Something Weighing On My Mind

2019 has been a weird year. Personally. And globally. If “Hope” was the watchword for one presidency, “Despair” seems to be the one for the current.

It’s not been all bad, though. Ironically, some of the good has appeared because of the bad. Activism for human and earthly fairness, equality and health concerns has more voices than I’ve ever heard. Silent in peace, together in war, I suppose.

That being said, I suppose I’m joining the activists.

One of my greatest frustrations in life is when problems have easy solutions that are ignored. In this case, I’m talking about the impact automobiles have on our planet. They do far more damage beyond spewing tailpipe emissions.

Automobiles have environmental costs through an entire global supply chain. From material logistics/sourcing/shipping/construction/waste-disposal, end-product shipping/distribution/operation demands/repairs/waste-disposal, as well as infrastructure construction/maintenance. Don’t forget to consider you are not just pillaging the earth for extra material, you’re also consuming and emitting fossil fuels to do so. Those are just the hard costs, but I could go on in more granular fashion and add soft costs like less traffic, less road noise, more parking spaces, and better city planning as well.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to the weight of the vehicles. There is absolutely zero justification for any standard-use car to weigh more than 3,200 pounds, and that’s for a SUV.

More weight affects EVERYTHING.

And guess what, it’s not only easy to fix, but you can also buy reasonable vehicles right now.

I drive a very loaded gasoline powered 2017 Fiesta hatchback, one of the lightest normal cars on the market. It’s got cruise control, a great entertainment system with Apple car play, automatic lights, and even stupid neon accent lighting I didn’t want. It weighs only 2,600 pounds and even though it isn’t fast, I don’t have any issues getting up to speed. My mileage is consistently 29 in horrendous stop-and-barely-go LA traffic and 34 driving fast on long highway trips. It has the same 4 doors and 5 seats as a Toyota Camry, but weighs at minimum 700 pounds less and is nearly 3 feet (32 inches!!) shorter so I can park it basically anywhere. Because it weighs so little, tires last forever. It costs me less than $20,000 brand new. My point is that a freaking heavy and large 3,400lb sedan, or 4,500lb SUV is 100% supremely unnecessary to carry 3 or 4 people and a cooler of beer, let alone 1 and some groceries.

In 2019, roughly 5% of the people in the United States bought a new car, or approximately 17,000,000 people. Multiply hundreds or thousands of weight savings per-car over those millions of new cars and you would have insanely positive and tangential effects. Because numbers are helpful, assume every car went on a diet and lost even just two hundred pounds… That would mean 3.4 BILLION pounds of material was saved. To maybe give a little more perspective, that is roughly the equivalent of almost 5 Empire State buildings. And that’s just for the United States. In one year. Now, imagine the materials saved, fossil fuels unconsumed and not-emitted over the ENTIRE world, over multiple years. Billions of pounds of raw material saved and billions of gallons of fuel not turned spewed into the air we breath.

Eventually additional gains would reach the economy and infrastructure too.

Now that you’re a little more educated around the topic, I’ll share what I’m doing about. Well, for starters, this – pleading with you to factor in the weight of a car when you buy it. Secondly, I’m hoping I can force you and automakers to consider it.

I’ve begun drafting a bill that will put forth a serious tax for vehicles over a certain weight. My goal is to find and share it with advocates in the government who can support this and hopefully make it a law by mid to late 2020’s. We’ll see how the political climate is after the next election and I’ll decide the best strategy and timeline to proceed.

In the meanwhile, please please please consider the weight of a vehicle when you buy one – new or used. It helps the world way more than you can ever see or feel.


Making Money From Losing

As I consider my professional future, I’ve asked myself – am I fit for running a business? Do I have solid intelligence and sound intuition to make smart decisions? I’m not sure, but hopefully soon I’ll found out.

One thing I do know for sure is that companies filing IPOs when they have nine-figure losses makes me furious and I will never support that decision.

Doing so is bad for the economy and it’s fundamentally bad for everyone, especially any non-professional average Joe/Jane investor. Eventbrite just filed and they have around $100 Million in losses in three years. Could they be profitable in the future and recoup their losses? Maybe. Certainly not anytime soon. Let them IPO when that happens.

Letting people gamble in Vegas is one thing, letting people gamble on losing companies that support one of the world’s largest economies?

Is 10 years all we need to forget what subprime lending did to the United States? That it violently threw our economy into “The Great Recession”? This is the same damn thing.

It has me screaming “WHY IS THIS LEGAL?!?!”

2019 UPDATE:

  • Slack…. $400 Million revenue; $139 Million in red
  • WeWork…. $1.7 Billion (BILLION) revenue; $690 Million in red

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Thoughts on Trash

Here’s some good news: You can help the world in one easy step!

Reducing trash is one of the global problems INDIVIDUALS can help solve. One person can’t fix war or poverty, but they can buy or throw away one less thing.

If everyone in the USA commits to saving a 1/2 pound from the trash a year, that’s preventing roughly 160 Million pounds entering toxic landfills. Now visualize the impact: that’s the equivalent of roughly 44,000 cars. To scale up, if everyone on the planet did it, that would be 3 Billion pounds (~811,000 vehicles) a year!

I personally know how easy it is to get discouraged about the world because so many of the problems seem too enormous or intangible to solve, but this is an opportunity to immediately help our world in a way that is as easy as not ordering one thing from Amazon or not drinking a couple cups of coffee.

Thanks everyone (bonus points for sharing the message too).

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A More Fair Voting Process

Does anyone else see an opportunity to fix the American voting system for electing officials? I, for one, am one of those people who massively dislikes the electoral college. Why is the popular vote not truly meaningful? I think it discourages people from voting. We should fix that.

Here’s an idea I’m tossing around. It abolishes the Electoral College and is based on popular vote.

Every citizen gets get two votes:

  • 3 points for your first choice.
  • 1 point for your second choice.

Every member of congress plus the President have approximately x100 point values (maybe a little more but keep the ratio).

  • 300 points for their first choice.
  • 100 point for their second choice.


  1. It’s based on total points, not averages. Averaging votes is terrible. Let’s say two candidate have an average vote of 4. Candidate A has a vote of 5 and 3, Candidate B has two votes of 4. By average they’re the same, but they have different votes so who is the better candidate – the one people are more emotional towards or the neutral one? Points simplifies the equation.
  2. You get two choices so it’s not an “All or nothing” scenario. And if you hate every candidate, but one just slightly less, you could even cast a single vote for a second choice to give them one point.
  3. There is a 2 (or 200) point gap between choices to emphasize your first choice. This will help eliminate you accidentally knocking out your first choice.
  4. Congress members and the President get more weight because they are the political professionals we elect to represent us at the highest levels and theoretically have the most knowledge of what’s happening. The larger point values are enough to give them a swing in a very tight vote but not enough to determine the whole thing. And most importantly, the point ratio remains the same.
  5. I’m hoping this helps third party candidates because our two party system is growing more violently divided by the day.