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How To Stop Deforestation and Challenge Corporate Power with Lindsey Allen



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As the Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Lindsey Allen fights to keep carbon out of the atmosphere and the tropical forests standing.

The Problem of Deforestation

The world’s tropical rainforests are being rapidly depleted for short-term profitable gain. Indigenous cultures and community land rights are being disrespected while critical species found nowhere else in the world are losing their habitat. Meanwhile, the loss of these carbon sinks adds significantly to global warming.

Native vs Destructive Crops

Palm oil is now the most popular and cheapest vegetable oil in the world. Palm oil companies are buying up land as fast as they can to grow the palms for the oil. As a consumer, it’s very hard to know if products are grown with good or bad practices, like whether they are contributing to rainforest destruction. Certain products like coffee, however, can be produced in harmony with the rainforest. This is an example of local commodities that are a better use for the land, supporting the indigenous people while maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Are You Contributing to the Problem?

By “following the money” RAN seeks to shift the behavior of Wall Street banks and corporate investors by showing them the truth of their impact. Their website, ran.org, provides lists of the worst offenders so that investors can know where their money is going. Do you know what your bank is doing – where your retirement money is housed?

How To Stop Deforestation

Lindsey suggests considering moving your money to a local bank or credit union, asking the companies you buy from to be transparent about their supply chains, and going to ran.org to learn who the worst offenders are. Tune in to this podcast to learn more about the situation and how you can help.

Interview Transcript:

– Welcome back to The Urban Monk. Dr. Pedram Shojai talking about a subject today that is near and dear to my heart. We are talking about rainforests. There’s a big arc in the upcoming movie where we followed a company that’s working to preserve trees and rainforests. A couple companies that are doing this. We’re looking for any and all opportunities to save, A, the clear cutting, and B, once we get a little further along, growing some back, and there’s some really promising ventures out there that are doing it. It’s big, and we’re gonna talk about why it’s big for multiple reasons. With me today is Lindsey Allen, who’s the executive director of the Rainforest Action Network. She is in San Francisco right now, and she’s got rainforest-y kind of plants behind her. She’s been at this with them alone for eight years, so she’s been around this block. Welcome to the show.

– Thank you for having me.

– Yeah, thanks for doing the work that you do. This is important. One of the things that is really important in this climate change conversation is being able to sink carbon. Some of the stuff that I’ve heard is, obviously, the rainforests are number one, and then a lot of people are arguing that the soil and soil sequestration is number two. Those are things that are well within the grasp of things we can fix within our lifetime if we change around some of our action behavior. We understand the importance of protecting forests. Any monkey can understand. Maybe there’s a couple in Washington that don’t, but for the most part, we understand the importance of this, right? What is making it so hard to fight this good fight?

– Yeah, I think there are a couple of things. What we really focus on at Rainforest Action Network is, we want to keep fossil fuels out of the atmosphere, so keep them in the ground, and we want to keep forests standing because, as you said, they’re an amazing sink. Just to talk about it for just a second. In some tropical forests in the world, like one place where we’re working in Indonesia called the Leuser Ecosystem, it is so biologically dense, and there are these things called peat swamps which are just super charged ways to sink carbon and to hold carbon in the ground and keep it out of our atmosphere. Yes, it’s critical for that. What makes it difficult, I think there’s a few factors. You mentioned one of them. We have elected officials who don’t understand, or because of where they get their financial support, they choose not to understand the relationship between forests, and climate, and carbon. I think part of it is just, people are busy, so what we do at my organization is, we really follow the money and follow the commodities to try and make it easy for people to use their own power to influence corporations to adopt better policies. What we’ve seen from that is, when we work in partnership with communities to shift the behavior of these companies so that they’re not clear cuttings these forests as quickly as possible just to make a buck, it can have a tremendous impact in protecting these ecosystems. We’re just needing to do it at a bigger and bigger scale.

– So you were drinking a can of Guayaki, which is wonderful, wonderful stuff. I’m a big fan of that company. They’re one of the best social enterprise examples I’ve seen out there. These guys are growing something that’s a shade-grown plant that can actually get more money out per hectare than clear cutting, so they’re creating a financial, economic statement slash business case for saying, “Hey, why don’t we not chop these down? “In fact, why don’t we grow back some rainforest? “This is a good idea.” That’s one kind of market-driven solution that I’d like to see scale more. What other examples are you seeing out there of stuff that’s promising?

Forests Can Be Commercially Productive WHILE ALIVE - @lrallen via @Pedram

– Yeah, I mean, you can see something similar with coffee, right? When you’re talking about products that people can use that are grown with the forest, then you don’t need to clear it down. One of the reasons why it’s so challenging is, when we take a place like Indonesia, which has one of the largest remaining tropical forests left in the world, what we’re seeing is, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to destroy those places in order to create products, right? One of the things that Indonesia is being destroyed for in terms of their rainforests, is to create the cheapest vegetable oil in the world, palm oil. If you said, “Okay, does it make sense “to really put these two things on a scale, “destroy a critical habitat, carbon sink, “beautiful place, biodiverse, “last place on earth with rhinos, tigers, orangutans, “et cetera, all living in one ecosystem, “does it make sense to turn that into “pulp for toilet paper, paper products, or palm oil?” People would say, “Absolutely not.” But what we’re saying is, because there isn’t respect for indigenous and community land rights, then companies are clearing these forests as quickly as possible because clearing and planting their crops is the way that they’re asserting ownership. It’s actually stealing lands from communities, and that’s the balance that we’re really trying to change. If you say, “Okay, hold on a minute. “Don’t let these companies charge in “and clear as quickly as possible. “Let’s get indigenous rights recognized,” right? The places where we still have tropical forests standing are in places where communities and indigenous communities have been fighting to protect these places, so let’s recognize that, appreciate it. Then, oftentimes, what we see is, there are local commodities, local economics, that are just a better use, and you can grow things like coffee. You can do some rubber tapping. You can harvest mate. There are all kinds of crops that grow in the forest and you don’t need to clear it for it to be productive.

– So palm oil is a big one. I know some of the big consumer goods companies recently have gotten some flak over their palm oil practices and all this. What makes palm oil a challenge?

– Palm oil’s a challenge. It’s now the most popular vegetable oil in the world, and it’s the cheapest vegetable oil in the world. In addition to the challenge that I mentioned around, there’s not recognition for who owns or should own what pieces of land, it’s a little bit like the wild west. Imagine, wild west companies go in, clear as fast as they can, push communities off their lands, and then what gets harvested, these bunches of little palm fruitlets, get smashed and turned into oil. Then it’s really difficult to know, is the oil that I get in a product that I buy at the grocery store, is it from palm oil that came from good practices or bad practices? One of the things that we’ve really been pushing with these companies, and we have been giving companies flak. That’s part of our role as RAN, although we also help them move along once they decide to make that commitment. One of the things we’re asking them for is to really understand their supply chain, and to be transparent about it so that companies, whether you’re looking at Kraft or Pepsi, these brands that you know, they’re using these products. They should be demanding that their suppliers are not implicit in human rights violations and clearing of tropical forest for these cheap products.

– One of the challenges with that is, if the consumer, the end user who’s drinking a can of Pepsi doesn’t care, then Pepsi doesn’t care, right? How much more awareness do we need to stoke in the people that are supporting these companies to say, “Yo, I’m gonna stop buying your stuff”? You know, “Don’t be a jerk.”

– Yeah. I mean, we absolutely need to increase awareness. One of the things that we do at Rainforest Action Network is we try to make it accessible and funny, right? We do things like, we take something that PepsiCo was already gonna do, and we spoof it. Every year they put out a annual report. This year, they created a report that said how they’re a good environmental and social steward, and we spoofed it. We did a similar look and feel. We took their brand, and we changed it just a little bit. We connected it with some of the deforestation impacts they’re having, and then we handed it out right next to the report they already have at the shareholder meeting. So the shareholders could say, “Wait a minute, “this is what you’re telling me you’re doing, “Pepsi and CEO Indra, “and this is what I hear you’re actually doing.” So we do the documentation and the research, and then we try to make it really easy for people to take action. What we’re seeing across the board is, when people have this information, they care. I think sometimes there’s a worry about, are people apathetic, and will we have an impact? We know we’re having an impact. Some of the largest companies in the world that use palm oil have already made commitments to increase the way that they’re responsably harvesting and sourcing palm oil. It’s just a matter of us continuing that pressure and knowing that our determination will pay off.

– That’s amazing. There’s momentum, it sounds like, on a lot of fronts, and then there’s also regression, right? So we just had, recently, this Paris Accord debacle with President Trump. What’s RAN’s reaction to that, and what do we do about it?

– Yeah, our reaction is obviously one of frustration. The president of the United States should not be one of the weakest leaders in the world when we’re talking about a global crisis, which is what we’re dealing with in terms of climate change and global warming. I think it’s indicative of his leadership, and it’s problematic. I think the silver lining is that we’re seeing a tremendous response, and, you know, maybe where we got a little bit comfortable under Obama, we now have this renewed energy, whether it’s on the ground, and you’re seeing communities that are fighting pipelines that are running through their communities, or running across indigenous lands, or whether you’re seeing, it’s Michael Bloomberg announcing new initiatives, whether it’s the entire state of California saying we’re still gonna move forward as though we were part of the global climate agreement. Part of that, the opportunity is for us to harness that grassroots energy and say, “You know, sometimes, we can have “kind of a token president who’s problematic. “Real change comes from people power, “and we as people are not gonna accept “this poor, weak leadership position. “We are going to continue to hold ourselves “to what we know is possible,” which is, energy economies have completely changed. Clean energy is the way of the future. Fossil fuels are over. It’s just a matter of time. You know, let’s get on with a stable climate future. For us, that’s more economically viable in terms of clean energy anyway.

Rainforests Naturally Drain Carbon From The Air - @lrallen via @Pedram

– So it’s right there in front of us too. That’s the part that gets me, is it’s right at our fingertips. We’re at the point now technologically where we can do renewable energy. We can start shifting over the grid. From transportation to powering our cities and all these types of things, the tech is there, but it seems like these dinosaur behemoth industries that have trillions of dollars invested are like, “Yo, I still gotta recoup my investment, “so I’m gonna buy a president,” right? So how does one Which is kinda what happened. Hashtag drain the swamp. What do we do at this point, right? How do we step in as consumers and voice this to every company that is part of this problem?

– Yeah. One of our taglines at Rainforest Action Network is, “Challenge corporate power.” We see corporate accountability as a critical piece. Especially at a time where corporations are literally trying to buy public officials, right? Where public officials are more beholden to profit and corporate interests than to our interests, our survival as a species, we can really take advantage of the leverage that we have as consumers. I talk about, we target the worst of the worst. It’s the worst extraction companies. We know that coal should not be a viable fuel source anymore for the U.S. or anywhere in the world. It contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, and it often contributes to negative community impacts, so let’s take all of that information, and let’s figure out, okay, how do we shift the dial more quickly? How do we shift these companies more quickly than they might naturally want to move? One example, when we look at the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, is we see banks. We follow the money. We know that large Wall Street banks are providing the financing that builds out oil infrastructure. You know, the Dakota Access Pipeline, there was a lot of attention to it. Locking in that pipeline means we’re locking in decades of emissions because it then makes it profitable to extract the oil in the tar sands, and to ship it, and refine it, and to pipe it through. When we look at banks, every year, we do a report card, and we grade the banks, we grade whether or not they’re investing in the good alternatives that should be invested in more quickly. Clean energy is notable there. Or whether they’re continuing just because of bad patterns to invest in these dinosaur companies.

– What are the banks? This is gonna be dated information, obviously, for whenever people see this, but right now, who are the worst? Like top five and bottom five, how’s that?

– Yeah. It’s actually pretty straightforward. You know, we do our report cards. You can go to ran.org R-A-N dot O-R-G, and you can see banks that were moving on different issues at different times. If you’re talking about oil extraction, the bank might be different than if you’re talking about coal mining. What we know across the board is that Wall Street banks are really problematic. They’re continuing to invest trillions of dollars in dirty energy, and those banks that we’re looking at are the banks like JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs. I’m missing someone, ’cause there’s at least six in the problematic top. When you’re looking at financial institutions that are showing us the way forward and the real solutions, you’re looking at credit unions that are responsible and accountable to communities, and you’re looking at mission-driven banks, banks that challenge the current status quo that banks are only there to make a profit for shareholders. Banks were designed, right, money was designed to be a benefit for us as individuals, so let’s start harnessing it in that way again. You can see on the spectrum of impact investors to credit unions, they just have better investment choices and better options for our future.

– So this is a point I want to stay on for a second because this is something we strongly emphasize in our Prosperity movie, is that, where your money sleeps at night makes a big difference. Most people will go buy organic food, or drive a Prius or a Tesla and feel proud of themselves, but then leave their money at Wells Fargo or Chase, not realizing that they’re feeding this parasitic Wall Street energy that’s destroying and giving us Keystone XL, right? Connecting those dots and moving our money away really starts to choke out the infrastructure and the power base of these people that are fueling things that are against our best interests. It’s not that hard. I mean, it’s so easy to move your money into a new bank. They’re nicer anyways. They’re cool people. You want to know your bankers at a community bank.

– Yeah, absolutely. We live in a current day scenario where our money doesn’t even really sleep. They need our money, and it’s being used all the time. Just as, in the case of, you know, deciding not to buy irresponsably harvested palm oil at the grocery store when I vote with my pocketbook there, I can vote with my pocketbook in the same way by not putting my money in financial institutions that aren’t thinking about my best interests and the environment every time they make financial decisions.

– Let’s look at this in a particular example. I know you guys have taken a big stand against the tar sands and all the stuff going on at Keystone. It’s been an up and down ride over there. Looking at this politically, looking at this as a conscious consumer, as a conscious banker, and as someone who might be able to get into some advocacy or click some petitions. What’s the ecosystem look like? How do I win this for my family?

If YOU don't care, companies won't either - @lrallen via @Pedram

– Yeah. When we’re looking at tar sands oil, we know that there are a couple of linchpins, right? Starting with the banks, banks are continuing to finance tar sands extraction and pipeline build-out. That means you can move your money. If you’ve already moved your money, you can still be vocal in opposition. You can show up outside of banks. As we saw with Dakota Access, people all across the U.S., all across the globe, were going to their local branch of a large bank and saying, “These practices are unacceptable.” That had an impact. We were literally on the phone with Wells Fargo the day that they found out that the city of Seattle was divesting because the role that they played in underwriting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

– Take that.

– So it’s having an impact. So let’s continue to do that. We also know that, one of the benefits with these pipelines is, we know the routes that we’re going through, so there’s already massive indigenous opposition when we’re talking about the Keystone XL Pipeline, when we’re talking about another pipeline that the oil companies are trying to punch through the west coast of Canada. Kinder Morgan is the company, and it’s the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline. The benefit of having those routes is, we know where to resist them. So let’s do everything we can to get in the way, peacefully and nonviolently, get in the way of the building of these projects because delay means lost money for them. It means they get more behind in their ability to turn a profit, and at some point, it won’t make economic sense, even in the short term, for them to build these things.

– I know, what was it? Harvard had this big things where they had to divest from a lot of coal and oil, so the student body was like, “Yo, we don’t want this,” right? So we’re talking about these enormous endowment funds that are now pulling out of certain areas or sectors of the economy. It’s like, okay, Goldman Sachs. They have a great reputation. You know what I mean? How does one say, “Okay, well, “Goldman Sachs is so powerful. “They got more money than God.” That’s not true. How does one pull their money back out of Goldman Sachs? How do you choke them out?

– Yeah. We don’t even actually need to completely choke them out because banks are designed to assess risk once it’s acute enough. All we have to do is show that this is getting so much traction that it should be one of the top things in their portfolio to deal with. We’re seeing this with Wells Fargo, right? Wells Fargo had a scandal around opening checking accounts in customers’ names when they didn’t know about it. This has been the second scandal, around Dakota Access. That means we can go to them and say, “If you continue to behave in this way, “if you don’t adopt a policy to avoid “financing these types of companies, “then you’re gonna lose investments. “You’re gonna lose customers.” That momentum is already there. It’s a matter of us collaborating with each other to expand that as much as possible. One of the tools that we have to make things easier is, we list the banks that are supporting the Keystone XL Pipeline. We list the banks that are supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline, and that are supporting the Trans Mountain Pipeline, right? Once we know the banks, we can have the conversation. We know who needs to be moved, and it’s just a matter of time. They assess, at a certain point, that it’s not worth it. We saw, with the case of coal mining, we started by looking at coal mining in Appalachia. None of the banks wanted to avoid financing it, right? They thought, “It’s making money right now,” but slowly, we got each of the Wall Street banks to commit to phase out their financial support for that sector, and then we expanded it to coal across the board. So we’re now in a place where, many people don’t know this, but most Wall Street banks already have phase-down plans where they cannot finance new coal build-out. We just need to get them to the same place as oil.

– Amazing, amazing. So a lot of that is pressure. This whole concept of democracy that we live in, it was all kind of predicated on what was considered by the founding fathers an enlightened citizenry, right? Which means you know what the hell’s going on so that you can have a say in the matter. So greenwashing and a lot of this corporate propaganda that’s put out there, people don’t really know who’s even doing the right stuff. Where does one get their information? How does one know that they can trust the information?

– Yeah. I’d recommend a couple things here. One is to think about, what is the incentive for whoever the source of the information is? When PepsiCo says, “We’re great, “we use only good palm oil. “Don’t worry too much about it. “We have a policy. “It doesn’t matter if there’s loopholes “and we don’t implement it.” It’s to their advantage to say that, and that’s greenwash. There’s evidence that it’s greenwash because you can go to our side at RAN, and we have images, and footage, and interviews, and all kinds of information that just shows you that, if you dig a little bit under the surface of their claims, they’re not substantiated, and they’re not making progress based on their commitments. I would just say, you know, is it the company telling us this information? If so, then who is providing other information? A simple Google search will often bring you to organizations that are really challenging some of the greenwashing claims.

– How big is RAN? How many members, like, how many staff do you have? How long have you guys been at this thing?

– We have been at thisexcuse me, for about 30 years. We’ve grown in the past couple years in particular, offices in San Francisco, Japan, a couple of folks around the U.S., but Japan, the U.K., Indonesia are some of our other big hubs. About 50 staff, but many, many volunteers, and online supporters, and we have a saying that we take the “Network” part of our name really seriously. It’s based on a lot of individuals who care enough to be engaged.

Clean Energy Is The Way Of The Future - @lrallen via @Pedram

– I love it. When we’re talking about rainforests, where are the major rainforests that you’re trying to protect? ‘Cause everyone just thinks Brazil, right?

– Yeah.

– You were talking about Indonesia. We haven’t even mentioned Brazil yet. What are the trouble spots?

– Yeah, so Brazil’s a good place to start. If you think about the equator of the globe, that band is where you find tropical forests, and there are three big intact tropical forest areas left in the world. The Amazon Basin in South America, which includes a big part of the biomes in Brazil. You keep going around, you have that belt that goes through Africa, the Congo Basin rainforest. Then you keep going around, and you get Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Those are the three big areas. They’re all important for different reasons. As I mentioned, we’ve really honed in on Indonesia because we work at the intersection of human and indigenous rights, climate, and making sure we’re reducing emissions that lead to climate change, and rainforest protection. You have millions of people in Indonesia who don’t have their rights recognized, and you have active clearing and burning of those forests. You have critical species that are found nowhere else in the world, and the products are being turned into pulp, and paper, and palm oil. Then you look at Congo Basin, you have a lot of logging, is still an issue. In the Amazon, it’s logging, beef, and soy, are big drivers.

– Yep. So the companies that are buying the paper, or manufacturing, selling the paper, and making this palm oil, do we know, are these American companies? Is there a lineup on who’s doing this stuff?

– Yeah, oftentimes, there’s a more regional or local company that has a bit of a monopoly on the market. In the case of Indonesia, there’s two big companies that are pulping forests to turn it into paper. It then goes to China, but oftentimes, what we find is, as I said, we follow the commodities, we find that it goes into multinational companies. Many times they started in the U.S. A couple of years ago, we really looked at kids’ books that were being produced from destroyed rainforest in Indonesia. We said, “Okay, we’re gonna name “the top 10 global publishers of these kids’ books,” and one of the 10 who was very slow to move was the Walt Disney company. Most folks might not realize, they are globally the largest children’s book and magazine publisher, so we said, “Okay, that’s where we need to start.” We negotiated with them for 18 months to adopt a global policy. What happened was, to implement their policy, they then had to go to those factories in China, and those factories in China had to turn around and go to the companies that are responsible for clear cutting on the ground, and say, “You know, if you do this, “we can’t put it in these products.” That’s how we start to see whole sectors change to move away from these problematic commodities.

– What happened with that? Is there a fairy tale ending to that, or are we still …

– There is a little bit of a fairy tale, yeah. You know, as I said, they were resistant. One morning, at their headquarters in Burbank, activists dressed as Mickie and Minnie chained themselves to the executive gates so that they couldn’t get in to park in their parking garage, which, of course, created a backup on a freeway, and a helicopter circling over, and a front page LA Times expose on why Mickie and Minnie were there holding signs that said, “Rainforest destruction is no fairy tale.” That was really the last step that they needed to begin these negotiations. We had executives in our office within a week, and there was some really strong leadership internally at Disney. They understood what was at stake. They took seriously their role to be a leader. Disney, of course, as with every company, still has to always be improving on how they’re implementing policies, but it’s a really significant policy, and it’s one that we still use as a model for other companies.

– I love it. I love it. What’s on the horizon? I mean, there are so many companies, there are so many places the the world needs help. What are you guys focused on in this next 18 months?

– Yeah. When we look at keeping fossil fuels in the ground and keeping forests standing, we know that we do need to move the financial sector away from supporting fossil fuels. The movement is ready and vibrant around resisting pipelines, and resisting extraction of oil from the tar sands, so that’ll continue to be a really big focus. Then, of course, keeping forests standing. As I said, we’re really focused on Indonesia. We need to continue to see more progress on palm oil. PepsiCo is one of the large global laggers that has so many loopholes in their policies that it renders it useless, so we need to see them move, and that will remove a domino because other companies are standing behind them and refusing to move. We’re also following the money on the forest side. We’ve started to release all of the banks that are supporting deforestation in Southeast Asia, whether it’s being driven by rubber plantations, palm oil plantations. We’re starting to increase the awareness around that as well.

– Are these banks stateside that are supporting some of these industries internationally as well?

– The banks that you would recognize the name for, Wall Street banks, are implicated globally. In addition, when we’re looking at deforestation in Southeast Asia, we see a number of banks from Japan, a little bit from China, a bit from Indonesia, Malaysia, and then, of course, some European banks.

– Got it. Do you have a list of all these banks as well?

Wall-Street Banks Are Constantly Investing Money In Dirty Energy - @lrallen via @Pedram

– We do. If you go to ran.org, you can look at our forest finance pages. There’s more information than you probably would ever want on banks.

– Yeah, well, not me, I want a lot.

– [Lindsey]Yeah, maybe not you.

– It makes sense, ’cause this is what happened is, as we started looking at economic democracy and changing where you spend and your spending habits, it just occurred to me that the roll up on this was like, “But wait a minute. “You leave all your money at this bank, and the bank “does whatever the hell it damn well pleases with it “and creates a world that I don’t want,” right? “What gives them the right to spend my money in a way?” It’s like, “Oh, wait, I did.” You know? I left them my money, and so I am absolutely ultimately responsible for the destruction of the rainforest if I’m leaving my money with one of these banks.

– Absolutely.

– Yeah, that’s heavy, and it’s like, I got young kids. You look at wanting a better future for them, and these are the blind spots that we don’t really think through, is where our money goes. Even if it’s a life insurance. There are so many other places where money is parked that gets invested in places that we probably wouldn’t agree with if we knew.

– Yeah. You know, one of the other places where money sometimes gets parked that is getting more attention, you mentioned the divestment movement where large institutions have started to pull money out of fossil fuel companies. We’re also seeing people questioning, “Okay, my 401K, my IRA, “where is my retirement money sitting?” There are some new tools. Some of our partner organizations, Friends of the Earth and As You Sow, spelled S-O-W, they now have tools where you can go on, and you can enter what your mutual fund is, and you can know exactly which companies they’re supporting. You can decide to have fossil-fuel-free funds. You can decide to have forest-destruction-free funds. That’s another great tool to be thinking about in addition to banks.

– One of the best parts about this is, I started talking to a number of the banking partners that are doing the conscious stuff. We have New Resource Bank and Aspiration Bank. A bunch of these guys are in our films and just nice people that we’ve been talking to, is, some of their portfolios, you look at some of their investment portfolios, they’re performing in the top one percent period. What that means is, not only does this make good sense for the planet and a future, if you care to live, it actually makes good financial sense. You’re investing in some of these bigger banks that are actually giving you less returns and destroying the planet. It makes zero sense to keep your money there.

– Yeah, exactly. The Coalition for Ethical Banking has released studies that show exactly that. When these, sometimes considered alternative banks, but mission, value-based banks really are thinking about long-term profitability, they’re making better economic and financial decisions, which intuitively makes sense, but sometimes, we then trust these really big banks to be doing the strongest risk assessment. It’s not the case. They’re making worse decisions that return less profit for individuals as well.

– That’s it, that’s it. Look, I am such a fan of the work that you’re doing. Please keep it up. However we can help you, my listeners, my viewers, what do you think is the number one thing for them to do right now? If they could just take an action right now, what would it be?

– Yeah, I’m gonna cheat a little bit and say to develop a practice where, every day, you think about, essentially, how you’re paying rent on the planet. What is one thing that you do to give back, whether it’s moving your money, whether it’s going and supporting petitions, whether it’s going out into the streets and supporting all of the movement energy that’s really vibrant right now? Just think about and decide and think about it as a practice. It’s something we can each do every day.

– I love it. I love it. It’s R-A-N.org?

– [Lindsey] That’s right.

Where Your Money Sleeps At Night Makes a Big Difference - @lrallen via @Pedram

– It’s Rainforest Action Network. Look, I’m a big fan. I would love to have you back as things come up. Just let us know. You know, you got something hot on your news desk, I mean, we’re in. This is our planet. We gotta do this together.

– That’d be great. Thank you so much for having me. It was great conversations.

– Thank you, thank you. And listening to this or watching this, I want you to go to ran.org right now and look up if your bank is on the naughty or nice list and decide what makes sense for you. We have a ton of research and resources that we’re also digging up on the banks that are doing cool stuff. Look at their list. Look at our list. There’s a lot happening in the space. Don’t sit idly, and don’t let your money sit idly. It’s time for us to guide the direction of the future, if we want to have one. I’ll see you next time.

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