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Celebrities, Poems, and Climate Change

Climate Stew Crew member, Lori Hayes Kershner, knows me well. She sent me a link to recordings by celebrities reading poems about climate change. For me that is an internet version of a chocolate lava cake topped with ice cream.

The Guardian Newspaper dishes up very dishy actors reading climate themed poems chosen by the UK’s poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. The poems are very good, accessible and artful. The readings are excellent.

I was particularly struck by Extinctions by Jackie Kay and read by Kelly Macdonald, the Scottish actor who played Margaret Thompson on Boardwalk Empire. The poem goes in directions I do not expect. The poet ties in extinction with xenophobia and suppression of many types of alternative voices. Hear it for yourself and read along.

IMG_2182Extinctions by Jackie Kay

We closed the borders, folks, we nailed it.

No trees, no plants, no immigrants.

No foreign nurses, no Doctors; we smashed it.

We took control of our affairs. No fresh air.

No birds, no bees, no HIV, no Poles, no pollen.

No pandas, no polar bears, no ice, no dice.

No rainforests, no foraging, no France.

No frogs, no golden toads, no Harlequins.

No Greens, no Brussels, no vegetarians, no lesbians.

No carbon curbed emissions, no Co2 questions.

No lions, no tigers, no bears. No BBC picked audience.

No loony lefties, please. No politically correct classes.

No classes. No Guardian readers. No readers.

No emus, no EUs, no Eco warriors, no Euros,

No rhinos, no zebras, no burnt bras, no elephants.

We shut it down! No immigrants, no immigrants.

No sniveling-recycling-global-warming nutters.

Little man, little woman, the world is a dangerous place.

Now, pour me a pint, dear. Get out of my fracking face.

Hear more read by actors including Jeremy Irons, James Franco, and Maxine Peake. ‘Our melting, shifting liquid world’ celebrities read poems on climate change.


Author: Peterson Toscano

Peterson Toscano is a quirky queer Quaker concerned about Climate Change. His website is

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