In this extended episode, we feature a special conversation between our own Dr. Matt Waggoner, Professor of Philosophy at Albertus Magnus College, and Mr. David Roberts, writer and host of Volts: a podcast about the technology, politics, and climate change. For twenty years, David has been a nationally recognized voice on climate change, clean energy and the politics of both - and in doing so, he has put into action his training in the humanities: English literature and philosophy.
Matt and David talk about David’s studies, his early career, and how the philosophy of pragmatism, in particular, motivated his move into political writing. They go on to explore the importance of systems thinking, not just personalities; the political history of climate change; and the relative roles in politics today of reason on the one hand, and power on the other. And they don’t hesitate to get into the weeds, tackling a range of practical questions: how can changing material conditions lead to new ways of thinking? How do you actually build a constituency willing to fight for change? And what are the benefits of walkable cities, compared to cities built for cars?
Both Matt and David show plainly how training in the humanities can hit the ground and enable us to make a real difference in our world.