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Episode 40 Creative Climate Action Ideas

Climate Stew
Climate Stew
Episode 40 Creative Climate Action Ideas
Climate Stew host, Peterson Toscano

Climate Stew host, Peterson Toscano

In this episode of Climate Stew we look at creative climate action. What can we do besides protesting, marching, and lobbying. Peterson along with his guest, Adri Norris, talk about the Save the Coffee Bean House Party and Teach-In as a model for engaging the public in a deeper climate discussion. We will also look at the economic effects of climate action. If we act, will it tank the economy? Hear from expert Helen Mountford from the World Resources Institute. Also, Marvin Bloom will tell us about what happens to our brains when we hear about climate change.

Climate Stew is available on  iTunes,  StitcherSoundCloud, or Listen here  on our site. We also 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.


Lise Van Susteren talking about climate denial produced by Jeremy Deaton
xembed video:


  • Over and Over from Five Song Demo by Mark Chadwick
  • Winter Prelude courtesy of Second Bounze via SoundCloud
  • Once Have I by Boogie Belgique on Blueberry Hill (LP)

Climate Stew Logo


Intro: Hello and welcome to this 40th episode of Climate Stew. I am Peterson. Having  just returned from my epic tour of Norway, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, it’s great to be back in the studio. Today we talk about creative climate action. I will share one idea of how you can engage your family, friends, and neighbors in a discussion that will help them come closer to climate issues. Last month in my home we held an event called, Save the Coffee Bean. It was a huge success—a house party and teach-in with a tea ceremony, letter writing campaign, and a live art presentation. I’ll talk about how to put on such an event and why I think they help move people closer to the issues. And I will talk to the artist Adri Norris. She shares how doing art around climate change opened up her own understanding and has led to meaningful discussions. Marvin Bloom will join us for Your Moment with Marvin. He is gloating over being right about something. But first up Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz (Lizerwitz) from Yale Climate Connections. Dr. Leiserowitz spoke with Helen Montford, an expert on the climate and the economy. They have good news to share.


Helen Mountford

Helen Mountford

From Yale Climate ConnectionsThe New Climate Economy: A global study finds that climate action and economic growth can go hand in hand.

Main: Alternative Climate Action

Thanks Dr. Leiserwitz. I have to say that report gives me hope. I know it is not as sexy sounding as a big climate march. Still politicians who make policy look at the bottom line. They may be all noble sounding about caring for people or the planet, but at the end of the day it’s still about the economy stupid. That is why I like the proposal put forward by the Citizens Climate Lobby to play a fee on fossil fuels from the moment someone takes it out of the ground. Then give that feel to households to help with the inevitable rise in energy prices. It is a market-driven solution to transform how we get our energy by rising the price on dirty energy making renewables a more viable cheaper superior option. It also is justice minded providing money for poor and working class families during the Great Transition.

Save the Coffee Bean

Save the Coffee Bean by Adri Norris


Adri Norris prepares the canvas. Food and books for Save the Coffee Bean

Adri Norris and Marin Toscano on their wedding day

Adri Norris and Marin Toscano on their wedding day

When the folks at the People Climate Movement asked me to o organize a march or rally for the International Day of Climate Action on October 14th, I said no. I live in a small rural town, and the thought of a group of people marching around the tiny downtown seemed downright silly. Still I wanted to do something. So I asked myself, what am you good at? Well cooking and hosting a party. I grew up in a restaurant that my parents ran, so hosting comes as easily to me as eating. so I decided to throw a party.

As people engaged with climate activism, we can easily get stuck in three types of actions we organize. We march, we vigil, we lobby. All good things, but only a tiny offering of the many creative ways we can connect with others, get our message into the world, and stir up action. So in this episode I want to share with you what we did here in Sunbry, PA with our Save the Coffee Bean House Party and Teach-In. In a moment I’ll also bring fellow organizer Adri Norris.


We can be creative with climate action events. The goal is to build community and deepen understanding

Our goal for the day was simple. Create an event that would draw a variety of people, not simply the usual environmental suspects. I connected with people at my Quaker meeting, local places of worship, the university, Facebook, my neighbors, and the general public. The goal of the event was to offer a space where people connected with each other while also learning about climate change as a human rights issue. I also made sure we had plenty of yummy food. People love food.

Additionally I wanted to make sure there was an opportunity for specific climate action. Sure people can commit to doing something in a general. The trouble is if they commit to nothing in particular, that is what they often end up doing—nothing in particular.


Ardri shows Marin her ideas for Save the Coffee Bean painting.

So I chose a meaningful, yet relatively easy, measurable climate action. We live in a very Conservative Republican part of the world.  Since the Gibson Resolution had just been announced, I printed it out for everyone to read. It is a Republican Resolution that recognizes the threat of climate change. These 11 Republican members of congress from six states are calling for action. I put stationary out so that people could write the two US Congressmen who represent the districts nearest us.

Finally, my cousin, Marin, and her wife, Adri, were on hand with two engaging activities. Marin spent two years in China studying and learning about food. She brought some lovely oolong tea and gave demonstrations on how to make Chinese tea. Adri, a painter, set up a pallet and designed an image that fit with our theme, Save the Coffee Bean. Throughout the day she painted as people hovered nearby to watch and chat. Through an app called Periscope, I also did a video interview with Adri about the art and the topic. The video streamed live and we also posted it on our Facebook pages. 33 people showed up for the event. They wrote 20 letters. They had long and deep conversations. And through social media we connected with well over 1000 people.

The day after the event I spoke with Adri Norris, my newest cousin by marriage and an artist. Ari’s live art was an integral part of the event. Welcome Adri.

(Interview with Adri Norris)

Your Moment with Marvin: Your Brain on Climate Change

Hi everyone This is Marvin, Marvin Bloom, and this is your moment with Marvin. he very first time I spoke on Climate Stew I talked denial. No, not to make fun of climate skeptics. I suggested that climate denial is an emotional response to grief. In Kubler Ross’s stages of grief, what is the first of the five grief stages? Denial. We refuse to believe something that is so horrible is bringing a big change into our life—be it a infirmed loved one, the loss of partner, or the loss of Justin Timberlake’s hair. To me it looks thinner, right? He always had such great hair.

Well just so you know I am not making this stuff up, I heard Dr. Lise Van Susteren, a psychiatrist and climate activist talk about global warming induced psychosis.

she wrote a whole report about climate change. We’ll links in the show notes. Peterson we’re gonna need a link for that. Dr. Van Susteren predicts that as things heat up on the planet Americans will suffer psychologcially. They will experience“depressive and anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, substance abuse, suicides, and widespread outbreaks of violence,” Pretty serious stuff. I mean they have to do more research. Climate change psychology is still a new field.

I’ll let her speak for herself, Dr. Van Susteren? video

So what does this mean for me? Well it is what Peterson always tells me. Don’t scare the snot out of people with apocalyptic scenarios. Yeah, it gets people riled up, but they end up backing away. Sure be honest, but let people know there is still hope. Most importantly help them understand that they can be part of the solution. Even if it just throwing a little party for some of your friends. This is Marvin Bloom and this has been your Moment with Marvin


Thanks Marvin. And it wasn’t a little party. It took a lot of work. And there were so many leftovers. We now have a nice stockpile of chocolate in the treat cupboard. Visit climate stew dot com to see Adri’s beautiful Save the Coffee Bean painting and a link to her website We also have links to Dr. Van Susteren’s report, to the Citizen Climate Lobby’s economic proposal for climate action, music credits and more. Climate Stew is a labor of love and justice. Please tell your friends about us. Post episodes on your Facebook wall and share clips from our SoundCloud page. Just search for climate stew on Soundcloud, you will find us. Special thanks to Adri Norris, Marin Toscano, Dr Lise Van Susteren, Yale Climate Connection, oh and Joe Gee, who legally cannot drink coffee anymore after that infamous violent twerking outburst at Java Cabana last summer. Thanks for listening and come back soon for more Climate Stew.


Author: Peterson Toscano

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

This post has 2 Comments

  1. Tania Jane Taylor on February 1, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks again for allowing me to join the party via Skype. I did miss not being able to eat any of the food though!

    • Peterson Toscano on February 1, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      Yay, it was so much fun walking around the house with the iPad and introducing you to folks. Thanks for joining! Oh and we ate too much.

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