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MLB Pitcher Brent Suter and Circus Artist Eliana Dunlap on Creative Climate Action

My favorite part of podcasting is that I get to meet cool people doing things well outside of my normal experience. That is very true with the latest episode of Citizens Climate Radio. Brent Suter is a professional baseball player, a pitcher with the Milwaukee Brewers. Eliana Dunlap is a circus artist who specializes in the German Wheel, (which I had never heard of before.)

Brent Suter

Brent Suter received a scholarship to play baseball at Harvard University, where he studied environmental science. He learned about the effects of climate change and what how we need to drastically reduce our pollution. At first that meant making individual lifestyle choices to lower his own personal carbon footprint, but he has been expanding his efforts. Through his Strike Out Waste initiative, he got professional baseball players to use reusable water bottles during spring training.

In a recent interview for the Green Sport Blog he said, “At this point in time, a carbon pricing program and higher incentives for clean energy are absolutely imperative towards the goal of stabilizing our climate and ensuring a healthy and viable future for our planet. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would not only help achieve these goals, but would give the funds raised back to the people, save countless lives, and create millions of jobs! A Green Revolution needs to happen fast, and this law, if passed, would play a vital role in helping solve the most important problem of our lives.”

The Art House

Eliana Dunlap

Eliana Dunlap was not born into a circus family; instead she learned circus arts at a circus school in Quebec. Her circus skill set is impressive and includes acrobatics, juggling, dance, and her speciality, the German Wheel. She has been performing circus arts in non-traditional spaces. She is also someone who is creatively responding to climate change. Through her podcast, Changing the World and Other Circus Related Things, she is connecting with other concerned circus artists. She is also one of the founding members of the Circus Action Network.

Eliana likens the high stakes world of circus arts to the challenges we face with climate change. She also sees examples from the circus world about how we can get people from various backgrounds to work together. This summer she and a friend will do street performances of a new circus art show called, High Stakes–What’s the Plan(t)? In addition to lots of juggling and acrobatics, the show features a live plant as part of the action.

In this fascinating interview, Eliana opens up about the world of circus and how she and other concerned artists are creating avenues for a deeper conversation about climate change.

You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher RadioSoundCloudPodbeanNorthern Spirit RadioGoogle PlayPlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.

If you listen on Apple Podcasts, please consider rating and reviewing us!

Sexy Sex in a Time of Climate Change

Last month Peterson Toscano launched a new podcast, Bubble&Squeak. (You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher, PodBean, and Google Play.) The show is weird and wonderful, a delightful mix of storytelling, comedy, radio drama, and commentary.

Each episode is short, only 15 minutes, and in addition to hearing from Peterson (as himself and playing multiple characters) he has also featured writer Elizabeth Rush and actor Danny Glover.

In his most recent episode, Sexy Sex, he includes a short radio play, a prank call to the future. Peterson dials into a sex advice call-in line with the dilemma, “My boyfriend and I are not having enough sex.” No this is not because of internalized homophobia, rather they are temporary residents in an emergency shelter after a storm. Dr. Judith Housemeyer is adamant about finding a solution to the problem.

You can read the script below or better yet hear it in all its glory.

A prank call to the future: Dr. Judith Housemeyer Sexy Sex in a Time of Climate Change.
by Peterson Toscano for Bubble&Squeak

Dr. Judith: This is Dr. Judith Housemeyer. Yes, caller, this is Sexy Sex in a time of climate change. What is the problem here? Don’t be shy!

Peterson Toscano : Yes, Dr. Judith, I’m calling because, well, my boyfriend and I are just not having enough sex.

DJ. Oooo, the problem with the butt sex. We have heard of this. What exactly is wrong with this? Is he resistant? Are you uncomfortable with it? What is this? It is very normal!

PT No, no, no we love it. We love it,  It’s just that are in an emergency shelter right now because of a storm and there is no privacy

DJ:  I have heard, this is becoming a growing problem, yes for everyone, for the straights, for the bis, for the pans, everyone is having this problem.  Right, ok, well, have you been been able to perhaps try something, like go outside at night time.

PT Well, that’s hard because once it gets dark they lock the doors and that’s that. We can’t go in and out

DJ:  Yes, I have heard this. For security reasons. I understand. What about in the toilets? They have toilets there, ya, stalls? You could do a quickie there in the stall. Its not the first time, ya?

Photo by Honey Fangs on Unsplash

PT Well, yeah, but their disgusting. Oh my gosh they are so overcrowded and overflowing and its just…

DJ Oh, it’s a whole lot of backup of waste. I understand, ya ya, no no. Are there any other places that are private there?

PT Yes, there is one other place. There is attached to this is a pet, an emergency pet shelter

DJ Oh that is good, but there must be lots of people as well there taking care of the pets

PT Actually no, they’re really low on volunteers right now; they could use some help, so it’s pretty quiet

DJ Well if you don’t mind the animals watching, which is very normal for them just don’t get them involved, this is not Berlin in the 1930s hahahaha

Photo by Justin Chrn on Unsplash

PT No of course not, we could do that oh except my boyfriend he has some pet allergies.

DJ: mmmm, this does not have to be a bad problem, this could be fun, ya, ya,you get surgical masks, you could play doctor, uh, you could get the skimask, you can play muggings, this could be fun. Have fun with it! In this time of climate change we have to become creative and adapt, adapt to it and have fun.   Ok? thank you caller

This is Dr. Judith Housemeyer, with more Sexy Sex in a Time of Climate Change coming up. Call me with all your problems; I want to know I want to know.

END

 

 

(Featured photo by Elvin Ruiz on Unsplash)

Connecting the Dots: Precious Brady-Davis social justice, LGBTQ, and Climate Change

HuffPost has a beautiful article featuring Precious Brady-Davis. It is written by Alexander C Kaufman.

Precious Brady-Davis Is Connecting The Dots: Climate change is affecting every social justice struggle. The environmental movement’s best-known trans woman of color wants to make that link clear.

Brady-Davis, 33, is perhaps the most visible transgender woman of color in the climate movement today. She’s part of a new generation of environmentalists unmoored from the Patagonia-clad treehugger archetype and radicalized by global warming’s exacerbation of society’s worst inequities. As once-disparate social movements are awakening to climate change’s ubiquity, Brady-Davis, a top press secretary for the Sierra Club, is drawing on her roots as a queer African American from a pious family in a deep-red, rural state to build bridges over troubled and rising waters.

This is essential reading for anyone interested in exploring the intersections of climate change with human rights, social justice, LGBTQ issues, and gender.

The connections between climate change and gender are becoming clearer as the frequency and intensity of warming-fueled natural disasters increase. Women made up 70% of the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami since they were trapped in their homes while men were out in the open, according to the United Nations. Sexist hiring practices and work cultures make it more difficult for women to support themselves during droughts or after disasters. The U.N. estimates 80% of those displaced by climate change are women.

The article rightly goes on to highlight the risks to LGBTQ people but also the many ways we have had to be resilient in the past. These lessons are essential on a changing planet.

There’s a lot for the climate movement to borrow from the more militant early era of the fight for LGBTQ rights, said Sean Estelle, a gender-nonconforming climate activist in Chicago. The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP, emerged in the 1980s in response to the federal government’s inaction in the face of thousands of mostly gay men dying after contracting HIV. The movement pioneered die-in protests and amplified apocalyptic rhetoric to finally spur action from federal lawmakers who at times mocked AIDS victims and suggested the virus was a biblical punishment for the sin of same-sex attraction.

Whenever I talk to people about queer responses to climate change, I find the energy shifts and people really take notice.  Read the entire article for yourself to learn more about Precious’ background and how she became someone concerned about climate with a queer lens.

Also to learn more about what you can do to engage in queer climate action, check out Save the Unicorn! LGBTQ Response to Climate Change.

Photos by Annie Flanagan

Mermaid Tears and Musicians Who Lobby

Citizens Climate Radio Ep 36 How to be an extraordinary climate advocate with Sam Daley-Harris, Glen Retief, and Elizabeth Doud

Sam Daley-Harris, author of the book, Reclaiming Our Democracy, helped develop a model of advocacy that empowered citizens to connect directly with lawmakers. This model has helped shape organizations like Citizens Climate Lobby and the Friends Council for National Legislation. Sam reveals some of the sources for his own inspiration. His parents–their faith and public witness–along with insights he gained from his twelve years playing in the Miami Philharmonic orchestra directly contributed to his success in addressing world hungry, promoting micro-loans for the poor, and in training climate advocates. Sam highlights the important roles advocates play in taking on climate change.

Another climate advocate, Glen Retief, had the opportunity to take on the rebel role during the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa. He stood up to the racist policies of his government, but not as a rebel. Instead, he took on the role of advocate–lobbying, writing letters, and going to meetings. You will hear about the seemingly impossible task to turn his country around and the extraordinary lessons he learned that he now applies to his work in promoting solutions to climate change. Glen is the author of the Lambda Awarding winning book, The Jack Bank–A Memoir of a South African Childhood.

Listen Now!

Art House

Elizabeth Doud takes on the role of Siren Jones in her one-person performance, The Mermaid Tear Factory. Based in Miami, Florida, she has been a catalyst to engage other artists in conversations around climate change. Each year she helps organize Climakaze Miami.

Elizabeth explains why she sees Miami as the city of the future–both with its international changing demographics and the many ways climate change is reshaping the city. She also shares why artists need to break away from telling the story of climate science and instead dig deep into the hard emotions around climate change.

Puzzler Question

You attended one of the recent student walk-out demonstrations. While there you spoke to a parent, Claire. Claire’s daughter was a protest organizer. You tell Claire how you speak to legislators about laws that will address fossil fuel pollution. You see yourself as an advocate, working in the system to bring about change. Claire confesses, “I would never have the patience for that. I am so angry and I need to protest.” She then asks, “So why do you do that kind of advocacy work instead of protesting and civil disobedience?”

Try answering the puzzler question. Leave your name, contact info, and where you are from. Get back to host, Peterson Toscano by June, 15, 2018.You can email your answers to radio @ citizensclimate.org or leave a voicemail of 3 minutes or less at 518.595.9414. (+1 if calling from outside the USA.)

Dig Deeper

You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher RadioSoundCloudPodbeanNorthern Spirit RadioGoogle PlayPlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.

If you listen on Apple Podcasts, please consider rating and reviewing us!

A Time-Traveling Climate Change Podcast Episode RV Sci Pod

I am always hungry for climate change presentations that include playfulness, creativity, and thoughtfulness to them. Recently at Raritan Valley Community College, I met up with students who were working on the very first episode of their new science podcast. They decided they would start with the topic of climate change. Nothing like jumping right in to take on a tough issue.

Seriously, there is no topic more difficult to talk about than climate change. When I speak to Communications classes, I stress how hard it is to communicate effectively about climate change. Listeners shut down so quickly because of so many reasons–fear, shame, anger, despair, powerless, or a thick toxic combo of all those feelings. I joke that if you want to know if a on a TV cooking show a chef is really good, have that chef prepare a vegan meal. It takes real skill, nuance, and creatively. Similarly, if you want to challenge communication experts, have them give a presentation about climate change. It is the vegan meal of communications.

The students who produced episode one of RV Sci Pod, You Can Keep the Climate Change, met the challenge and created an effective, stimulating, whimsical, informed, and moving podcast about climate change. They play with time having some of the action take place in the future. They include characters, particularly a grandfather of the future and his grandchild. In an especially entertaining and insightful mock trial, they cleverly use real audio clips of famous people talking about climate change. They include the damning dismissiveness of Donald Trump and the passionate appeal of Richard Attenborough.

They pack all this and more into an episode of 35 minutes that never feels rushed or cluttered. The sound quality is excellent, and the tone they maintain throughout is welcoming, playful, and informed. This podcast is an excellent primer for the basics of climate change, but more than that it reaches the heart in unexpected ways. Just have a listen, share it with young people you know and older people too.

You can follow RV Sci Pod on Twitter or find them follow scipod_rvcc on Instagram

(featured image credit: Photo by Dynamic Wang on Unsplash)