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Category: Citizens’ Climate Radio

Plastics in Waterways and Climate Change Messages in Grindcore Music

Nicole Chatterson

Plastics? Yuck!

Plastic is so naughty. These days plastic products are being vilified because they:

  1. are made from fossil fuels and release a bunch of greenhouse gases while being made.
  2. end up everywhere (including our bodies) except in recycling and landfills
  3. last for a very long time and then release even more greenhouse gases.

While I do a lot of work talking about mitigating and adapting to climate change, I haven’t spent that much time learning about plastic pollution. Thanks to Nicole Chatterson from the University of Hawaii and Dominic Scicchitano from Bucknell University, I know a lot more. Nicole has done research in the Pacific Ocean while Dominic looked into plastics in the Susquehanna River.

I wanted to include Dominic because I live on the banks of the Susquehanna, and I wanted a local perspective. They both appear in episode 35 of Citizens Climate Radio.

Dominic Scicchitano

They are both engaging speakers and told me a lot about micro-plastics, tiny plastics either designed that way for say skin care products, or broken down from larger pieces of plastic that did not get properly discarded. What I especially love is how they are looking at big solutions. Sure do what you can to use less single-use plastic in your own personal life, but they are looking for systems changes in packaging, production, and waste management.

The Art House

The other part of the show that came out really well is an interview with sustainability expert, Peter Buckland. He is a renaissance man–a poet, politician, musician, teacher, and more. He also loves heavy metal music. He told me all about Grindcore (which sounds like a new gay app or else a very gay workout regime) and Thrash Metal (which just sounds like it must be really loud.) These two sub-genres of metal take sources of negative energy, including greenhouse gas pollution.

For example there is the band Testament and their song, Greenhouse Effect.

If  you want to learn about the world, there are many ways of doing it. One of my favorites is host a podcast. It forces me to engage with people and ideas that fall well ourself of my experience and even comfort zone.

Check out Ep 35 for yourself and please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts

(Featured image: Photo by Nicola Gypsicola on Unsplash)

Processing Grief in a Time of Climate Change with Extinction Rebellion and Hope Clark

We have entered an age of fierce and essential protesting. The #BlackLivesMatter Movement demonstrated the power of organizing and demanding to be heard on-line, in the media, and on the streets. Now in regards to climate change, we are witnessing a global uprising of young people and adults insisting they need to be heard by the powers that be.

Robin Boardman of Extinction Rebellion

While to many people much of these uprisings seem totally spontaneous and the leaders appear to have come out of no where, often there has been a great deal of thought, care, and strategizing by people who have been seriously engaged with these issues for awhile. Also, behind the scenes, many of these protesters are processing strong emotions of grief and sadness about the suffering they are seeing in the world.

In my latest Citizens Climate Radio podcast episode, I speak with one of these people, Robin Boardman, a university student in Bristol, England, who has taken some time off from his studies to organize actions with the group Extinction Rebellion. He shares what it is like to shut down a major bridge in London. Robin also reveals the values and principles that ground the work he and his colleagues at XR do. He also talks about how XR takes time to acknowledge grief over climate change. Finally, he tells us about future major actions in the works.

You will also hear from Hope Clark, (pictured above) a dancer who as been honestly and vulnerably exploring the role addiction has in her life–particularly her addiction to cigarettes. She connects these to our shared addiction to fossil fuels. Through dance and words, she is trying to make sense of it as she works through the climate grieving process that many of us feel even if it is deeply hidden and distracted by various comforts.

Below is a one-minute trailer for the show and then a link to the entire podcast.

Citizens Climate Radio Ep 34 Extinction Rebellion trailer from Peterson Thomas Toscano on Vimeo.

Power Will Sketch 1 from Hope Clark on Vimeo.

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.

 

On a desert island in a time of climate change #Philippines

Gael Henry Carlut grew up in the Philippines on what was once a desert island. Gael’s father is from France and his mother is from Iloilo in the Philippines. They fell in love and in 1986 settled on Pandan Island.  Their goal was to protect the extraordinary coral reef that surrounds the island and then share it with others. Gael left the Philippines and settled in France to study environmental science and water treatment processes. He felt a strong pull though to return not only to the Philippines, but to this remote island. I recently visited Pandan Island and chatted with Gael about the island, climate change, and the pursuit of happiness.

Marissa Slaven talked to me about her novel, Code Blue, an eco-mystery. Drawing on her love of the coast in New England and even her background a palliative care physician, Marissa has created a near future world that is stressed by climate change in a society has chosen to respond creatively to it. She expertly weaves in various mysterious her main characters, Atlantic or Tic, a high school student, must solve. These mysterious are both personal and scientific. Her book is one you cannot easily put down once you start reading it.

The Bible and Climate Change — A Candid Conversation

At a Chamber of Commerce breakfast in rural central Pennsylvania, I brought the conversation to a sudden halt, when I mentioned I am a Bible scholar and lately I have been wondering what the Bible had to say about climate change. One woman at the table nearly lunged at me, “What does the Bible say about climate change?” She was genuinely curious as were the other people at the table.

I recently sat down with three Evangelical Christians, including a pastor in the rural town where I live. I asked them about the Bible and climate change. They shared Bible passages, stories, and testimony.

I pushed back a few times–Yeah, but you are always preaching about heaven. How can you care for the earth if you see it as your temporary home and you are just passing through to a God who will forgive you for any harm you have caused? They graciously shared their faith and how it leads them to care deeply about the earth and the people on it.

Hear Corina Newsome (pictured above with the fabulous owl!) Kyle Kyle Meyaard Schaap, National Organizer and spokesperson for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, and Pastor Josh Gibson from Emmanuel Bible Fellowship Church. Also, my character, Tony Buffusio, shares Joseph and the not so amazing climate adaptation story. PLUS a puzzler question: Climate Change–what’s faith got to do with it?

You can hear our conversation on SoundCloud or anywhere you listen to podcasts. Just look for Citizens Climate Radio Ep 30 What Does the Bible Say About Climate Change?

Exploring the Serious World of Climate Change Comedy

As a lover of comedy, I tend to watch a lot of sitcoms and standup. Lately I have been obsessed with the short silent films Buster Keaton created over 100 years ago. I am also reading David Bianculli’s book about the Smothers Brothers, a comedy duo who had an American TV show that paved the way for so many people and was a pre-cursor to Saturday Night Live.

While zany slapstick comedy works for me just fine, I do appreciate comedy with a message behind it. As someone concerned about climate change, I am always on the hunt for good climate change comedy. It is harder to find than you might imagine. While people love making fun of those people who are dismissive of climate change, beyond mocking these folks, there has been little comedy produced around climate change.

I was thrilled to interview Brian Ettling, a climate change comic who landed a national appearance on the Tosh.O TV show. Brian and I have a fun, free-wheeling conversation about the role of comedy, the challenges of climate comedy, and how talking about climate change is like passing gas at a dinner party. Lots of laughs and insights. Check it out at Citizens’ Climate Radio.

Citizens Climate Radio Ep 24 Show Notes

You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud, Podbean, Northern Spirit Radio, Google 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 us!

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!

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.

An oil town becomes a major wind energy producer

Grant Samms

Who doesn’t like a good story about how a town filled with a long Conservative history is offered something new and they run with it? When Grant Samms told me about his time in Woodward, OK, I knew I needed to interview him for my monthly show. He’s a brilliant storyteller with a great story to tell.

He explains how this Western Oklahoma town, which was founded because of oil extraction, found a way to add wind energy to their portfolio. Grant expected to find conflict between the established oil folks and outsiders pushing liberal green renewable energy. Instead he found that the identity of the citizens and their sense of place opened the door for them to try something different. To them it was an extension of who they are as energy produces and providers.

Click below for a short clip of Grant explaining what he discovered

Chantal Bilodeau

In the show I also chat with playwright, Chantal Bilodeau. She adores the Arctic, and how she describes its vast openness and raw beauty, I imagine she draws lots of her audiences to consider this distant, cold world. She told me about the need for good art in talking about climate change. It’s not about debate, but about understanding the problem and our  possible responses. She also works hard to connect artists doing climate work with each other.

Click below to hear Chantal share insights about theater and art.

Every month I produce an episode of Citizens’ Climate Radio. It is not your typical climate change podcast. I also include an artist, like Chantal, and we focus on stories and solutions. Have a listen to the full interviews with Grant and Chantal.

You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunesStitcher Radio, SoundCloudPodbeanNorthern Spirit RadioGoogle Play, 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!

Can a Car Racer also be a Climate Advocate?

Aaron Telitz

The short answer is, yes of course. We need climate advocates in every field and profession. Still a race car, which pumps out tons of greenhouse gases in a single seasons seems like the unlikely place to find a climate advocate. Or so I thought.

Then I met Aaron Telitz, the 25 year old Indy Lights driver. He drives fast and is concerned about climate change. He also puts his money where his mouth is, and agreed to charge himself $15 per ton for the fossil fuels he burnt and used up with tires (so many tires!)

It seems like a modest start, but this is the model a group called Citizens’ Climate Lobby is proposing. Price carbon so much per ton, then every year raise the price. Following this plan, Aaron will pay $25 per ton during his next season. All the money he is donating to Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

I sat down with Aaron to talk about his self-imposed carbon fee, but as these things go the conversation bounced around lots of other issues. I learned a lot about car racing, why drivers like him need to keep his weight stable, some of his favorite food cravings during the season, and the superiority of electric engine compared to combustion engines.

You can hear a sample of our conversation and see pics of Aaron in this video below.

Hope Clark doing community art around climate change

You can hear the entire interview on the Citizens’ Climate Lobby channel in iTunes, Stitcher, Podbean, or wherever you get your podcasts. The show also featured Hope Clark, a dancer who is using movement and art to help her community better understand climate change and make connections to their own lives. Here is a direct link.

Or just click play right below.