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Episode 39 Climate Change is Not Our Fault?

We welcome two zany characters to the show–Elizabeth Jeremiah, who wants us to think about our polluting ancestors in a kinder light, and Marvin Bloom, who draws on his own weird story of trying to de-gay himself as a way of talking about climate denial. We also get a report from Yale Climate Connections about Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a 15 year old hip hop artist who is taking on climate change.

Climate Stew is available on  iTunes,  StitcherSoundCloud, or Listen here  on our site. We have a special Facebook Group for people who want to discuss upcoming episodes and delve deeper into the issues. We want to hear your ideas. Peterson tweets about climate change, LGBTQ concerns, faith, and lots of weird stuff, so feel free to follow and jump into the conversation. And don’t forget to share Climate Stew with your friends.

Links

Music

  • Over and Over from Five Song Demo by Mark Chadwick
  • Speak for the Trees by Earth Guardians on the Generation RYSE album. Written by Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh Music by JoeAlan Vocals by Xiuhtezcatl, Itzcuauhtli Roske, Isa Caress, Tonantzin Roske, and JoeAlan
  • La Rose by Chenard Walker on the Blessed album
  • Smiths Sacred Singers perform Lifes Railway to Heaven (1929)   78rpm disk (Columbia 15159-D) digitized by old78collector

Transcript

Hello and welcome to the 39th episode of Climate Stew. I am your host, Peterson Toscano. This week I am in Arizona as part of my Southwest Tour. I may be out of the studio, but I have a full climate stew crew ready to serve you some hot and spicy news and views about global warming and our roles on a new planet. Our special guest today is Elizabeth Jeremiah who specifically requested to be on today’s program. I have no idea what she will say. You will also hear from Marvin Bloom with his new regular feature, Your Moment with Marvin. But first Anthony Leiserowitz From Yale Climate Connections has a story for us about a 15 year old hip hop artist who is making waves in the climate world. The story was produced by Diana Madson.

Hip hop Artist Takes World by Storm
By Diana Madson

102015_Martinez2_680

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

The U.N. climate conference has a theme song this year . . . and it’s written and performed by a 15 year old.
[music] “If a tree falls in the forest does anyone bother to listen? This is the people’s darkest hour. We must make the right decision. Extinction or salvation. Global deforestation. Are we the ancient guardians of this long lost nation?”
That’s Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and his group of eco hip hop artists performing “Speak for the Trees,” a song that encourages young people to raise their voices to fight climate change.

MARTINEZ: “A lot of kids don’t know that it’s possible to change the world with your voice and it starts with one person, right? That’s how movements are built.”
Martinez was just six-years-old when he spoke at his first climate rally. And in 2013 he was honored with a community service award by President Obama.
Though still in high school, he has now addressed global leaders, and is youth director of Earth Guardians, a group mobilizing young environmental activists.

While Martinez is passionate about protecting the planet, sometimes he just wants to be a kid.
MARTINEZ: “In the next five to ten years of my life I want to have made enough forward movement with the work that I’m doing that there’s enough momentum that I can take a step back and live my life a little.”
He hopes his efforts inspire others to take responsibility for the earth and carry the torch after him.
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media/Aren Zolninger.
Photo: Xiuhtezcatl Martinez (source: Earth Guardians).
More Resources
Speak for the Trees (video)
Earth Guardians
Meet the teenage indigenous hip-hop artist taking on climate change
This 14-year-old dubbed the ‘Anti-Bieber’ is rallying kids around the country to save the planet
Meet Xiuhtezcatl, the 14-year-old activist

Main: Elizabeth Jeremiah

Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree, 2013 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree, 2013 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

This is Elizabeth Jeremiah from the Elizabeth Jeremiah global worldwide ministries in Jesus. I do not like it when people are dishonest. For instance, Lots of homosexuals and liberal theologians are claiming that King David of Israel, a man after God’s own heart, was himself a homosexual. They say this because King David, before he was king, was very close friends with Prince Jonathan. They made vows to each other, laying in the field together, naked. The scriptures states that David loved Jonathan with a love greater than that for women. Later in life David adopted Jonathan’s orphaned disabled son in as one of his own. No doubt they were intimate, but men in some cultures are. But That doesn’t mean they’re homosexuals. David most definitely as NOT homosexual. He liked women great. He had many wives and concubines and a multitude of children from those women. In fact, he liked women so much that after he oogled Bathsheba taking a bath on her rooftop garden, he went out of his way to assassinate her husband so that he could sleep with her. To me that is extreme heterosexual behavior. But if you insist on pushing the David and Jonathan love story, then at least be honest about it, and call David a bisexual.

Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree, 2013 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree, 2013 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Now before Peterson cuts me off the air I can assure you there is a climate connection to all of this. Environmentalists love to shame us into behaving differently. They wag their self-righteous green fingers at us and our parents and grandparents. They accuse us of being greedy wasteful wicked consumers. They insist that our ancestors are responsible for destroying mother earth. They hate the modern period. Instead they hearken back to some pre-industrial utopia. Where people supposedly lived at peace and harmony with the land. loving each other in some sort of eco-friendly matrilineal Shangri-La.

Let’s be honest, some of them ancient folks murdered, sacrificed the innocent, fought over pieces of property, and took advantage of each other just like we see some people do today. They just didn’t have as much technology and energy resources to do it on a global scale.

So that’s why I take offense when people go on and on about how our direct modern ancestors are evil guilty of bringing climate change woe upon our heads. These accusers do not acknowledge that our ancestors helped humankind. Think of all the advances in medical science,, in our homes, with transportation, and education. Think of all of the extra time people have had to explore the world, learn new things, and to be with their loved ones. Technology coupled with so inexpensive energy helps get all the important work done—work that women and girls mostly do.

Our great great grandparents had no idea that they were pumping into the air chemicals that ultimately would harm us. They simply used their God given ingenuity and creativity to build, expand, and dream.

Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree, 2013 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree, 2013 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The same thing happened with the asbestos. What an amazing naturally occurring mineral. They dug up and used asbestos even before the time of Jesus. Plentiful and inexpensive, asbestos, which is fire resistant, is the best product for electrical insulation, sound absorption, and building insulation. Unfortunately asbestos also kills people. My daddy for instance. As a young man, working class, struggling to make his way in the world. He worked for time installing boilers. As a result he breathed in a bunch pounds of asbestos fibers. Sadly later in life, although he didn’t smoke a single cigarette, which is a disgusting vile habit, he’s succumbed to lung cancer. His doctor said likely it was the asbestos. And now he is with the Lord.

So what do we do when we have something like asbestos or fossil fuels like coal and petroleum? They work wonders, and they are dangerous. Here’s another example My own niece, Vileen, is a fierce wonderful stay at home mom. Last year she took her one-year-old child to the doctors for his annual check up and was shocked to discover the child’s lead levels were through the roof. She couldn’t believe it. Her house, Their home, their safe space, was filled with a substance that could potentially affect her child negatively for life. Lead poisoning is bad and leads to neurological disorders and learning disabilities. so what did Vileen do? First she educated herself. She went online, she read books, she’s talked to experts, and then she and her husband, who is a wonderful man of God, set about to rid their lives of lead paint. It took them a lot of time and inconvenience and money. But The safety and health of their child is more important than anything else.

Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree, 2013 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree, 2013 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

People get angry and scared when they discover a threat lurking in their homes and in the very air they breath. We look for scapegoats. And yes while there have been greedy business men who have ignored warnings by their own experts, for much of our history, people did not know that the burning of coal and the use of petroleum would bring about global warming and these out of control weather events. Even Jesus, the greatest scapegoat that ever lived, Jesus himself, the spotless son of God, released carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Of course he breathed it out like the rest of us. But also, it is recorded in John chapter 21 that he burned fossil fuels. The disciples, discouraged after Jesus’s arrest and execution returned to their fishing. Jesus, all resurrected sat on the shore. The disciples in their boat did not recognize Jesus at first. After he gave them helpful fishing advice they then knew it was their very own teacher sitting on the shore. And in verse 9 it says “When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.” Yes, Jesus released greenhouse gas into the atmosphere in order feed his friends.

And that is what humans have been doing for over one hundred and fifty years. They have been feeding family and friends and delighting them with gifts and trips and helping them with medical care and books and computers and what not. And yes, we need to find new sources of energy. But let’s stop all of this name calling and maligning our ancestors. Instead, let’s thank them for all the advances they gave us so that we can live better lives. This has been Elizabeth Jeremiah, from the Elizabeth Jeremiah Global Worldwide Ministries in Jesus, may God bless you and keep you and your whole household too.

You Moment with Marvin:
Hi everyone, this is Marvin, Marvin Bloom, and This is your moment with Marvin. Welcome to my new regular segment here at Climate Stew. Last episode we said good-bye to Timothy Meadows who lives in the future, and although at least one listener, Dave, is broken hearted and probably hates me, it’s time to move on.

So what is this new segment going to be about? Well, I’m here to tell you a little bit about my life and my relationship with my partner Tristian, my interests, my food allergies, things that annoy me, the state

Peterson_Toscano-Homonomo
Peterson, Uh, Marvin. Remember what we talked about?

Marvin: yes, Peterson, and I’m going to talk about Climate change too. Don’t worry.

Ok a little background about me. Actually Peterson, who only ever talks about climate change, he and I have a lot in common. We’re both gay and we both tried to go ex-gay. Not at the same time. But for about three years I was involved in gay conversion therapy, where they tried to make me straight for Jesus. Well first I became a born-again Christian, a Jew for Jesus. it’s complicated. But in my defense let me just say, I was adopted. I mean biologically I may have Christian. But it doesn’t matter, I repented of Jesus.

Now when I was a Christian, I hated being gay and tried to change through these awful programs. For a short time I was even the leader of an ex-gay group called Sword of Truth Ministry. You know, like the Sword of God Almighty unsheathed to drive through my gayness. Sword of Truth ministries. Of course thank God I eventually left all that, re-gayed and now I am totally gay. No doubt Elizabeth Jeremiah’s believes I am bound to hell in her hand basket. But I am comfortable in my skin and happily legally partnered to Tristian.

And before Peterson cuts me off—let me say something about climate change. Ok, it’s like when I was in the ex-gay movement, trying to de-gay myself. I was on a destructive path. Why? because I believed a fantasy namely that it was wrong to be gay, unnatural, and that Jesus could fix me. Now some fantasies are fine to believe, especially for children, Santa Claus, The Hanukah Menora, the Tooth Fairy—which always creeped me out. But the gay to straight fantasy. Yeah, not so innocent. In fact, quite dangerous. But I wanted to believe a fantasy instead of owning up to reality. I feared what my life would be like, what my relationship with my parents would be like, if I came out gay. And its just like climate change. It’s easier to believe a fantasy that our pollution is not so bad or doesn’t add up and bring about a cataphrohe. It is easier to believe God will protect us no matter what and would never let us destroy humanity and most other living things. But to do so we have to ignore science and reality. We then look at climate change like it is the Easter Bunny, something to believe in or not, as if it was a matter of faith. And while some realities are hard to face up to at first, it is so much harder after you waste your whole life believing a fantasy. Then you finally accept the truth after its too late, and you are just a bitter old queen living on saltine crackers in Secuacus, NJ with no friends who really know you for who you are. So if your gay or trans or bisexual or lesbian or a climate denier, come out already and walk in the light. Yeah, I’m Marvin, Marvin Bloom, and this has been your moment with Marvin.

Closing:
Thank you Marvin and Elizabeth Jeremiah and the fine folks at Yale Climate Connectoins. You can see a transcript of today’s show over at Climate Stew dot com, check out the many links we have to learn more and to read Vincent Pawlowski excellent article Climate Change is not our fault. Special thanks to David Raher, Glen Retief, oh, and Joe Gee, who has recently started his own re-gaying ministry. Don’t ask. Come back soon for more Climate Stew.

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Peterson Toscano

Author: Peterson Toscano

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

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