– Hey, have you ever been
at a Thanksgiving dinner, and the conversation gets real heated? Because, you’re just on the opposite side of the spectrum on something. Well, today we’re talking
to Steve and John Young, who are father and son, both working in energy, but on opposite sides. We’re hoping to learn from
them how you can communicate with love through your differences. (playful music) Hey!
– Hey, Zach! Yeah, I give you a hug. – Yeah, let’s hug it out. – Oh, this is so cool, I’ve only seen you on a screen before.
– Love that shirt, man. Both of you guys look way too cool for me. – Way too cool. Oh man, I don’t know about that. – I know we just met, but can you guys carry me up the stairs? – Sure, no problem.
– I think I can. – Okay great, excellent. I make all my interview subjects carry me. (laughing) You guys are both engineers, right? – Mm-hmm.
– Right. – Steve, what’s your background? – Chemical engineer. Before that, grew up in Michigan. Oil and gas came along, 1981. There was a boom goin’
on, and people said, “Hey, this pays a lot of money. “Why don’t you go into it?” – John, you are in the same industry. So, what made you wanna
go into renewables? – I see a future with a
different alternative. At the end of the day,
we still need to have this energy come from somewhere. But, why not have it come from the sun? Why not have it come from the wind? And the thing is, it is cost comparable. You actually see a lot of
conservatives are the ones that are making the big investments now into big solar fields, because they see it as a
really big growth industry and a very solid, safe investment. It’s not something like you
keep having to burn coal or gas. The sun’s always gonna be there. – It’s always hot in my house, ’cause I bring the heat. – Bring the heat, there ya go. I ended up going to this place
called Earthship Biotecture, that was actually–
– What the heck is that? – It is my favorite
place in the whole world, because what they do is they
take recycled materials, for example, old car tires
and things like that, and they use those materials
to build sustainable homes. Homes that have their
own energy and water. – What’s the toilet made out of? – It’s a normal toilet. – I use a bidet. I’m big into bidets.
– (laughs) Okay. – And I feel like everyone should be. Does the Earthship support bidets and the bidet future? (laughing)
– I think if you went and got on the Earthship, I think
they would support you. Absolutely, they’d be excited
to install a bidet for you. I could be happy in an
Earthship my whole life and not even talk to anyone else. It’s just the perfect place for me. To use garbage, garbage which is a thing that only humans know. No animal has garbage. We created garbage, and they’re actually dealing
with that kind of stuff, and making it into something positive. – We created garbage and we can destroy garbage!
– Yeah! – So, when you first heard that your son was gonna go to work with
the Earthship Lollipop or whatever…
(laughing) What was your feeling as a dad? – At first, I was confused. What is an Earthship, right? Is it a fraud? I guess is what my number one concern was ’cause I didn’t know much about it. Then I saw it and it’s like,
“Oh, my son’s gonna be a hippy “and go hang out in an Earthship.” Then I, “Well, okay, there’s
worse things in the world. “He’s still a productive
member of society, “so that’s good.” And then as he got into it
and I learned more about it, I said, “Wow, this is cool.” And, who knows? He may be onto something. – Yeah, it was a tough
conversation to have at the time. I was met with a little bit of skepticism, and rightfully so. – Steve, what was your
feeling about renewables and working with that? – Actually, I wanted
to be a solar engineer. That was what I… I took some classes in school and that’s really what I wanted to do, and then I realized the
economics aren’t there. Nobody was payin… I had to pay for everything, and I needed a job that made money. So, that wasn’t gonna happen at that time in the solar industry. Most people think fossil fuels, “Geez, how can anybody
who considers themselves “an environmentalist, how could
you get into that business?” I think it’s a big misconception. Actually, I wouldn’t have
stayed there for 35 years if I didn’t think it was a great company. I found out I got to work
outside the first few years, no office job. You’re outside and that’s
really what sold me. – So, you got into fossil fuels because you love the environment. – Exactly, you know with
people usually, they go, “Oil and gas, and you
get it out of the ground, “you guys are evil and
terrible because you’re “polluting the groundwater.” Well, let’s really figure out
why groundwater gets polluted, and figure out how to fix it. What it really comes down
to is certain operators, or even service companies,
aren’t very ethical. They’ll cut corners and put
the environment at risk, which is absolutely wrong,
but that can still happen. – Has there ever been
a breakdown of civility in the Young household? – Yeah, I think… It happens in every household. We’ve had our disagreements,
especially with me during the teenage years and stuff, I lit of bag of feces on fire on someone else’s property. It might’ve caused a little bit of a disagreement of opinion. (laughing) – Maybe a touch of disappointment on that.
– Such a civil way to plan. You’re just a little
disagreement of opinion, with his bag of shit.
(laughing) What are the top five things
for civil conversation? – Number one is respect the person you’re havin’ the conversation with. The easiest way to get
respect from somebody is to offer your respect to them first. As long as you’re respectful, usually, that’s the best guideline. If you respect their
opinions, and instead of using the word “but,” use the word, “and.” “Hey, I agree with this, and maybe have you thought of that?” – Separating your
identity from your beliefs I think is important,
and understanding that, it’s the same for everyone. Their ideas, they’re not perfect either. It’s worth hearing them out. It’s worth them hearing you out. But, to try to make it an absolute, because then someone’s a loser
in this situation, right? Whereas otherwise, it’s
just a conversation. – Unconditional love,
which at the end of the day that’s a lot of it is the respect thing. The biggest trouble John
ever got into really was… I forget what he lied about. There was somethin’.
– Yeah. They had catched me for school. “Aww, I’m gonna take a sick day. “I’m just gonna lie about being sick.” So, they made a new rule
for me that was “don’t lie.” It was respect mom and dad, and don’t lie. – I’d throw in there, and
be open-minded, right? So, that’s part of respect is respecting somebody else’s opinion even though it may not have been yours. At least, try to understand
where they’re coming from and ask, “Why do you think that way?” – That’s great. Well, guys, thank you
so much for havin’ me. I am definitely gonna change my lifestyle and the way that I communicate, I think even with my parents. You have given me a master
class in how to have a civil, productive,
respectful conversation. So, thank you so much for that. – Thank you, too. – Hey guys, thanks for
watchin’ this week’s episode. I wanna know, do you
guys have a family member that you don’t see eye-to-eye
with on climate change? And, how do you talk to them? Let us know using the hashtag Earthive.