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Ep 48 A Scientist Helps Peterson Understand Climate Basics


Dr. Kathy Straub

Dr. Kathy Straub is back! She sorts Peterson out about the difference between weather and climate, considers the future on this rapidly changing planet, and comments on the role of women in science. In this 48th Episode of Climate Stew, we hear from Yale Climate Connections about effective climate communication in schools. Oh, and Marvin  Bloom has marital problems, turns out there is a woman who has been luring Marvin’s partner away–Mother Earth!

Peterson also announces that very soon Climate Stew podcast will produce its 50th and final episode. He has been invited to create a brand new show on another platform. But the good news is that he and the Climate Stew Crew are beginning to produce new videos!

Climate Stew podcast is available on iTunesStitcherTuneIn RadioSoundCloudSpreaker Radio, or Listen here  on our site. In whatever format you use, please rate and review! It makes a big difference. You can follow us on Twitter. Also check out our Facebook page where you can give your ideas of what you want to hear on the program



Marvin and Climate Denial



Climate Stew Host, Peterson Toscano

Climate Stew Host, Peterson Toscano

Yes, this is the 48th episode of Climate Stew. We produce a cheeky, hopeful, friendly podcast just for you. I am Peterson Toscano and so happy you can join me today. Our guest is Dr. Kathy Straub. She is the atmospheric scientist I go to do when i need to better understand climate, weather, and the secret lives of scientists. I like that she also has a sense of humor.

Marvin Bloom also joins us. He had the shock of his life that nearly resulted in a divorce. I’ll let him explain the drama. And with a report about climate change education, Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz  from Yale Climate Connections chimes in.

But first I want to say thank you for listening. And thank you for sharing climate stew through social media and in conversation. Thank you for the many positive comments you send me. And thank you for rating the podcast on iTunes. This has been an amazing ride. And it Seems we are getting noticed. In fact, I have been invited to create a whole new podcast that will reach even more people.

What does that mean for Climate Stew? Well, there is good news and there is better news. The good news is that I will still produce a fun, friendly, informative podcast. Just not here. The better news is that here at Climate Stew we now producing YouTube videos. These star Marvin Bloom and Me. Also Elizabeth Jeremiah has been spotted in the studio. You can view these and upcoming videos on my YouTube channel. Just look for Peterson Toscano on YouTube or search for p2son, the letter p the number 2 s-o-n. P2son.

Also on the climate stew website our team regularly blogs. Marin posted a series about her food adventures in Peru, Keisha has a powerful piece about what the Flint Water Crisis teachers her about Climate Change, and Prescott reveals the house of the future. You can find these and links to our videos at

In addition to today’s show we will produce two more episodes of the Climate Stew podcast, rounding it out to 50 episodes. You will be able to hear all these episodes at iTunes, Stitcher Radio, TuneIn Radio, SoundCloud, and  at Climate Stew. com. And soon I will give you details about the new podcast so that you can come along with me.

Thank you again and enjoy today’s show.

Yale Climate Connections: Acing Climate Change Education

How do you engage an auditorium of teenagers on the topic of climate change?

During a school assembly, the Alliance for Climate Education mixes climate science with pop culture, humor, and social media to inform and empower high schoolers.

Assembly photo

To make the presentation interactive, students are asked trivia questions and invited to text a pledge to do one thing to protect the climate.

QUSBA: “We try to really meet young people where they are, which is on social media and through text messaging. And so we build all of that into our assembly program, to make sure that we’re really speaking in a language young people are compelled by.”

That’s Leah Qusba, the group’s communication director. After the assembly, more than half the students are more motivated to take action, and she says many do through the Alliance’s online network, which provides resources to start or join projects that address climate change.

Pop culture, humor, social media – tools for engaging teens on climate issues. CLICK TO TWEET

The approach is working. More than 2,000 projects have been completed so far, including industrial composting, solar panel installations, and school-wide energy audits. By putting teens at the forefront, the Alliance for Climate Education has enlisted a powerful set of new voices for climate action.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media/Justyna Bicz.
Photo: Alliance assembly photo (source: Alliance for Climate Education website).

More Resources
Alliance for Climate Education
Making Climate Change Cool in the Classroom
Making Climate Change Real at Oakland High School
Evaluation of a National High School Entertainment Education Program: The Alliance for Climate Education

Main: Interview w/ Dr. Kathy Straub

Kathy Straub, Ph.D. Atmospheric Scientist

Kathy Straub, Ph.D. Atmospheric Scientist

For my work here at Climate Stew I do lots of research into climate science. But I’m not a science person. I remember an undergraduate biology class that I tanked. The previous semester I had a Chaucer class taught by the wife of the Biology class teacher. She thought I was the one of the best students she had in a long time. Her husband, not so much. I explained, well, if you talked about science like its a story, you know the love affair that leads to mitosis and meiosis, I might just get it. he wasn’t into storytelling. Or comedy. So I got a D.

Lucky for me I know Dr. Kathy Straub, an atmospheric scientist at Susquehanna University. She recently sat down with me to help me better understand climate science.

What does Kathy say about herself and her work?

For someone who loves to learn and think about new ideas as much as I do, I have the perfect job.

By training, I am an atmospheric scientist, so I think and teach a lot about the weather. When I was in graduate school, I was stationed on a Chinese research ship in the South China Sea for three weeks to launch weather balloons for a field experiment on the monsoon. That got me really interested in tropical weather, which is what I study in my scientific research.

But I have also spent countless hours reading and learning about global climate change over the last 15 years, so I teach about that too. While I’m interested in the science of climate change, for sure, I’m also interested in the politics, the economics, and the ethics of how we as a global community approach the solution. So I read and think about these issues too, and incorporate them into my classes, into research projects with students and into invited talks to the public.

Then there’s my obsession with food justice, healthy eating, and growing food organically. I teach about these subjects too, in my first-year Perspectives seminar. I also have a really strong interest in keeping up with what’s going on in natural gas fracking, energy legislation, the Keystone XL pipeline, renewable energy, campus sustainability, and the fossil fuel divestment movement, and I incorporate these current topics into my environmental science courses.

So for me, teaching and doing research in Susquehanna’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is the perfect job. I have the freedom to explore, along with my students, the most pressing environmental issues we face today. My goal is to inspire my students to be successful scientists as well as engaged global citizens.

Your Moment with Marvin—Review of Ecosexuality

This is Marvin, Marvin Bloom and this is your moment with Marvin.

Oh, I had such a scare. Not about climate change. No about my partner, Tristian. Let me just say I completely trust my partner Tristian. Still he was acting so weird. It was like he was in love. But not with me. He would get all excited about going out to the park. All this primping and packing little things in his backpack. Writing little notes he slipped into little envelopes. I got suspicious.

So I snooped around. Which I know is wrong. Yeah but what did I find? I found a love letter he wrote and it wasn’t to me. It was to some woman. It was awful. I adore you. Your are beautiful and powerful. I want to get on my knees and kiss you all over. I wanted to die.

So I confronted him. I’m not about to back down. I’m gonna fight for my man. I cornered him after dinner. I told him I saw how he’s been acting strange, like he’s all giddy and whistling and stuff. Then I told him about the love letter. I said, Tell me honestly, are you having an affair this woman? Who is she?

What does he do? He smiles this wicked little smile. I was like, excuse me buster. Wipe that smile off your adorable cheating face He said, it’s not what you think. yes, he said, I am in love and It’s been amazing.

Ecosexuality-bookThat’s when I stopped breathing. I really didn’t believe it was true. How could he? Then he said, but it is not like you can’t be involved too. And he gave me a little wink. He said There is lots of love enough to go around. I was like, Oh please I am not ready for some freaky kinky wet and wild polyamorous love triangle. No, I’m kinda old fashion. I said NO its me or her! Decide.

Then he smiled again and said, Oh Marvin, you are the only one for me. No I’m not having an affair with another person. I’ve just fallen more in love with the planet.

I was like, Wait. What? Turns out someone at his work gave him a new book. It’s an anthology called Exosexuality—When Nature Inspires the Arts of Love. IT’s all these writings about falling in love with the earth, partnering with it, making out with it. You know earth as your lover. Not just a female mother earth but also father earth or genderless earth. Very queer new age theory stuff.

I’ve read some of it. Very interesting. Not my cup of organic raspberry leaf yogi tea, but still I see how it inspires people. I guess a lot of people are reading it now and it’s getting taught at universities.

All Tristian’s friends are into it. He said we’re invited to a wedding in two weeks at central park where his friends Biscuit and Lana are doing a ceremony to marry the earth. They even wrote up ecosexual vows to Gaia.

I dont know it is a little too much for me—too environmentalist. Too radical fairy. But if Tristian wants to go on a date with nature, so be it Just leave me out of it. This is Marvin, Marvin Bloom, and this is your moment with Marvin.



Thank you, Marvin. And although he is uncomfortable about the Ecosexuality anthology, I encourage you to check it out. I have a link in the show notes at Climate Stew. com. There you will also find music credits, transcripts, and Mavin’s latest video—Climate Denial is no joke. I love hearing from you. Follow us on Twitter @climate_stew that’s climate_stew. If you want to email me send your message to info @

our music today is by  Multipanel, ArtSonic, Romo, Chenard Walcker, and Mark Chadwick. Special thanks to Dr. Kathy Straub, Dr. Joanna Huxler, oh, and Joe G, who insists that Meiosis is the process by which self-absorption multiples.


Featured image: Marc Swanson, Untitled (Hooking Buck Head Down) Portland Museum of Art. Photo taken by Peterson Toscano

Peterson Toscano

Author: Peterson Toscano

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

This post has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Rachel Mark on April 2, 2016 at 12:15 pm Reply

    Catching up on a few episodes, Peterson. Loved the two podcasts with Kathy Straub. Best regards!

  2. Peterson Toscano
    Peterson Toscano on April 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm Reply

    Thanks Rachel. I particularly like Kathy’s humor. I’m a sucker for a funny scientist.

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