Air Act and are addressed much, much less.But still, air pollution from agriculture, I bet this would surprise most of your readers, kills about 17,000 people a year. It's a major source of air pollution in this country.And that is mostly methane or other criteria pollutants?Methane is actually one of the ways agriculture drives climate change. It's actually other pollutants, largely ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which come from overfertilization and animal waste. And ammonia is a major precursor to the fine particulate matter that gets into our lungs and causes disease and kills us.David RobertsWhich we're finding out, as I've covered on the pod, is worse. You known, every time a new round of science comes out, we find out it's worse than we thought.Peter LehnerYeah. And in a place like, say, the San Joaquin Valley in central California, which has some of the worst air quality in the country, almost all of that PM, that fine particulate matter, is driven by animal agriculture.David RobertsAnd I'm also going to guess maybe you're going to get to this, but that when you take wild land and make it into agricultural land, the land subsequently captures and holds less carbon.Peter LehnerMuch less carbon. So one of the reasons why I think people don't realize that agriculture drives about as much climate change as our transportation sector is — and think about that for a minute, it drives as much climate change as our transportation sector — and yet most of the time there are conversations about climate change and conversations about agriculture. But until recently, those have been two separate conversations. Say in 2018, when we were working on the Farm Bill then, there was virtually no discussion of climate change in the 2018 Farm Bill.David RobertsI'll admit I don't think of it that way in the mental category in my head when I'm thinking about major sources.Peter LehnerYeah, well, why is that? I think that's because when we think about climate change, most people think about climate change, you think about burning fossil fuels and releasing carbon dioxide.David RobertsRight.Peter LehnerAnd that's climate change for most people. Agriculture's contribution to climate change has some of that. Agriculture uses actually a fair amount of energy for, say, irrigation and tractors and of course, food processing later on down the road. But most of agriculture's contribution to climate change is from other sources.David RobertsRight. Which is to say that even if we clean up energy sources, which everybody is working on, and even if the energy inputs to agriculture, you drive the tractors with whatever, electric tractors or electric irrigators, whatever, even if it's zero carbon energy fueling agriculture, that still leaves most of agriculture's contribution to climate change untouched.Peter LehnerExactly, that's true. And even more frightening, even if we do clean up our energy system and our industrial system to a no carbon situation where we hope to of course, that's where we're putting so much effort into, we will still almost certainly face catastrophic climate change because of the contribution of agriculture alone. In other words, if we do everything else perfectly and we don't change our agriculture system and don't address agriculture's contribution to climate change, we are blowing past 1.5 degrees centigrade, blowing past two degrees.David RobertsSo you think just taking the U.S.: The U.S. can't meet its stated Paris climate targets without reforming agriculture?Peter LehnerThat's basically correct. So let me explain a minute why this is the case. Agriculture's contribution to climate change: First, think about methane, which you've mentioned most people think about methane, oil and gas, right?David RobertsYeah.Peter LehnerActually, cows and animal agriculture emit more methane in the U.S. and around the world than the oil and gas sector. Most of that methane is called enteric methane. It's essentially belching and exhaling of cows. And their stomachs are different than ours. That's why they can eat grass in a way that you and I can't. But every time they breathe out, they're breathing out a lot of methane. So that is an enormous source of methane, which I'm sure your listeners know is more than 80 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over 20 years.David RobertsNobody thought they're innovating a better cow, are they? That seems like fewer cows is the only solution to that. I mean, maybe we're going to touch on solutions later so maybe we should save this. But just like that doesn't seem like a technologically solvable problem. You just need fewer cows.Peter LehnerMost studies have shown that fewer cows, and therefore the consequent part of that is shifting diets to less beef-heavy is one of the fastest, most effective and cost-effective climate strategies and really has to be a part of any strategy. There are things you can do. Breeding has reduced the methane emissions per pound of beef. The way you raise the cows can make a difference. The way you graze them can make a difference. How long they live before they're slaughtered can make a difference. There is some research into feed additives that you'd feed cows, and that changes the bacteria in their gut to produce a little less methane.David RobertsOh, interesting.Peter LehnerAnd all of these are important. There's not one solution. But I think what is unfortunate is sometimes it's viewed by industry as only a technical solution. And the reality is it has to be both technical and essentially demand side. So, the other way methane is produced is manure. There's all those animals. We've got about 50 times more waste produced by animals than by humans in the United States.David Roberts50 times more?Peter LehnerYeah. Those animals produce a lot of waste. One dairy cow, for example, can produce about as much waste as 200 people.David RobertsJesus Christ.Peter LehnerSo all that waste, most of it sits in lagoons or essentially is handled in such a way that it creates a lot of methane. So that's another way that methane is produced and agriculture contributes to climate change.David RobertsWhen people talk about lagoons, I just want to clarify here, they just take all the manure and slough it into a giant pond of manure where it then sits. Is that what people are talking about when they talk about lagoons? There's not any fancy technical. It's just a big pool full of crap.Peter LehnerThat's basically correct. And that's the dominant way in both pig farms and dairy farms, we handle our waste. To get technical, when you put the manure into a big pit like this, because it's wet, there's water, it's transported by water, it is anaerobic. That means it doesn't have oxygen. So as it decomposes, it releases methane. And that is a really significant source of methane all around the country and contributes both locally, but also obviously, majorly to climate change. And I should say rice, also, rice production, also, if you think about it again, you have the image of a rice patty, it's flooded. So you have organic matter decomposing in an anaerobic, without oxygen, system releasing methane. But by far, most methane is from cow belching.David RobertsThat's the big source.Peter LehnerYes.David RobertsBigger than manure.Peter LehnerBigger than manure. Although manure is also very big, I don't want to minimize that. And the two together, again, are more than the oil and gas sector.David RobertsThat is wild. There's so much attention going to oil and gas methane right now, EPA rules coming, there's international treaties being signed, like on and on.Peter LehnerYep. And there should be. We obviously need to address those sources of methane. I think that what is often forgotten is we also have to address these other sources of methane. So the other reason it gets confusing is the other two ways agriculture contributes to climate change are also very different than burning fossil fuels. The second is that almost all of that cropland uses a lot of fertilizer. By and large, in the U.S. and around the world, people put on a lot more fertilizer than the plants take up, and a lot of nitrogen is added to the ground that is not absorbed by the plant.So where does that nitrogen go? Some of it runs off into the water, and then it causes eutrophication, algae outbreaks. It causes the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. It seeps into groundwater: You have heard of blue baby syndrome, which is too much nitrate in the groundwater. But some of it also goes into the air. And some of it goes into the air as NOx, which is sort of a local smog causing pollution. And some of it goes into the air as nitrous oxide. N2O nitrous oxide, which is about 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and also one of the major drivers of ozone depletion, stratospheric ozone depletion.So this is a major source of climate change, nitrous oxide pollution alone, virtually all of which comes from agriculture, virtually all of which is this overfertilization and some coming from these manure pits that we talked about before. That alone is about 5% or six percent of U.S. greenhouse gases.David RobertsOh, wow.Peter LehnerSo again, it's not burning fossil fuels, but a major contribution to climate change. And then the last way agriculture contributes to climate change is what you alluded to earlier. When you convert land, say, native grasslands or forest in Brazil or forest in the U.S. to cropland, you take this carbon that is in those healthy soils or in the grass or in the trees, and you release it, and that goes into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. So you get two things: One is you get this slug of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when you convert land, this conversion of land from grassland to forest.But then the second part, which EPA is only beginning to really pay attention to, is what you can think of as the lost sequestration capacity. Healthy land, grassland, forest, land is this very dynamic, wonderful system that is sequestering carbon and storing carbon. And by contrast, cropland is really — the way we treat it often is largely biologically dead. It has very little carbon life in it. And that's why we have to put so many fertilizers in it.David RobertsIs that just because of monocrops? Is that just an inevitable result of monocrops?Peter LehnerI'm not sure it's absolutely inevitable. It's in large part because of the way we grow in these sort of chemical dependent monocultures, for sure. So you have both this slug of carbon when you convert land. But, hey, look, a lot of our cropland in the U.S. was converted 100 years ago. Every year, that is not sequestering nearly as much as it could. So you were losing the sequestration capacity. That 800 million acres of grazing land — think about that, it's about 40% of the contiguous U.S. And it has been overgrazed for decades. There are reports of John Wesley Powell going out west and saying, "Whoa!"He was sent out to look after exploring some more remote areas. But everywhere he saw cattle, he said the land is getting degraded. In 1934, Congress tried to address overgrazing and erosion and soil degradation. And then 1976, they tried to do it again, so far, really not to much avail, with the result that you have hundreds of millions of acres that aren't sequestering the carbon they could.David RobertsYeah, this came up in our Biofuels discussion a few weeks ago, too. A lot of new thinking about biofuels is taking that sort of counterfactual sequestration into account.Peter LehnerExactly. And you did a great podcast with my colleague Dan Lashof, and we're working together on biofuels. That was a great podcast you did there. So if you add all of this up, what you see is that agriculture has this enormous contribution to climate change, but it's so different than the way most people think about climate change. And what happens also is EPA sort of thinks about it differently. So, first of all, their classic greenhouse gas inventory puts, say, on farm energy in a different category. They don't put that in agriculture. They put that in energy, or they put that in the manufacturer fertilizer, which itself is enormously energy intensive and releases a lot of CO2.That's in a different chapter. Land use conversion, that carbon that I was telling you about, they put that in a different chapter, and they don't even think about, in their greenhouse gas inventory about the lost sequestration capacity, this opportunity cost. So if you just look at the inventory, EPA says that agriculture contributes about 11% of U.S. greenhouse gases. But if you actually think of agriculture as a sector all, what really goes into agriculture, and you include the land use impacts, which, as I said, are usually left out, that's where you get that agriculture is basically in a par with transportation and is about a quarter drives about a quarter of climate change.And then, if you include the rest of the food system, the processing, et cetera.David RobertsFood waste.Peter LehnerAnd food waste, of course, rotting in landfills, you've got about a third or more of climate change is driven by our food system. And that's why unless we change our food system, we're not going to address climate change adequately.David RobertsWild, okay. I want to get to the Farm Bill, but one final question, which is just my — and again, this is sort of my impression from the outside over the year — is that the agriculture industry has a level of power and influence in political circles that I think most people don't appreciate. That sort of makes the oil and gas sector look like patty cakes. It's amazing. I will never forget that Oprah — I don't know if other listeners are old enough to remember this — but Oprah said on her show once, basically, "You know, beef's bad, it's not very healthy and it destroys the environment."And got taken to task by the agriculture industry and they basically took her down and forced her to publicly apologize. And if you can take Oprah down, you've got muscle.Peter LehnerYeah. And it is certainly true. There's no question that the conventional or industrial agriculture lobby is very powerful in Congress. I would point out that there's a lot of great farmers who are trying to do things right and are working to produce food, healthy food, in a sustainable way. And we work with groups like the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, which is itself a coalition of a lot of these groups, I wish they had the political power that conventional AG does because they do great stuff and they are really examples of what we want to be doing, how we can produce food in a way that doesn't pollute our air and water and that rebuilds soil health.But unfortunately, the political power is with the agrochemical industries, which are very dominant. They say the meat processing companies, four companies control 85% of the beef market. These are enormously politically powerful.David RobertsSo the Farm Bill then, before we get into the details of what the Farm Bill might do or what you want it to do, let's just talk about the Farm Bill as such. This is something that they pass every year or a set number of years because it just like comes up periodically. Is this something they have to do every session?Peter LehnerNo. So, the Farm Bill is so important, and for a long time, really, when it comes up, it's really only the farm community that pays attention to it. And I think what I hope you've heard is that everybody should pay attention to it. And that's why the Farm Bill is far more important than people realize. For all of us who eat, for all of us who breathe, for all of us who drink, the Farm Bill has an enormous impact. So what is the Farm Bill? The Farm Bill was first passed actually in the Depression in 1933. There was the Depression and hunger.There was the Dust Bowl, there was the crisis on farms. And so Congress stepped in. And I can give you a long history and I won't. But basically Congress did two things. One, they tried to address the hunger and they also tried to restrict supply, pay farmers not to produce, to keep prices high. And sometimes also buy some surplus to give that to the hungry also, but as a way of keeping the surplus off the market and keeping prices high.David RobertsThat's why the Farm Bill has this weird structure where it has food subsidies for the poor in it, which I think, on the surface, seems like just an odd artifact.Peter LehnerYeah. And it's also essentially a political marriage. So, the Farm Bill, on one hand, provides nutrition assistance, now called SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, formerly Food SNAP, that helps feed about 45 million Americans every year, and that right now provides about $75-80 billion a year. It also then provides about $20 billion a year in farm subsidies. And ever since it was passed in 1933, it was amended a few times. But basically, it has to get reenacted, reauthorized every five years. And if it doesn't, these programs on which so many people depend basically stop. They won't continue without being reauthorized.So the last Farm Bill that was fully enacted was in 2018, and so it expired September 30, 2023. There was still a little extra money hanging around, so we had a couple of months. But then what Congress just did a couple of weeks ago in the continuing resolution that funded the government up to January 19, they also agreed to extend the Farm Bill until September 30, 2024.David RobertsSuch a rational —Peter LehnerYeah, exactly. We're covered right now. But it ends up being enormously important because it provides this nutrition assistance for, as I said, 45 million Americans. Really important. And it also has a series of different programs that provide enormous subsidies to farmers. And those subsidies, when you put them together, have an enormous impact on what is grown, where it's grown, how it's grown, and all of that for the reasons I was just explaining about how agriculture affects our environment, and climate change has an enormous impact on the environment. And that's why the Farm Bill is actually the most important environmental law Congress is going to address in the next couple of years.And unlike our other environmental laws that haven't been amended for decades, this one is amended every five years.David RobertsI'm so interested in the SNAP thing. I mean, it's a big safety net program, correct? That's been around since 1933, I am assuming, in fact, I know to be the case that conservatives hate social safety programs generally, and I bet they hate SNAP. So what is the magic sauce that has allowed this extremely large subsidy for poor people to survive what I can only assume are repeated conservative attempts to weaken or get rid of it? Is there some reason it has stayed in? How has it survived, I guess, is what I'm asking.Peter LehnerLook, I'm not the super political expert here, but what people have said who know this and have worked with this is, you essentially have a marriage. You have the Democrats that support the Nutrition Assistance Program, and by and large, Republicans support the farmer subsidies and neither has enough support to get either of those through separately. And in some ways there's something good there, which is that the Farm Bill has always been pretty bipartisan. And for example, right now Senator Stabenow, who is the Democratic Chair of the Senate AG Committee, and Senator Boozman who's the Republican ranking member of the Senate AG Committee, are really trying to work together because history is that this Farm Bill doesn't get passed unless it's bipartisan.David RobertsDefinitionally it will have to be this time, right?Peter LehnerExactly.David RobertsIt's going to have to go through a Republican House and a Democratic Senate. I mean, is it viewed is it widely accepted as sort of must pass, like they are going to figure something out or is there any chance at all that it could just lapse?Peter LehnerI don't think there's really any chance it would just lapse because that would largely end these programs on which so many Americans, both the Americans who need it for food — and by the way, it's often thought of as though those are urban Americans and rural Americans are the farmers. That's not the case. There are people all around the country and in many places rural communities at even higher rates that depend on SNAP assistance, on food assistance. So this is really important to everybody. And of course producing food is important. So the farm safety net is important.What could happen is, I suppose, even though I think both the House and the Senate agriculture leaders are saying they're going to work very hard to get a new Farm Bill out in the spring of 2024, if that doesn't happen, potentially they could just extend it for another year the way they just did.David RobertsThat does seem like the way we do things.Peter LehnerRight. It's not ideal, but I don't think, and people who know this area better than I do, I don't think the chances of the law just ending completely is really in the cards.David RobertsSo they're going to figure something out, so they're going to pass something. So this is a chance to get some good things through.Peter LehnerRight. And there's some good things in. And I should say one of the important elements here is the Inflation Reduction Act. And you've probably talked about that a lot and mostly focused on the many billions of dollars that went to clean energy programs. But the Inflation Reduction Act also put $20 billion into essentially Farm Bill programs, preexisting Farm Bill programs, which pay farmers to implement conservation measures. And those have always been oversubscribed, which means more farmers apply for this assistance than can get it. So the Inflation Reduction Act put an extra close to $20 billion over four years into these conservation programs, but with a twist, which we think is terrific.Most of these conservation programs are for a wide range of resource concerns: water quality, air quality, habitat, and others. In the Inflation Reduction Act these have to be conservation practices focused on reducing net greenhouse gases.David RobertsInteresting.Peter LehnerSo this was the first time — in the Inflation Reduction Act — that Congress really, in any way, really linked agriculture and climate change and said, "Here's $20 extra billion, but you got to spend it on climate change."David RobertsRight. So AG did not get completely overlooked then, in this last session, in this last round, because yeah, I hadn't really paid attention to that. I had kind of thought it was like the redheaded stepchild that got passed over. So there is $20 billion is not pocket change either.Peter LehnerNo, it's a lot of money. As I said, right now, the core Farm Bill gives farmers about $20 billion in subsidies every year. But most of those subsidies are not for conservation programs. A lot of that is for what are called either commodity support, where essentially a farmer gets paid, based on what he grew in the past, if the market price or his revenue goes below a certain price. So it's essentially a price guarantee called the reference price.David RobertsIt's an extremely Soviet sector of our economy.Peter LehnerYeah. And it's largely almost three-quarters of that goes to corn and soybean, which of course, is largely used either for animal feed or for ethanol. And then we also have crop insurance, which, again, that makes a lot of sense. We all want to eat. We need food security, there should be crop insurance. In this case, the premiums are very heavily subsidized by the taxpayer. Over 60% subsidized. And again, over about three-quarters of crop insurance went to corn, soy, wheat and cotton, those four big crops. And what happens, the environmental impact of that is it encourages farmers to essentially plant in riskier areas, which tend to be the more ecologically sensitive areas, because if it works out, they get all the benefit, and if it doesn't work out, the taxpayer funded crop insurance pays them off.David RobertsLittle moral hazard there.Peter LehnerRight, exactly. And then the last bit is these conservation programs, which got this big boost in the Inflation Reduction Act.David RobertsIs there any reason to think that that 20 billion is threatened in some way, or is that pretty secure? Is that part of the Farm Bill fight those subsidies?Peter LehnerYou nailed it. Absolutely. Much of what we've been hearing are ideas of how to essentially — we think of it as a raid on that money, that $20 billion. And some would say, well, let's put it to a broader range of conservation issues like irrigation or something, and others would say keep it within agriculture, but instead let's use it to sort of lift, say, the price guarantee that peanut farmers get. And we have been pushing very hard to try to keep this money and keep it climate focused. And fortunately, Senator Stabenow, who, as I said, is the chair of the Senate AG Committee, has been very, very firm.She has repeatedly said that it's not going to happen that we're going to lose this. Because this is really an extraordinary investment. It's big boost in conservation funding and the fact that it is climate focused is really important because this is where there has not been enough attention over the past and where there's really great opportunities. I think it's important just to pause for a moment and just remind there's a lot of things farmers can do, and some farmers are already doing, that can make a big difference in how much nitrous oxide you release, how much methane you release, how much carbon is stored in your soil. And the trouble is most of those practices are only used on about 2% or 3% of American farmland.So we know what we want to do and this is a way to really accelerate the adoption of those practices.David RobertsSo would you say that's the biggest priority here, the biggest fight, the biggest priority for the Farm Bill is preserving that money for its intended purpose?Peter LehnerYes, with a slight caveat. One is we definitely want to save the Inflation Reduction Act money, but the Farm Bill money is separate. The Inflation Reduction Act directed additional money into Farm Bill programs. But the Farm Bill itself provides money. And so we're going to want to be sure that we continue what's called the baseline amount of funding for the conservation programs in the Farm Bill and ideally make sure that those are better targeted, also more closely targeted to climate issues. And actually the federal government itself, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service has studied these practices that they're funding and they themselves have found that some of them are actually counterproductive.Needless to say, we'd like to say let's not have the taxpayer subsidize practices that the government itself recognizes are counterproductive. Let's focus on the best practices, the ones that have the best climate and environmental impact. And since there's a lot of farmer interest in these, let's really put our money where it can make the biggest difference.David RobertsYeah. So fights over the money and you mentioned also in your blogs on this subject, speaking of research, that AG research in general is undercooked, underfunded. Is there a chance to get more of that in the Farm Bill?Peter LehnerWe are certainly hoping. And again, there's two or three elements of that under President Obama, he started these climate hubs which were really areas to focus on climate aspects of agriculture. There's been a lot of research but most of it has been on productivity and what you can think of as just classic conventional agriculture chemicals. So one is to get more research. Unfortunately, publicly funded research has dropped in the U.S. And when that gets its place taken by private funded research; it's not on things like climate change, it's on things like seeds that you can sell.And then the other is that that research — so, we need more, we need it to be better focused on sustainable practices rather than on unsustainable practices. And we need it to be essentially guaranteed because research is a long-term process. If you just do it for a couple of years, you may not, especially in agriculture, things take time. And so, we need a long-term commitment to these climate hubs and to research and sustainable agriculture. There was a study done by, I think it was UC Davis — I'm not sure — that every dollar in agricultural research has over $20 in payback.It's one of the most cost-effective ways we can spend research dollars. So that's a real opportunity for us.David RobertsAnd you also mentioned the crop insurance program, which I think most — even if you just explain that to a person on the street, the opportunities for that to encourage bad behavior seem quite obvious from the structure of the thing. Are substantial reforms to that on the table at all, or is that a subject of discussion?Peter LehnerI think it's a subject of some discussion and a lot of people in different ways want to make sure we get the best benefit. They recognize we do want crop insurance because it's important to recognize crops are sort of different. Most insurance is sort of trying to pool risk. So if my house burns down, I get covered. But if my house burns down, it probably doesn't mean your house is burning down. But with crops, if I have a bad crop, chances are my neighbor does too. That's why I think some amount of government involvement in crop insurance makes sense.You really have to sort of spread the risk around. And of course, food security is really important for our country. So we want to keep crop insurance, but we also want to do it to incentivize behavior that minimizes risk. And in particular, as climate change is affecting farmers more and more with droughts and floods and changing weather patterns and increased pests, we'd like to ensure that our crop insurance system is encouraging farmers to use practices that minimize risk. Unfortunately, right now a lot of the practices that farmers use actually enhance risk. They make them more vulnerable to floods and droughts.And the good news here is that many of the same practices that the Inflation Reduction Act will be funding that will help mitigate or curb climate change will also help farmers adapt or prepare for climate change or better respond and manage climate change. The same ones that mitigate can help build resilience. And that's a real opportunity.David RobertsAnd what about the Rural Energy for America program, REAP as it's called? This came up when I raised the subject on Twitter. This came up a couple of times. Is that on your radar?Peter LehnerIt is not as much. So, I'm not an expert. But there again, there was money in the Inflation Reduction Act to help convert some of the rural energies, which I remember from my time working on energy are some of the dirtiest parts of the power sector and there's great opportunity in rural communities. One thing they have is a lot of land. And so it's a great opportunity to shift from, say, an old dirty coal plant to solar and wind. And I think that's what the Inflation Reduction Act funding will help accelerate.David RobertsAnd the final thing you mentioned in your blogs was transparency. This is another thing where on the energy side I've been following, there's a lot of talk about this, a lot of talk about like California just passed a law that forces large industrial users to report their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. So there's a lot of work on transparency on the energy side, I'm guessing giant AG corporations are not super transparent. What can be done on that front?Peter LehnerWell, we need to keep pushing that. That is a real problem. And I think it's a problem both in the specifics that there's very little transparency and it's not over agriculture's contribution to climate change, but agriculture's conventional air pollution. I mentioned earlier that say these concentrated animal feeding operations are the country's largest sources of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, which are poisonous gases. And EPA for a long time exempted them from reporting under the federal statutes. And we actually sued EPA and said that exemption was illegal and the court agreed with us. And then the industry was powerful enough during the Trump administration to get Congress to amend the environmental laws —David RobertsHoly crap.Peter Lehnerto exempt them from — and again, this is just reporting their poisonous emissions.David RobertsIs there any plausible cover story for that or is that just a pure power play like we don't want to?Peter LehnerIt's hard not to see it as a power play because of course, reporting is, I think, by industry seen as the first step to potential oversight or regulation.David RobertsHeaven forbid.Peter LehnerWe were talking earlier how nobody really understands how much agriculture contributes to climate change. And of course, if they don't understand that, there's going to be no pressure politically to address that contribution. And unfortunately, right now, agriculture doesn't have to report their greenhouse gas emissions. There's been a rider in Congress for almost a decade prohibiting EPA from making industrial agriculture report its greenhouse gas emissions. And there's already proposals in Congress that if the SEC rule requiring reporting ever comes out to try to exempt agriculture from that, there has been pushback in almost every way of having agriculture to report their emissions.And the sad reality is these emissions are real. They're either causing climate change or they're causing local air pollution or both. And not reporting them doesn't mean they don't cause climate change. It just means we're not going to address them as effectively. So it's really important that people begin to understand that this is a sector that has tremendous impact and we've got to be much more open about it so that we can address it in a way that makes sense. And look, we all eat: We need to have a food sector. Nobody is saying that we should get rid of the food sector in any way.Agriculture is super important, not only to the country overall, but to every state. But we also know enough today to be able to produce healthier food in a much more sustainable way.David RobertsYeah, you've laid out some specific stuff that sort of climate aware people are pursuing here. Preserving the IRA money for conservation programs, beefing up those conservation programs, aiming those conservation programs more at climate change, beefing up research, reforming the federal crop insurance program, increasing transparency. Give me a sort of realpolitik assessment. How should we think about the chances of these good things happening? Unlike on the energy side, where nothing passing at all was always an extremely real and looming possibility here, something's got to pass. Right? So what do you think are the chances of this good stuff getting in there?Like what's? Sort of the balance of political forces? And I'm thinking specifically about the House, the Republican House, which is, as you might have heard, insane and incompetent.Peter LehnerSo I think breaking it into two pieces: Senator Stabenow is so strong on protecting the climate focused conservation funding of the Inflation Reduction Act that I would like to feel that we can think that that will remain. And that's really important. And that, of course, is going to be helping. I think it's important to remember this is money that then goes to hundreds of thousands of farmers who want to spend the money in good ways.David RobertsThis is not against farmers. None of this is against farmers.Peter LehnerNot at all. More farmers have applied for these programs than could get it. Two out of three farmers in the past have been turned away because we didn't have enough money. So this is money that is going right to farmers doing exactly what they want and what we as a country want. So that's really great. I think 2018 may be a bit of a lesson for us. In 2018, the House of Representatives passed a Farm Bill with one party. The Republicans passed a very extreme Farm Bill, unlike any before. It had always been bipartisan in both houses.And then the Senate sort of ignored that and passed a bipartisan bill that was really much, much better. And then the House came around and adopted the Senate bill. So I hope something like that may happen again. I think the Senate is going to be working hard to come up with a bipartisan bill that will make some climate improvements along the way. There's also, I should say, a long history of discrimination and of unequal access to Farm Bill programs for farmers of color. And this administration is doing a lot to try to address that, to really make sure the money is getting to farmers that have been underserved in the past.And I think we will see some improvements on that score in the Senate Farm Bill. And my guess is that although there may be some noise at the House beforehand, one can be hopeful that at the end of the day, the House will go in the direction of a more reasonable bill from the Senate.David RobertsYeah, it seems like clowning around and embarrassing themselves for a while and then just sheepishly doing what they should have done all along seems to be the pattern they've set so far. So maybe that'll happen again.Peter LehnerYeah, that happened in 2018.David RobertsYes, I know. It's like the House Republican special. I hate to be in a position where I'm depending on the U.S. Senate for anything good in life, but here we are. So a lot of this seems like I don't want to say small ball, but let's say there's nothing fundamental here on the table in the Farm Bill. We're nibbling around the edges, beefing up existing programs, tweaking existing programs. So I want you to imagine — free yourself from the fetters of politics for a while — imagine some bright future day when Democrats have another trifecta and they have, for whatever reason, power to do big things, another big swing at climate, because there are a lot, I think everybody sort of acknowledges, IRA was a big deal, but there are definitely pieces of the puzzle that IRA did not get to.And so say there's Democratic majorities and Democratic will to do big things on climate in the next Farm Bill. Think big for me here, just for a few minutes. What kind of things would you like to see that would be more transformative?Peter LehnerWell, I would focus on two. One, I mentioned earlier we would have a crop insurance program that really benefits crop risk reducing behavior, which also is climate change mitigating behavior. And so instead of just having the conservation programs encouraging behavior or practices on farms that we want to encourage, you have the much bigger and much more important crop insurance program doing that.David RobertsAnd that's stuff like just rotating crops and —Peter LehnerRotating crops, cover crops, adding trees to pasture land and to crops. Having a diversity. Part of the way you can be more resilient is having a diversity of crops if you have nothing but one crop, if there's any problem there, you're in big trouble. And diversity is both biologically much more stable, but it's also economically a lot more stable.David RobertsAnd we should note and this is, I guess, implied and obvious, but I'm just going to say it explicitly anyway if farmers were not completely insured against the risks of giant monocropping, they would naturally be moving towards more variety just to protect themselves, right? It's only because they are protected entirely by this crop insurance program that they're not buffering themselves more against risk in this way.Peter LehnerThat's certainly what you're seeing, that the farmers that are using more sustainable approaches tend to be growing a much wider range of crops and products. So they have that economic as well as biological diversity. But the other big thing that would be great to change right now, the Farm Bill directly and indirectly, very heavily supports animal agriculture. And for the reasons that I mentioned, that is where most of the climate change contribution from agriculture comes from. It's the animal manure, it's the cows belching, it is the production of animal feed. And it's animal feed is very inefficient.It takes about 15 pounds of grain to get a pound of beef. And corn is the most heavily fertilized with nitrogen fertilizer crop. And all of that nitrogen fertilizer, as I mentioned, not all of it, but a lot of it is running off as nitrous oxide. So all of this animal agriculture, which also uses up that 800 million acres of grazing land and therefore losing carbon, has this huge climate impact. It also, frankly, is unhealthy. It also isn't great for biodiversity.David RobertsYeah, I mean, beef is bad. People hate to hear this and no one wants to say it publicly, but beef is bad down the line. Pick your lens: health, you know, ecology, economics, concentration of wealth. I mean, name it.Peter LehnerWRI has some great charts. They're a great organization that compares the climate, water and land use footprint of different foods. And you will see that beef is just far more than any other food that we have. So right now, the Farm Bill really heavily supports that and provides almost no support to plant-based alternatives to a healthier diet. And if you think of what we've done in the energy system, we tried to clean up coal plants, we tried to switch to inherently clean energy like solar and wind, and we tried to reduce demand by energy efficiency.Right now, most of what we talk about in agriculture is just that first one, just trying to clean up existing production. We have to think about both shifting to inherently cleaner way of getting food and that is, for example, a plant-based diet or plant-based alternatives. And it doesn't have to be going vegan. This is just Americans eat many times more meat than any other culture. We could still have plenty of meat and eat much less than we are now, with much less of an impact. And the Farm Bill can make a big difference there.People love to think that this is all cultural, but it's also economic. Right now, meat is cheap because taxpayers pay for a lot of the bill. And that can be balanced in a Farm Bill where taxpayer subsidies, the subsidies in the farm Bill are supporting a healthier, more climate friendly food system rather than a food system that is so focused on these products that have a very big climate impact.David RobertsYeah, I hate that cultural argument. I just have to say you see that in transportation too. You have decades of public policy supporting automobile infrastructure such that average people just living normal lives have to drive all the time. And then you get a bunch of people saying, "oh, it's just cultural, Americans just like their cars." That's not really it. And I think it's really the same with beef. This whole idea that Americans just have some sort of inherent love of big steaks, big meat, it's so ridiculous. I always find that absurd, although that is a real third rail.Peter LehnerYeah, that's where economics makes a difference. And right now, as I said, we're subsidizing foods that tend to have a larger environmental impact and frankly, are less healthy, and we could and should be subsidizing food that is healthier. For example, good old fruits and vegetables get comparatively much, much less support in the Farm Bill.David RobertsYeah, that's crazy. When do you think, and this will really be the final question, but when I think about all the kind of cultural hot button issues that are involved in climate change and decarbonization, I mean, there are millions. Like, we just went through this gas stove nonsense last year. But no hot button issue is hotter of a button for some reason than diets and meat. Meat in diets is just like — we're talking about Oprah — just like you can't go there. So when do you think we'll reach a point where a mainstream politician will actually broach the subject, "hey, we should encourage Americans to eat less meat" and just say it outright?Is that ever going to happen?Peter LehnerWell, Cory Booker is already saying that to some extent, and he's very aware of this impact. Part of the reason it gets so derailed is people tend to view it as an all or nothing. And we make food choices three times a day. There are a lot of chances to just slightly shift to a diet with more fruits and vegetables. And it doesn't have to mean you're going 100% vegan and just in the same way that we can shift our transportation system — and maybe you drive a little less and you take mass transit a little more — it doesn't mean you will never, ever get into a car again.So I think the conversation about diets has been, unfortunately, torqued, and actually it makes even less sense. You will only buy a car maybe once every ten years, but, as I said, you make dietary choices three times a day, and you also have the health benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables. So it's a great opportunity. But again, I think it's important in terms of what policy can do is partly it's what foods say, for example, the federal government itself buys. But it's also in the farm Bill, which is so important to every environmental matter that we care about.It can also be supporting healthier foods and more so than it does today. That way you'd have a farm Bill that is encouraging farmers to grow different foods in places with less environmental impact in a way that is more sustainable. And that's, again, it's why this Farm Bill, most people don't think about, has this environmental impact far in excess of virtually anything else that Congress will be addressing.David RobertsAwesome. Well, Peter, thanks so much for coming on. I've been meaning to do this for ages, and it sounds like this was the right time to do it. So thank you so much for clarifying this whole subject matter for me more. As you could tell, I wandered into it more or less ignorant. So this has been absolutely fascinating. Thank you for taking the time.Peter LehnerThank you for your interest. It's great to spread the word on this; it's so important.David RobertsThank you for listening to the Volts podcast. It is ad-free, powered entirely by listeners like you. If you value conversations like this, please consider becoming a paid Volts subscriber at volts.wtf. Yes, that's volts.wtf. So that I can continue doing this work. Thank you so much, and I'll see you next time. Get full access to Volts at www.volts.wtf/subscribe
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Mental health is a huge and growing problem, and psychedelic medicine is suddenly on a fast track toward legalization. Ayahuasca is a traditional medicine used in the Amazon for hundreds of years as part of healing ceremonies. Its use has been largely confined to retreat settings, but as mental health professionals seek new options for treating depression, anxiety, and PTSD among other conditions, many are looking to the past to inform the future of psychiatric medicine. My guest on this week's podcast is at the forefront of the movement. Listen and learn: About the curious combination of plants that create this drug Set and setting considerations for traditional use Legal and safety concerns Ceremonial vs. clinical use The “pill for an ill” risk vs. the reality of potential benefits Learn more Simon's Site ABOUT OUT GUEST Dr. Simon Ruffell is a psychiatrist known for his research on ayahuasca and study of curanderismo. Since 2016, he has collaborated with Indigenous communities in the Amazon basin to investigate the traditional use of ayahuasca and its effects on mental health. Like the Show? Leave us a review Check out our YouTube channel Visit www.yogabody.com