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Episode Eighteen — What’s Faith Got to Do with It?

Climate Stew
Climate Stew
Episode Eighteen -- What's Faith Got to Do with It?

In Episode 18 of Climate Stew we ask: Climate Change–What’s Faith Got to Do with It? and in response hear from Rev. Leah Schade, the newest member of the Climate Stew Crew. We also learn about the latest crusader for climate action, and thanks to an assist from Tony Buffusio, we actually understand the message behind the messenger.

We are committed to producing 25 episodes of Climate Stew. If you like what you have been hearing and you want to hear more, let us know! Leave a comment or send us a direct message. Climate Stew is available on  iTunes,  StitcherSoundCloud, or Listen here  on our site.

Rev Dr. Leah Schade. Photo credit:  Wendy Lynne Lee

Rev Dr. Leah Schade. Photo credit: Wendy Lynne Lee




  • Over and Over from Five Song Demo by Mark Chadwick
  • Live Action News by Sean Pope
  • Lost and Found by Flow Inc on the Controlled Variables EP
  • Dream On on Lush Life by Poldoore 


Pre-Intro: Hey, Peterson Toscano here, host of Climate Stew. Before we get started, no I am not going to ask for money—an important announcement. The Climate Stew Crew is committed to producing 25 episodes of this cheeky climate audio program extravaganza. You are about to hear episode 18. We are very happy to continue producing the program after episode 25 but we need to hear from you. Who is listening? What do you like about the show that we should keep in it? What would you like more of? Less of? And who the heck is Joe Gee? Send us your questions, suggestions, and comments. Contact us at or email us that’s And now let’s get stewed.

Climate Stew Host, Peterson Toscano

Climate Stew Host, Peterson Toscano

Intro: On today’s show we have a special guest, Rev. Leah Schade. I ask her the simple question: Climate Change: What’s Faith Got to do, (sing) got to do with it. What’s faith…sorry. She is the author of a new book, Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecological Theology and Homiletics, due out in the fall of this year, published by Chalice Press. She provides an insightful answer and reveals surprising data about which religious people in the US are concerned about climate. We also have Samantha Durham serving up the latest installment of That Day in Climate History, but first the news.

News: Pope to issue strong statement on climate change.
From the Climate Stew news desks comes this special report. A new superhero has taken flight in the fight against global warming. Imbued with special powers, the ability to speak multiple languages, and sporting a fabulous cape, this hero is making waves in the Pacific Islands and beyond. Is it an albatross? Is it a stealth bomber? Or is it? Really? That guy?

It’s the Pope. Pope Francis. Seems he is sticking his papal nose into lots of issues—Cuba, the gays, and now Climate Change. The Vatican announced that later this year the Pope will issue an encyclical, a big fancy papal statement that will communicate to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics that the Pope wants the church to board the climate action train.

A moral stance could just be a hit (Image: Tony Gentile/Reuters)

A moral stance could just be a hit (Image: Tony Gentile/Reuters)

Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Social Sciences in Vatican City, has been meeting with others for several months to help shape the Pope’s message. When asked about the Pope’s feelings concerning climate change, Sánchez Sorondo said: El es “muy preocupado por el cambio climático…la solución es la ética, porque la falta de ésta es la causa de la crisis económica y la que se esconde tras los graves problemas del mundo” uh, can anyone translate Italian for us? Is Tony Buffusio here?

Tony: Sure Peterson, he’s actually speaking Spanish in a weird vatican accent. He says that, “the Pope is very concerned about climate change … that the solution is ethics, because the lack of ethics is the cause of the economic crisis, the force behind the serious problems of the world.”


Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Social Sciences

Peterson: Ah, so he is looking at climate change as a moral issue, one that affects the poor, appealing to the church’s long history of taking responsibility for helping others.

Tony: Yeah, which is smart on his part, because my grandma, who’s super Catholic, could care less about the climate changing as long as she has her air conditioning, but when it comes to poor people, she gets all mother Theresa on us.

Peterson: Which I have no idea what that t looks like, but thanks.

While it is unclear what sort of impact the Pope’s official papal climate change statement will have on Catholics and other believers, climate change communicators like George Marshall often point out that when talking about global warming most people do not listen to the message but to a messenger with whom they identify. Perhaps this caped crusader with his very own Pope mobile can stir up some climate action.

Main Rev Leah Schade: Climate Change—What’s Faith Got to Do it with it?


This Day in Climate History
I am Samantha Durham, it is January 19th in 2165 and time for That Day in Climate History. In February 2022, the world was shocked by an unprecedented move within the oil and gas industry when one of its major players announced that it would suspend 80% of its oil and gas production and begin the process of converting the majority of its operations to solar, wind and geothermal energy production. In a press conference at one its largest oil fields, the company unveiled its plans to fast-track the training of its workforce in the deconstruction of oil rigs to be replaced with solar panels, windmills, and geothermal wells.

Said the company’s CEO: “We have seen the future of energy production in this country, and we wanted to be the first to get ahead of the curve and take advantage of this opportunity to invest in clean energy and truly put our country on the road to energy independence. We believe we have the best workforce to train for this conversion process, and we’ve been conducting research and development on how to best implement this massive, positive change over the last few years,” he said.

That research had been conducted largely unnoticed by the industry, though several smaller solar, wind and geothermal businesses had been consulted and enlisted in the project of clean-energy conversion for the company. The owners of those businesses flanked the company CEO at the press conference and expressed their enthusiasm for the new venture.


Credit: Earth Times

Stated the owner of the largest solar firm in the new conglomerate: “We are pleased to partner with the company to offer our expertise in exchange for the capital needed to grow our sustainable business. Together we can build America’s energy future that will slow down climate change and minimize the negative effects on the environment and public health.”

Response from the environmental community was initially mixed. Many leading ecologists expressed surprise that the company would make such a sudden turn away from fossil fuels. Given the company’s history, environmentalists were initially suspicious of their motives and wondered about a possible hidden agenda. Fortunately, the move to convert their operations to non-fossil fuel energy production proved to be genuine and kick-started what became known as The Great Transition, when other fossil-fuel industries began to follow suit and formed competing clean-energy conglomerates.

The company’s move was certainly driven by the profit motive in that it was spurred by the impending Carbon Tax which would be passed by Congress later that year. On this Day in 2165, we remember that day in Climate History.
Climate History is brought to you by the Church of Sweden, registration now open for the Summer Solstice Retreat and Spa. Escape the heat and walk in the light.

Closing. Thanks for spending time with Leah, Samantha, Tony, and me for episode 18 of Climate Stew. Visit for show notes, lots of links, and music credits. Look out for Leah’s book this fall—Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecological Theology and Homiletics, published by Chalice Press. Her blog is
Our opening music is by Mark Chadwick, Closing music by Poldoore. Segment music was Lost and Found by Flow, Inc. I have a shoutout to the students in Ms. Obien’s class at the Watkinson School who are right now editing their very own climate themed podcasts. Yay! A belated special thanks to Jane Brazell and Prescott Allen Hazleton for last weeks links to stories about avocado and wine. Special thanks to Leah Schade,, and Joe Gee, who with his own religious quest has created crises for catholics, protestants, and even the Quakers.

Author: Peterson Toscano

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

This post has 3 Comments

  1. Jan Freed on June 14, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Bravo, Pope Francis…This will be, I pray, the Very Model of a Modern Pope’s Encyclical

    • Peterson Toscano on June 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      hahaha, now that I have Gilbert and Sullivan in my head….
      Thanks Jan. I am liking your style.

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