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Climate Stew Blog

Seeks — A new climate change themed comic book

I have been a fan of Joey Hartmann-Dow ever since I first saw Joey’s whimsical creatures drawn based on maps. Joey captures a playfulness and warmth to the work. When I needed an artist as a collaborator for my illustrated book, The Amazing Adventures of the Afterbirth of Jesus, I turned to Joey, who created the most adorable living placenta. (Ok, it’s a little creepy too, but that is part of the story.) In the fall I purchased Joey’s 2018 calendar celebrating Bad Ass Women.

Now Joey has begun a comic book series about climate change. Working with the Friends for National Legislation, a Quaker organization in Washington, DC, Joey has created Seeks. Here is the synopsis of Issue 1

CLIMATE DISRUPTION

When our protagonist J finds out their best friend’s brother Asa is hospitalized for an asthma attack, they want to do everything they can to help– as an activist for climate justice, they see a link between Asa’s dangerous condition, extreme air pollution, and the changing climate in their city of Philadelphia, PA. Although they’ve never reached out to their member of Congress before, J finds themself on a lobby visit with their representative, advocating for climate action as a public health issue, on behalf of their friend’s family and others like them.

You can read the first issue on-line. It’s free to read on-line! Purchase a hardcopy here. I really love this work and continue to feature it as new issues appear. Enjoy!

Icy Warm Arctic Art

As producer and host of Citizens Climate Radio, I love to bring artists into discussions about climate change. Artists often have a fresh look at the world and the ability to move he heart, head, and even the body.

Recently I spoke with two different artists–a playwright and a visual artist–about their adventures up in the Arctic Circle. They spent time there with other artists exploring this distant and exotic world in hopes that the landscape and experience would inspire their art. They produced art that captures the beauty and the weirdness of the Arctic. They also added beautiful human touches to a world that is usually ill suited to humans.

Chantal Bilodeau is a playwright originally from Quebec Province in Canada. Her award winning plays take on climate change. Set in the Arctic, they are beautiful, original, and are moving audiences all over the world. In her Arctic Cycle plays, she has roles for human and non-human characters. Chantal believes live theater experiences create special opportunities for audiences.

Artist Fritz Horstman talks about his trip to the Arctic Circle to take underwater photographs. The visual landscape of the frozen and thawing North captivated him, but the sounds really inspired him. He asked his fellow artists on the voyage to recreate the creaks and groans of the glaciers for his video, Ice Voices.

What’s mental health got to do with it??

Dr. Lise Van Susteren

Dr. Natasha DeJarnett

I try to look at climate change from multiple angles. A few years ago I began to read about how climate change affects our mental health, especially for people who experience extreme weather events. I also got to thinking about climate advocates like me who do this work day in and day out. How does it affect us emotionally and psychologically. Lucky for me I produce a monthly podcast, so I turned to experts as my guests.

Dr. Lise Van Susteren, a leading expert in looking at the psychological effects of climate change, and Dr. Natasha DeJarnett, a policy analysis in environmental health at the American Public Health Association, join show me for a thought-provoking and insightful conversation.

Fritz Horstman

Another feature of my show is the Art House. This episode I feature Fritz Horstman.

Artist Fritz Horstman talks about his trip to the Arctic Circle to take underwater photographs. The visual landscape of the frozen and thawing North captivated him, but the sounds really inspired him. He asked his fellow artists on the voyage to recreate the creaks and groans of the glaciers for his video, Ice Voices.

Here is a link to the episode or click the play icon.

Ice Voices from Fritz Horstman on Vimeo.

You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunesStitcher 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 iTunes, please consider rating and reviewing us!

Climate Change, Art, and Women

Chantal Bilodeau, playwright

Playwright, Chantal Bilodeau, raises an interesting point about the large percentage of women doing creative work around climate change. While women are wildly underrepresented in climate sciences, when it comes to the crossroads of arts and climate communication, women take the lead.

I have been doing work at the intersection of arts and climate change for over a decade, and though I have no scientific data to back what I’m about to say, I have observed that women climate much more than men—that is to say, this particular intersection is overwhelmingly female. I have found this to be true again and again, whether I’m leading workshops, commissioning playwrights, or publishing essays by artists who engage with the issue. As soon as you say “arts” and “climate change” in the same sentence, the traditional male/female ratio gets reversed.

As part of the annual HowlRound series on Theatre in the Age of Climate Change series, Chantal looks at a variety of studies that explore gender and climate change. Her article, Why Do Women Climate More than Men? is well worth reading. And check out the other climate themed pieces appearing this week.

Bucket baths and flush toilets — Day Zero is coming

Peterson Toscano, host of the Citizens Climate Radio, chatted with two residents of Cape Town, South Africa about “Day Zero.” If it sounds ominous, it is because it is. Sometime over the next few months the city will have to turn off the water that is piped into homes.

Because of a climate change magnified drought, mismanagement, lack of preparation, overcrowding, and wasteful water practices by much of the middle class, there is not enough water in the dams.

Residents are in a panic as they prepare for Day Zero. In addition to figuring out how they will live within 25 liters of water daily, they are working hard to reduce water use right now in hope of holding off the crisis.

Listen to the entire episode of Citizens Climate Radio to hear more of what Helen Moffett has to say. Also meet Judith Abrahams, who shares her insights about the crisis.

Dig Deeper

You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunesStitcher Radio, SoundCloudPodbeanNorthern Spirit RadioGoogle Play, PlayerFM, 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 iTunes, please consider rating and reviewing the show.