Triple Bottom Line

Beyond Capitalism. What Comes Next?

April 13, 2022 Kit Webster / Taylor Martin
Triple Bottom Line
Beyond Capitalism. What Comes Next?
Show Notes Transcript

Kit Webster, c-level executive, author, engineer, instructor, speaker, and voracious reader of all things about the human condition, sustainability, and our future. Kit has worked across many countries, cultures, business markets, and brings an unbiased viewpoint of what comes after capitalism. We speak about his recently published book: Capitalism is past its sell-by date. This episode provides a clearer picture of where the human race is at in its fight against climate change and sustainability. Listen up!  www.linkedin.com/in/kit-webster-57518b

Support the show

Triple Bottom Line Podcast - Beyond Capitalism [Episode 15]

[Upbeat theme music plays] 

Female Voice Over 

[00:00:03] Welcome to the Triple Bottom Line, where we reveal how today’s business leaders are reaching a new level of success with a people-planet-profit approach. And here is your host, Taylor Martin!

Taylor Martin:

Hello and welcome, everybody. I have a very interesting speaker for today. He has had many different types of jobs in his life but always in an executive status. He’s been a chief executive officer, a president, chief financial officer for public and private companies. He holds a master’s in electrical engineering from Rice University. He’s also a certified public accountant. 

He also personally has a deep love of history and theater and a fascination with religion and humanity’s relationship with reality which, when I read that, I was like, whoa, where is this going? He’s also read many books on history, philosophy, religion, psychology and, basically, human condition. He’s been someone who’s been reading up on this for quite some time, but he sees it through the lens of a business management. I think that’s incredibly important because I think we should really understand who’s speaking with us today and who it is Kit Webster. Kit, can you tell our listeners a little bit more about your background, how you got to be where you are and tell us – fill in some of the gaps that I left out? 

Kit Webster

Be glad to and thanks for having me on. Life’s what happens when you’re making the other plans, right? I started out on a technical basis with a master’s in electrical engineering, but what I’ve always wanted to do is to understand. I may not be directly related to Daniel Webster, who was an orator and politician in the 1800s, but he inspired me because he won a case for the defense, and then, on the appeal, he won for the prosecution. What I’ve always wanted to do is to be able to understand things from both sides so that I could successfully argue both points of view, so I started looking for those points of view. I wanted to understand what communists think. What do socialists think? What do capitalists think? How did we get to be capitalists in the first place, and what is going to make us capitalists going forward and the context of that? 

We’re humans. All of these things are projections of our inner selves, of our humanity. Capitalism, socialism, they’re not things that exist in a vacuum. They’re things that are expressions of bits and parts of humans, so I wanted to try to understand humans and human nature. I read all these books on history and religion and philosophy and psychology, and it turns out to be a daunting task because humans are just so complex. There’s just so many different kinds of humans thinking so many different things and creating so many different civilizations, and so many economic systems that it’s really hard to come up with a pat answer as to what are humans? I carried that into my thoughts about the world. 

Now, my background, I’ve been a capitalist. I’ve been a free-market capitalist my entire life. I’ve thought that capitalism was incredible. I still think it’s incredible. It has led to the elevation of the human condition that is just extraordinary. As I contemplated capitalism, as I participated in capitalism, as I ran companies, as I raised money from venture capitalists, as I had to shut down companies, as I had to fire people, all of these experiences fed into my thinking about the way the world was going. 

In the 1990s, all of this led to a view that the world was going to be entering a crisis at the beginning of the 21st century. That’s a long discussion, but I felt in the early 1990s that we would – for instance, we would be moving leftward in our politics. We’d be having more civil strife. There would be severe challenges to our economic system, and I’ve been developing those thoughts all along. Later on, I read The Fourth Turning by Strauss and Howe. They have come up with many of the same concepts that I’ve come up with better and express better, and they’ve said it in terms of generations, which I do not use in my thought processes. 

The idea is that we’re reaching a crisis. Capitalism is reaching a crisis, and what I wanted to do in this book was to bring all of the thoughts that I’ve had coming forward [05:00] to express why I thought there was going to be a crisis and how it was going to express itself. 

Taylor Martin

The book is Capitalism Is Past Its Sell-By Date, and when I read that, I thought, oh, wow. I’ve been hearing more and more talk and discussion online, chat rooms, articles about capitalism 2.0 or beyond capitalism. Whatever that is, it doesn’t seem to have a name for it yet, but it’s a discussion that is being heard by me more and more these days. When you sat down to write this book, that was before or right during the pandemic? 

Kit Webster

It’s been coming on a long time. I’ve actually written two books prior to this, one on the great financial crisis and one on global warming. Because of my need to understand, I also write to find out what I think, and one of the nice things about writing is that you can’t handwave. What you have to do is you have to – you open a subject. You have to run it down. You can’t just say, oh, yeah, this happens or something comes up where, obviously, this is going to work out okay. 

I wanted to understand what – how did we get to the great financial crisis and then how – what is global warming? Global warming has become so politically correct that much of the information that’s out there is just incorrect. I wanted to find out for myself, so I read everything from Al Gore to Rush Limbaugh. I read scientific papers by the dozens and came to my own conclusions about global warming. However, I kept pushing aside issues that I was running into. It was more to the whole story of global warming than just global warming. 

What I found was the part that I was missing, the part that I wasn’t exploring was bigger than the part I was exploring and that is that global warming is real. I’m not a denier, but it is a symptom of a larger problem. The larger problem is sustainability. We have created an unsustainable economy, an unsustainable environment, and one of the symptoms of that is global warming. The much bigger existential issue is sustainability, and what we’re seeing is – in my view, what we’re seeing is the fraying around the edges of an unsustainable economic system. That fraying is manifesting itself in a lot of discomfort, in a lot of opioid use, the challenges that come from the election of Donald Trump, the existence of Bernie Sanders, all – the riots in our streets. All of these things are, in my view, symptoms of the fraying of the economic system. 

People will then look at what’s going on, whatever it is is going on, and try to see how to fix it, how to make it better so that all of this pain will go away. Whoever’s in office will bear the blame, and maybe they’ll get run out of office. Whatever economic system exists is going to bear some of the blame because that’s where we are, but there are also real problems that people are reacting to. Our life expectancy is actually going down. In the United States, we have a lower life expectancy than we have had in several years. These are all symptoms of stresses and strains. Part of it we’re just going to blame on whatever’s around, but there’s some reality to this. There’s a kernel of truth in that the system is breaking down, and we’re witnessing that breakdown. Therefore, we’re trying to find the next thing, how to make it better, how to make our lives better, how to make our children’s lives better. For the younger generation, that may be socialism. For those of older generations, it may be make capitalism better. 

Taylor Martin

In your book, there was something that you said that really made me stop and pause, and I read it three or four times. Not that it was hard to understand. It was a really strong point that I was hoping you could expand on when you said, “if all energy were renewable tomorrow and the problem of climate change were solved tomorrow, we would still face the existential problem of the limits of the human population and the consumption and depletion of global resources. This associated crisis will likely begin within the next 40 years; however, probably has already begun.”

Kit Webster

Yes. That was my realization when I came to the conclusion [10:00] that sustainability was a bigger problem than global warming. Let’s say that global warming is solved tomorrow. All the windmills and all the solar farms actually do provide the power we need, and we have green power. We’re still going to continue increasing population. We’re still going to continue increasing consumption. As a matter of fact, the more energy we have, the more consumption we’re going to engage in, which means we will continue to strain our water resources, our topsoil, our fish. We’ll continue to create pollution. We focus on global warming appropriately on energy, but if you solve the energy problem, you still have the sustainability problem. 

Taylor Martin

Yeah. It’s as basic as a balanced scale. We have not been improving our waters, our topsoil, recyclability or reusing of things. We’ve just been take, take, take, take, take, and that balance is so out of whack. The sustainability problems create some of the climate change that we’re having today. I think some people think that, oh, I’m going to be solar. I’m going to have wind on my farm or whatever, and I’m going to do the right thing. It is the right thing, but I think people feel that that is going to be a solution that’s going to take care of a lot of things. 

I think coming to realize that we have to reduce our consumption is something that our consumerism lifestyle is not going to like. I feel or fear that that that is going to have be something that’s going to happen. I mean, right now, with inflation rising so much as it is, I see that that’s our future. 

Kit Webster

I think economic cycles are ways of putting things back. You’re talking about balance. Economic cycles put things back into balance. When you’ve overdone it, the laws of economics reinforce themselves. I have a saying that the gods of economics are Calvinist gods in that every sin will be punished sooner or later, and what we’ve done is we’ve created a lot of debt. It’s pulled a lot of consumption forward. That’s created a lot of greenhouse gases and has put us on the edge of unsustainability. 

What’s happening is that not only is that same – that natural process, that natural cycle, going to impose itself. This is part of that relationship with reality that I’m talking about because denial is a huge part of human behavior. These outside threats, like the pandemic, like Russia and Ukraine, have ways of taking a naturally weak system and weaken then yet even further so that we will face the crises sooner and perhaps in larger – to a larger degree than we would have otherwise. 

Taylor Martin

You mean like it’s going to be more severe? 

Kit Webster

Yes. It’s going to be more severe. If there had been no pandemic, if there had been no war in Ukraine, we would still face all of this existential issues from sustainability, from debt, from deficits. We’ve created quite a mess for ourselves. What has happened is we’ve taken this weakened fabric and we’ve piled on with a pandemic and now the war in Ukraine, which will have pretty profound long-term effects and creating worse crises sooner than they would’ve come all by themselves. 

Taylor Martin

Yeah, I concur with that, and I think that we’re definitely feeling a lot of that already. I think it’s just – like you say, it’s going to intensify it. I’m blown away by when I’m trying to fix something on my house, build something, or do something, buy something. I’d say 50% of the time there’s a delay because of some resource or some item that cannot be fulfilled at this moment in time. My wife and I bought an electric car, and it took us seven months to have it delivered after we purchased it. I think these delays are just additional signs. Some people say that’s just the pandemic, but the cost of everything going up, to me, it just seems like everywhere I look, everything’s slightly out of kilter. 

Kit Webster

I think that’s a great description. The world is falling out of kilter. We have had a wonderful, wonderful period postwar, post the II World War, and particularly in the ‘80s and ‘90s and 2000s [15:00] were just the pinnacle, literally the pinnacle of human existence from a material standpoint. We created technological miracles. We improved our life expectancy. It has been extraordinary, but these things can’t go on forever. That perfection depended on so many things going right all at the same time that when you start unstringing them and they start coming apart this anxiety starts to come in that, oh, maybe this is ending. Maybe we’re not going to be able to have what we’ve had before, and I think that’s true from a number of perspectives. 

You’re discussing your electric car. My wife’s gasoline powered car has been in the shop three weeks now for one minor part. It’s a water pump, but the car won’t go without – well, it’ll go but not well without a water pump. Our lives where we could just pick up and have anything and go anywhere at the drop of a hat are over for now and will become increasingly difficult both because of the cycle we’re in and because of these shocks from the outside, such as the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Taylor Martin

Yeah, that is a tragedy. In terms of energy, in your book, you’ve talked about so many different things about robots, climate change, of course, energy, materials, waste, consumption, even just overall capacity of everything I just stated. I was going to preface this podcast with telling everybody that, spoiler alert, this is not a happy-go-lucky unicorn and puppy clouds conversation. This is actually not that great of an outlook. I feel like, as a society, we have been pining for a better future, sustainable outcome, and fixing the climate crisis, but I feel like we are going to have a physical slap in the face of humanity here with the future that we have right now. 

I was recently at South by Southwest. I’ve been trying to figure out how do you label South by Southwest? It’s just such a hodgepodge of so many different things coming together, but I feel like it’s like a future’s festival in all different areas, the film, music, interactive education. Everybody’s talking about the future. What’s coming in the future and everything? 

I went to some architecture sessions, and it was a little dark sometimes. They were talking about how we – we’re not looking at 100-year floods anymore. That’s not on our agenda. Our agenda is we look at 1,000-year floods or more whenever we’re designing buildings because we have to understand that our future is somewhat unpredictable. We don’t know the level of weather problems we’re going to have in different parts of the world, and so when they’re building these commercial buildings as well as residential places, these are things that they have to consider. Again, I’m being a little dark here talking about this, but I feel like that’s – that is where our future is headed. What do you think of that? 

Kit Webster

Yeah. No. I’m in complete agreement. I think, when I said early that we’ve reached the pinnacle, that’s the good news. The bad news is, when you’re at the pinnacle, there’s nowhere to go but down, and I think that as we reconcile these issues with sustainability, including climate change, that, number one, it’s going to cost us money, but number two, it’s going to cost us convenience. Number three, it's going to reduce the amount of selection that we have. The smorgasbord that was our life is going to become much more restricted. 

Worse, we’re not going to be able to grow the way we grew in the past where growth papered over all of our sins. If there’s growth, there’s bigger pie to pass around. There’s ways to improve people’s lives, but as growth declines, more people will be – will not see the future they wanted and will increasingly incur a less of a future than they had before. We’re seeing that in the United States now. We’re seeing that with younger generations that are now despairing having anything, the kind of wealth that the experiences that we older people had going forward. They’re seeing this happening to themselves. As they live their lives today is a cliché that many Millennials are living with their parents, but it’s really true. It’s evidence of the fact that the expectations [20:00] of plenty and growth are not the same now for our younger generations than they were before. 

Taylor Martin

I can’t agree with you more there. I reluctantly feel that I’m already experiencing this right now in my world. I’m a middle-class man here, and I also feel the middle class shrinking, which is creating a weird divide of the haves and the have nots. That’s a whole ‘nother conversation in terms of societal health, but to get back to the future’s part in energy because – as we talked earlier about, if energy was taken care of tomorrow and all that was taken care of, we’re not there. We’re not even close to there and making products that are sustainable. I think a product should be – if you want to do subsidies for something, we should do subsidies for people that use 100% recycled whatever. If you’re building a product and selling a product that is 100% recycled or 90% above whatever, then we should subsidize that type of business. To me, that is more true to a circular economy and taking little and – because the energy used to produce and build and ship and all that stuff, those are all things that don’t come into the actual materials of the product. 

Can you speak to the future you see with energy as well as products? I mean, we talked about reduction of consumption. What about more of a circular economy like I just mentioned with using recycled materials and things like that? 

Kit Webster

I think it’s mandatory. I think that there are a couple of things that are really important to consider. The first is having to do with materials that we have benefited from, basically, taking the low-hanging fruit. We’ve taken the oil that’s closest to the surface and the easiest to get to. We’ve taken the aluminum that’s easiest to mine. We’ve taken the copper that’s closest to the surface that – where the ore has the most copper contained in it per unit volume. What’s happening to us from a sustainability perspective is that we’re having to go – for instance, there’s a cliché in the oil industry that says “you have to go colder and deeper.” That means you have to go to the Artic. You have to go way down under the oceans in order to be able to get any oil at all, much less useful oil or the kind of oil that you need. We’re building these gargantuan – we’re digging these gargantuan mines thousands of feet deep to get the ore that we need in order to create what we’re using. 

We’re doing several things as humans. We’re consuming more. We’re getting a new iPhone. Many of us are getting a new iPhone every year or two, and that is an amazing concept. It’s not worn out. It functions, and yet, we, in essence, throw it away. I think that’s the epitome of the consumer society. The iPhone uses, I outline it in my book, but it’s something like 50 different minerals, including rare earths and all these other kinds of things. We’re increasingly unable to get economic goods out of the earth, and so therefore, recycling is just a huge part of our future. 

Whether we like it or not, we’re going to start running out of things, or we’re going to start running out of affordable things. The oil today is – I don’t know where it is right now today, $100 a barrel. It’s going up. It’s not clear when it ever goes back down again. We’re going to have to pay more in order to get those limited resources. Our prices are going up for a whole list of reasons, but one of which is it’s just harder to get things. 

Recycling and renewable things are increasingly important in order to support the lives we have, much less any lives for where we want to go forward. One of the things we have to keep in mind is that the consumer society, the Western world is nowhere near the majority of human beings. There are many people who live on nothing, $1 a day, $2 day, and these people want the clean water. They want the oil. They want all of the things that we have, so they are pressing for additional consumption from their perspective. In order [25:00] to reduce the waste and pollution that comes from creating things, in order to be able to access things, it is just mandatory that we turn to renewable and recyclable. In the end, those will be the only viable types of materials that we have. 

If I can mention energy real quickly, there’s a concept in energy called energy return on energy invested. It’s something I see that nobody talks about but may be the most important thing about energy. Let’s just take a barrel of oil. You’re going to go bring up a barrel of oil. How much energy does it take to get that barrel of oil? It’s energy returned on energy invested. If I have a little bit of energy to get that barrel of oil, I can use that barrel of oil to power the world, to power plastics, to power natural gas, to power cars, to create electricity. As I need more energy to get that energy, there’s less I can do with it. 

You want to end up with a couple of concepts. One is that the energy return on energy invested for oil has been decreasing over time because oil is harder to get and is farther away, and it requires more pipelines. It’s gone from maybe 100:1 the investment that you get back from a barrel of oil to today is as slow as 8:1. That’s phenomenal because estimates are that to maintain a complex society with arts and leisure and travel and libraries, much less all the essentials of food and clothing and habitat requires 14:1. Current discoveries of oil and gas are not returning enough to power our complex society. We are going to have to become simpler. Worse, renewable energy, when fully loaded for intermittent, primarily intermittent – see the fact the sun doesn’t shine and wind doesn’t blow all the time. When you do a thorough review of energy return on energy invested for renewable energy, it's – people vary in their measurements, but it’s two, three, four or five, six to one. We’re gong to need an incredible amount of renewable energy to create the kind of energy that we’re used to today. 

We’re facing these crises. We must be simpler. We must use our energy better. We must use it on making life simpler to create this circular economy where you have recyclables. You have renewables, but you have sufficient energy to make all of that work. 

Taylor Martin

Wow! I mean, that’s not a happy note, but I think it’s an honest, true note. I want to dig into the weeds a little bit about what you said, the energy return, energy invested. What about solar? There’s so much information on the internet, but I’ve heard people make the case that, yeah, but it cost so much to make solar panels and how much energy they create. Solar panels, once you put them up, they don’t know how long they’re going to last. Plus, the efficiency of them is growing every year, and the cost is going down, at least last time I checked. Can you speak to that? 

Kit Webster

Yeah, I mean, solar is a good thing. I have no issues with – I want to start off by saying that solar is definitely a component of energy going forward, but everything has its problems. Solar has its problems. You have to go find lithium. Mining lithium creates environmental problems. You have to create the – you have to have polysilicon. You have to create – do the manufacturing. It does create pollution. It does require energy. In the end, is it better than oil in terms of all of those things? Yeah, it is. 

The problem that I have is there are a couple of issues with – that are not talked about with energy, and again, this was in – this is within a framework of my supporting solar energy. The first is they wear out, and you’re going to have to replace them. Recycling solar panels is not a pretty picture. I think the other issue is that, because of the need to provide power when the sun doesn’t shine or when the [30:00] clouds are over the sun, it’s a condition called intermittency. Because that exists and it’s pretty extreme – I mean, it’s a big factor. It’s not extreme. It’s a third of the day the sun doesn’t shine. What you wind up with is the need to create – to store power or to have other types of power when the sun doesn’t shine. Therefore, if you do a fully loaded view of solar power, it comes out okay, but again, maybe an EROI of five, which means it’s not going to save the world. It’s a tool in the toolkit of things that can contribute to saving the world. 

Wind, if I can introduce real quickly, has a fairly high EROI, so I want to go to the positive side. Wind, you’ve got offshore wind. You’ve got onshore wind. You’ve got recycling wind turbines and all of that kind of stuff. Just to simplify things, before intermittency, wind seems to have an EROI of about 18, which is really – that’s encouraging. That’s higher than current oil drilling. It’s higher than the 14 that’s needed to maintain a complex civilization, so wind before intermittency is actually promising. After intermittency, I haven’t seen any really good analyses that I would rely on. Again, I’m a skeptic. I want to look at both sides of the problem. 

It’s going to be less than 18. It’s going to be reasonably less than 18, but again, it’s a nice enough number. It probably has two digits, and that’s the kind of thing that can be a nice tool in that toolbox to help us go forward. 

Taylor Martin

Yeah. Solar has had its own renaissance. I mean, I’ve seen all different types – I mean, every time I look on the web and I read some articles on solar, there’s always a new – I mean, I’m sorry, not solar but a wind turbine. I’m like, wow, look at that wind turbine. It doesn’t even look like a wind turbine. What is that? It looks like a – some sort of mobile art sculpture or something, but the effectiveness of it is actually quite remarkable. Then making wind turbines for residential use, that’s also intriguing. I agree. It’s a multiprong approach. Even with geothermal or water, those are all things that I think we have to think about when it comes to energy that’s sustainable, and I agree with you about where do we store the solar? 

The one thing I like about solar, if I can get this in here, is that solar usually is creating electricity during the time we use it. When you have a grid tied system to a building or a house, meaning that it doesn’t go to a battery bank; it just goes right to the grid, that is good. Usually, when the sun is out, we’re using electricity because we’re out moving about and doing things. I do want to say also – I don’t know. I’m sure you probably aware of that the – what they call the duck curve. When it gets down to the bending of the duck’s neck, you get that huge spike at the end of the day when people come home, and they’re using large amounts of energy while the sun is going down. The energy grid has to mitigate that. It has to realize the sun’s going down, so all the solar out there is going to be waning. We have to push a bunch of electricity out onto the grid to make sure we don’t have any brownouts or things like that. 

It’s just fairly complicated. I’m curious to know – I mean, I wonder, if everybody working from home with the pandemic and everything, if that changed that duck curve at all. I think we were probably using more electricity not being in offices for two years. Anyway, I digress. There’s just so much to talk about when it comes to energy. I flat out agree with you that it’s a multiprong approach, and we need all of them working in unison and having some sort of master algorithm out there trying to move everything around and make sure that we’re getting the electrical grid fired up as it needs to be. I love listening to your datapoints. It sounds like your research on everything is thorough. 

Kit Webster

Just to feedback on your points that you just made, an electric organization and I don’t have the reference in front of me in California, it’s just issued a bulletin saying, look, folks, we need you to conserve energy between the hours of 4 and, I don’t remember, maybe 8 p.m., so that’s California. It is a leader in renewable energy. What we’re going to see from them, as we’ve seen from Germany, these are leaders, and so therefore, they’re going to get the arrows as well as the experience. They get the arrows in the back from being the leaders. What’s happening is that we’re [35:00] seeing the shortcomings. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because it allows us to figure out, okay, how are we going to overcome that? To your point, they’re now beginning to talk in California about maybe having to emphasize conserving electricity during those hours, the duck hours that you were talking about. 

Taylor Martin

Yeah. Speaking of statistics, for all you listeners out there, I want to say you’re going to enjoy this book because Kit was kind enough to put a lot of charts and graphs in here and datapoints. I just love that because I’m a very analytic, research-oriented person, so when I see all this data in my mind, I just gloss over it and absorb as much of it as I can. One of the ones that was basic and simple that caught my eye was somewhere in California there was a telephone pole with three markings on it that were years, and there was a marking way, way up there. It looks like it’s 30 feet up in the air. It says 1925. Then halfway down the pole it says 1955, and at the very bottom of the pole, it says 1977. That was where the earth was, not a flood plain or something like that. That is where the earth was, but they’ve been pulling out so much water out of the ground that it’s just sinking down. Wow! 

Kit Webster

Water is a big deal, and we take it for granted. I want to hasten to say that I’m a data person, and what I have tried to do is to understand the facts of data in order to come to the conclusion. I don’t want to be emotional and handwringing about anything. I don’t want emotional about how humans always conquer. I don’t want to be emotional about how terrible things are, so I use facts and data. 

I do want to quickly tell your listeners that you can – there’s no math, and I describe all the charts. If you happen to be data averse, you can still get through the book productively. Water is huge. We take it for granted. We really don’t pay much for it whatsoever. As a matter of fact, in most places, you don’t pay for the water. What you pay for is the infrastructure. Even though it says you’re paying so much per gallon, what you’re paying is for the pipes and the treatment and not for the water itself. 

We’re running out of water. The Colorado River does not reach the ocean, and this is before the drought in California. Now, because of the drought out West, the Colorado River not only doesn’t make it to the ocean. It’s not filling up the dams that are needed to create the electricity for Vegas and Los Angeles and all those kinds of things. There are many rivers, mighty rivers that don’t reach the ocean anymore. We rely on aquifers, which are basically – I’m going to describe them as underwater lakes. They’re really not. They’re water that’s embedded in rock, but for a conceptual purpose, think about an underwater lake. 

Essentially, our entire Midwest, the grain and everything we grow is just a big straw growing – taking that water out. What’s happening is that we’re taking it out faster than we’re replenishing it. That water has percolated down for millennia. We take out more in a year than goes back in during a year. What you’re seeing in that graph in California is the effect of the ground collapsing on top of ground – of lower ground that’s been depleted of its water, and it’s a tremendous graphic of what we’re doing to ourselves with this water problem. 

Taylor Martin

Yeah, I agree. When I saw the picture, I thought what is this illustrating? Wow! There was a flood there in that time, and there’s a flood there. I was looking down the list, and then, when I saw that it was the earth that was there, it really shook me. 

We’re going to have to call – we’re going to have to close this conversation out. I have to implore everybody to – at the very minimum, if you’re interested in anything we talked about today, I would go onto Amazon, look for Kit’s book. Again, the title is Capitalism Is Past Its Sell-By Date. Click on the image, and you can see the Table of Contents and read the Introduction. I got halfway through the Introduction, and I was sold. I was like, okay, Kit is the guy I want to interview just because, as you’ve noticed, his unbiased, scientific, research-driven, data-driven mindset is very akin to me. He’s my data brethren here. 

Kit, thank you so much for being on today’s show. How can our listeners follow you, or do you want to just have them go the – right out to the bookstore and buy your book? 

Kit Webster

That’s a good idea, but I’ve got a website [40:00]. It’s www.pastsellbydate.com. It has a lot more material on it, and it also provides a place for forums. I’ve been discussing these views for, like I said, over 30 years, and what I am trying to create is a space where people can come together. I answer all constructive emails. I want to be a part of the conversation. These are difficult problems, and we all need to be part of the solution. 

I’m trying to create a group of people to talk about sustainability. Sustainability doesn’t have Arnold Schwarzenegger or Leonardo DiCaprio. We need to create an understanding of what’s going on so that we can reflect that back into the culture, back into the circular economy, back into the laws and regulations that are going to be able to enable us to have the best future that we can. 

Taylor Martin

Well said, sir. That was great. Thank you, again, for being on today’s show. I can’t wait to get some feedback from our listeners, and I hope that some of you go out there and get his book. It’s intense, but it really gives you an honest view of where we’re headed. Go out and read it. Over and out, everybody. 

[Upbeat theme music plays]

Female Voice Over 

Thanks for tuning in to the Triple Bottom Line. Your host, Taylor Martin, is Founder and Chief Creative of Design Positive, a strategic branding and accessibility agency. Interested in being interviewed on our podcast? Then visit designpositive.co and fill out our contact form. If you enjoyed today’s podcast, we would appreciate a review on Apple Podcasts or whatever provider you’re logging in from. This podcast is prepared by Design Positive and is not associated with any other entity. We look forward to having you back for another installment of the Triple Bottom Line

[Upbeat theme music plays]