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Category: Media

Turns out Superheroes are Amazing Polluters

Sarah Kaplan at the Washington Post published a piece, Superheroes might save the world, but they’d totally wreck the environment. Scientists trying to engage the public in good science are turning to pop culture.

To run at the speed of light, the Flash would need to consume 59,863,610,416 calories per second — the rough equivalent of a 12-foot tall hamburger every week. That adds up to nearly 90 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year. Meanwhile, flying alone would require Batman to burn the fossil fuel equivalent of 344 plane rides from New York to San Francisco.

This reminds me of when the US Center for Disease Control outlined the protocol of how to address a Zombie Apocalypse.

Read Kaplan’s article for yourself. In addition to pollution, scientists take on the Ice Wall in Game of Thrones and the superpower of carbon sequestration that the Swamp Thing possesses.

Superheroes might save the world, but they’d totally wreck the environment

New Media, Faith, Comedy, and Climate Communication

Anna-Jayne-Joyner-portrait-610x404In the midst of the election coverage, lots fell through the cracks including important, positive stuff.

Ryan J. Smith writing for Blessed Tomorrow shares good news about how Innovative Climate Media Makes Room for Faith.

Climate communications are an ever evolving myriad of mediums and expressions. From major productions like the new film Before the Flood to distribution tools on social media, the way we talk about climate is changing not only in language but also the methods with which we deliver it. These methods have increasingly welcomed people of faith, allowing them to reach unprecedented audiences with the click of a button.

copy_of_mu_blog_image_template-_horizontal_330x220_49He then goes on to highlight Dr. Katharine Hayhoe and her new Global Weirding YouTube series and Anna Jane Joyner’s new podcast, No Place Like Home, that she co-hosts.

Our very own Climate Stew podcast also gets a mention along with the new Citizens’ Climate Radio podcast (which is also now available through Northern Spirit Radio.)

Turns out Ryan is a big fan of Marvin Bloom (See below)

Check out: Innovative Climate Media Makes Room for Faith

Why I don’t forward and repost stories about Climate Deniers

As someone who has “come out” concerned for the climate, I am thrilled whenever a friend emails me or posts on my Facebook wall a news story about climate change. How cheering to have friends, who may not have the same convictions about this issue yet who still take the time to think of me when they see a climate story. Not surprisingly many of these stories are about climate skeptics, including a recent one about how state officials in one state, one that is predicted to get overwhelmed by sea level rise, has taken the extraordinary measure to counsel state employees to refrain from using the words Climate Change, Global Warming, and Sustainability in their work.

I have a funny reaction to stories about climate deniers/skeptics. I don’t view them as actual climate change stories, and I do not believe they deepen our understanding of the current crisis or do anything to bridge the gap between those who are concerned with climate change and those who are not. Here at Climate Stew we never post news stories about climate skeptics. Instead we try to provide a models for how to engage in a positive way.

Over the past three months I have begun to speak out to audiences about these denier stories. I urge people to no longer forward them to each other, in fact, I suggest we ignore these stories altogether. The media pushes these stories on us believing this is what we want to hear. I believe they do not have a useful effect. Below is my response to a dear friend who posted the story of the state that forbid their workers from mentioning climate change. While I see it is a worthwhile story to report, how it gets presented and re-presented turns it into a non-story and makes it a distraction. Here is my response to the story when it was posted on my FB wall.

IMG_1859Thanks for thinking of me whenever you see a climate-related story. That always cheers me! With my work over at www.climatestew.com I am always looking for climate-related stories. You know I love you and value you so much in how supportive you are to me in my new work in looking at creative responses to climate change. What I am about to write may sound harsh, but this article touches on a point that has been on my mind a lot these past three months.

I find these types of “climate stories” to be obnoxious–not simply State leaders’ action to ban people from saying the words Climate Change, Global Warming, and Sustainability–that no doubt is obnoxious. But I find the story itself and the place it has among many of my friends to be obnoxious. At its core I read this story and hear the message, “Look at those idiots who refuse to face reality. When will they join the rest of us informed, engaged citizens?”

We live in an age of vast denial. There are many types of climate deniers; most of us are in denial about the severity of this crisis and the work that we need to do to change the political world, and the ways we get and conserve energy. Sure we recycle, change a lightbulb or 20, eat less meat, and post stories about yet another Conservative who refuses to read the handwriting that is clearly visible on the wall. But for many of us those acts absolve us of any further responsibility.

IMG_1864This article is NOT a climate story. This is a partisan story that actually distracts people from looking at REAL Climate stories.

So here is my challenge–Please consider no longer reading stories and sharing stories about climate deniers. We only have so many hours in a day. Instead let’s educate ourselves and each other about how climate change is occurring right now, who it affects, and what people are doing or can do or must do to address it.

And in doing that, let’s also try to probe deeper into the reasons why people cannot fact this dreadful reality, much like it is so hard to face the facts of a sick and dying parent, or the end of a marriage, or the destruction of a dream we held dear. Instead of further dividing the nation and detaching from deniers, how can we relate to them? Most all of us have lived in denial. How can we build a bridge instead of another wall?

 

Featured image: The Age of Enlightenment by Antoine Lavoisier at the Hirshhorn Gallery, Washington, DC

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Climate Stew on WRUW in Cleveland, OH!

WRUW FM 91.1 out of Case Western Reserve University this week featured an interview with me and TWO episodes of Climate Stew on the Ears to the Ground program. I sound a little alien because to he Skype connection, but it comes through nice and clear. Special thanks to Jed Walsh for telling Ears to the Ground about the show. See what happens when you share Climate Stew!

Ears to the Ground is a public affairs show focused on environmental issues and activism hosted by two Case Western Reserve University undergraduate students Jason Walsh and Laura Hurst.

Photo on 1-21-15 at 6.55 PM #2

developing queer Quaker comic justice faith responses to climate change

Jason and Laura asked how I decided to use comedy and theater to address LGBTQ issues, religion, and climate change. We talk about being a Quaker and how that informs my work and view of the climate crisis. We explore environmental justice, intersectionality, and even what messages about global warming we can get from the Bible. Water rights and the Bible anyone? We look at women and climate change, the recycling myth, and much more. Big point: This is NOT simply an environmentalist issue. We need to wrestle the message away from environmentalists and create new narratives and use new lenses.

The hour-long program starts with the lively interview and then the episodes. You can listen here. Enjoy!

Why on earth is this gay guy marching for climate???

Yep it is true, I am marching on Sunday in the historic and MASSIVE People’s Climate March in NYC. Anyone who knows me can tell you that large crowds are not my thing. Still I am going to march.

In the Huffington Post I write about why I am doing it.

After a ridiculously long stint trying to de-gay myself through gay conversion therapy, I finally came out. Then, happily settled with a hunky smart stud, I got smacked in the face with a hot, nasty blast of global warming.

No, don’t blame “the gays.” It’s the immoral, flamboyant fossil fuel lifestyle that got us into this climate mess. Part of me wants to wash my hands of climate change and enjoy a little marriage equality while we all go to hell in a flaming hand basket. But then something sassy stirs inside of me, and our ancestors compel me to get off Facebook and do something. So on September 21st, I’ll be at the historic Peoples Climate March in NYC.

You can read the whole piece at HuffPost

Special thanks to KeishaMcKenzie, Karina Tefft, and Jane Brazell for all their input on this piece.