The Podcast that takes a serious look at global warming, but doesn’t try to scare the snot out of you.
Welcome to the very first episode of Climate Stew Podcast. We are thrilled to present to you this piping hot, yummy melange of news, commentary, and yes, even comedy about our current climate crisis. Click to listen on this site or Listen on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.
This episode has three parts (plus and intro explaining it all since it is the first episode)
- A single news story: Coffee & Climate Change
- A lively explanation of why on earth Peterson is marching for climate on Sept 21st in NYC
- This Day in Climate History (a report from the future)
See full transcript of segments below.
- How Climate Change will Brew a Bad Tasting Cup of Coffee, The Guardian
- Coffee page on Wikipedia
- How Climate Change Could Affect Your Breakfast, Huff Post Green
- Uganda: Coffee Faces Bleak Future, All Africa
- Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, IPCC Report
- Queers for the Climate
- Peoples Climate March
- Over and Over from Five Song Demo by Mark Chadwick
- The Association News Theme by Jake Hallman
- April Showers from Curses From Past Times by ProleteR
- Futuristic Sound Effects by Stolting Media Group
- Once Have I from Blueberry Hill by Boogie Belique
Part One: Climate News Item
Our climate news story this week is about Coffee. Yeah, coffee. Because of global warming many animal and plants species are finding their long time habitats threatened. Increased temperature, droughts, and floods are displacing and destroying species all over the world. Coffea arabica, the good robust coffee I drink every morning in the form of an espresso or latte is getting hammered by coffee leaf rust, a fungus that thrives in the warmer wetter weather that has become all too common in coffee growing countries.
Healthy coffee plants require mountainous regions where a cool stable climate insures the best yields. With rising temperatures in Brazil, the biggest grower of coffee in the world, and the recent floods there, coffee prices are already rising dramatically. In Central America over 1.4 million people make a living from growing coffee. Repeated crop failures contribute to greater poverty among coffee farmers and their families leading them to uproot and migrate. Scientists expect that as the planet warms, pests that attack coffee will multiply and the delicate environments where coffee can be grown will shrink substantially.
And while another type of coffee—coffea canephora is resistant to coffee leaf rust, its beans produce a bitter tasting cup of coffee that most people can’t stomach. Sure the coffee crisis is not the most important global warming story out there, but it is one that comes close to home for many of us. See our show notes at Climate Stew dot com to learn more about coffee and climate change.
Part Two: Why on earth I am marching for Climate by Peterson Toscano
An audio essay about why I am dragging my gay ass to NYC for the People’s Climate March (which appears in print at Huff Post)
Why on earth am I marching for climate?
by Peterson Toscano
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 something sassy stirs inside of me and our ancestors compel me to get off Facebook and do something.
On September 21st, I’ll be at the historic Peoples Climate March in NYC. I hate crowds, even at Pride parades with pretty floats and glistening bodies. Marching with a bunch of environmentalists wearing socks and sandals is not my idea of a Sunday stroll in Manhattan. But it turns out loads of LGBTQ people like me have signed up.
It may seem cruel or shallow, but I’m not terribly moved by the plight of a stranded polar bear on a distant ice flow; it’s the recent floods in Brazil threatening coffee production and the extreme rates of asthma in Harlem that alarm me. While I appreciate nature, I feel far more at home at the Metropolitan Museum of Art than frolicking in the Adirondacks. I also don’t have any offspring to worry about. I’m not a respectable environmentalist. Still I’ll march on September 21st, a speck of lavender in a sea of green.
Faced with global warming, I find myself asking, “What Would Walt Whitman Do?” Old gay Walt Whitman faced the horrors of Civil War by volunteering as an army hospital nurse, reading to soldiers, bringing small gifts, writing letters for them, and holding them as they died in his arms. In the midst of his generation’s greatest crisis, Whitman, a groundbreaking poet, left the comfort of his study to become father, mother, and brother to our nation’s wounded young men.
Whitman experienced an Apocalypse, the Greek word for the revelation that happens when a curtain is pulled back and one sees what’s been hidden. Two years ago, my husband, Glen Retief, and I had our own apocalypse about global warming. The reality of climate change shook us to the core, and we saw the threat to all we held dear—art, coffee, and the best parts of civilization. Suddenly Glen’s work as a writer and mine as a performance artist seemed irrelevant next to a challenge greater than world war or plague. We are developing a variety of responses to global warming including lobbying for a tax on greenhouse gases. We’ll also march, hand in sweaty hand, on September 21st.
With projected threats to food security and water rights, and sea level rises that will displace multitudes, we’ve come to see global warming as a human rights issue, an environmental justice issue, and one that affects millions of LGBTQ people worldwide. Facebook activism and on-line petitions are not gonna cut it. That’s like redesigning the deck chairs on the Titanic. I need to show up.
Our ancestors comfort me and challenge me to act: Sylvia Rivera at the Stonewall Riots, HIV/AIDS activist Peter Stanley of ACT UP, and Black gay pacifist Bayard Rustin demanding justice in racist and homophobic America. For years I was frightened of my own queer shadow, but I recognize I come from good stock: LGBTQ people who’ve passionately and doggedly made the world a better place. They’ve done their work. Now it is my turn.
Part Three: This Day in Climate History
I am Timothy Meadows, It is Saturday September 15, 2164 and time for This Day in Climate History. It was 151 years ago on November 5th 2015 when a group of teenage friends walked to a highway near their homes in Pennsylvania, USA. On that Thursday morning at exactly 8:30 am they stepped onto the highway and held hands and held their breaths. Because of the brightly colored clothing the teens wore, the on-coming traffic couldn’t help but see them, slow down, and stop. For 20 minutes, until the police came to push them off the road, these 12 friends blocked traffic. They explained to police officers and the media that because of the looming threat of global warming, for them it could no longer be business as usual pretending everything was alright. Their action that day inspired others, and within a few weeks hundreds then thousands of similar groups of people, young and old, gathered on roadways on Thursday mornings at exactly 8:30 am and brought the world to a standstill. The Traffic Blockages of 2015 and 2016 created a crisis for lawmakers forcing them to act. On this day in in 2164 we remember that day in climate history. (Climate history is brought to you by Exxon-Mobile Renewables—providing 100% clean energy for over 125 years)
And that brings us to the end of our very first episode. Thank you for listing. You can see the complete show notes including music credits at ClimateStew.com. And in about a week we will have another episode for you. Special thanks to Jennifer O’Brien, Keisha McKenzie and Joe Gee, America’s snarkiest backslidden Quaker.