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Episode Twenty — What to do with all that Climate Rage?

In Episode 20 of Climate Stew we meet Chad, a college student who is ANGRY about Climate Change but is not sure what to do with all the anger. His honest, heartfelt sharing may resonate with many listeners. Out of India we hear good news about the growing solar energy market there. As always we get a report from the distant future looking at the past about how we might address global warming and its many social and political effects in our near future. Climate Stew is available on  iTunes,  StitcherSoundCloud, or Listen here  on our site. Oh, and we are committed to 25 episodes, but if you want more, you need to tell us. Leave a comment, make Peterson’s day!

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Transcript

Intro

Hello and welcome to Episode 20 of Climate Stew. I am your host Peterson Toscano serving up a hot fresh and spicy program for you. You are about to meet Chad Rodriguez, Climate Stew’s newest and youngest voice. A college student engaged in the world, he will tell us about a recent run-in he had with a vegan. Timothy Meadows is here from the future with a report about water and what happens when people can’t get enough of it. But first our news story, and it is some goods news for the planet.

News — India Solar Energy

Our climate stews story today looks at solar energy in India. Just like in parts of South Africa, where communities that never had access to landlines are able to leapfrog over that technology with the advent of mobile phones, rural villages in India are now experiencing electricity for the first time thanks to cheaper solar panels and a government push.

Travis Hoium writing for The Motley Fool reports, “India is making a massive commitment to the solar industry and it may be poised to have the world’s largest solar power plant with plans for a 750 MW project… For some perspective, that’s enough solar energy to power the equivalent of 4.1 million U.S. homes.”

U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) smile after giving their opening statement at Hyderabad House in New Delhi January 25, 2015. CREDIT: REUTERS/ADNAN ABIDI

U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) smile after giving their opening statement at Hyderabad House in New Delhi January 25, 2015.
CREDIT: REUTERS/ADNAN ABIDI

At a press conference during President Obama’s recent trip to India, Prime Minister Nerenda Modi signaled a significant shift in India’s attitude towards climate change and reducing emissions. He said “For President Obama and me, clean and renewable energy is a personal and national priority. We discussed our ambitious national efforts and goals to increase the use of clean and renewable energy.”

India is one of the biggest polluters behind the US and China, which recently agreed to reducing emissions. India joins a growing club of countries that is working outside of the United Nations climate treaty process to act on carbon pollution and its affects. It is hoped that these smaller clubs of nations can make big steps that will help jumpstart a great transition from dirty to clean energy.

Main — Chad

Hi my name is Chad, Chad Rodriguez. I’m really good friends with Marvin Bloom’s partner, Tristan O’Brien. So I asked to be on Climate Stew, well of course because I care about the planet, but also because I have something to say to fellow activists. We can be really mean to each other. No seriously.

 

Ok, for example, I was in New York City for the massive Peoples Climate March in September—I was in the Seirra Club section with my grandma. Oh my God those old people were so cute. Oh and they can March! They came prepared with sandwiches, fruit all cut up already, and even cloth napkins. Classy.angry-protest

Anyway as we marched, we came to a standstill right next to some vegan activist. Now I’m a flexitarian, in that I mostly eat vegetarian and I’m lactose intolerant, but like that day, my grandma’s friend, Alma, gave me a turkey sandwich, with this amazing cranberry spread, and I didn’t want to be like, “No I don’t eat meat.” For me it was about being in that moment in community with Alma and grandma and the rest of them.

So I’m eating this sandwich and this vegan guy is literally screaming in my face—“If you eat meat you are destroying the planet! Meat murders Mother Earth!!” Blah blah blah blah blah blah!

My immediate thought was, ew, for a vegan, you have really bad breath. I mean normally vegans I know have amazing breath, oh and great skin. Anyway he is screaming at me at that I am an earth hating terrorist for like 10 minutes. I seriously barely remember anything else he said, but his anger was like a fist in my face over and over. So I’m thinking, dude, we’re like marching together, I’m so not your enemy.

And here’s the deal, he could have been making really important points about how our diets affect us and the planet. Like how people who eat less animal products are usually healthier, live longer, and and more easily maintain their desired weight. How it requires 1,850 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef compared to say tofu, which I personally don’t like, that uses less than 250 gallons of water per pound. He could have talked about the runoff of manure polluting streams, rivers, and lakes, or the piles of poo spewing out methane.  Or how cruel the meat-packing industry is to the workers–Black, Latino, many of them women, who work all day in these ice cold refrigerated warehouses where they experience the most dangerous working conditions in America with the highest rates of accidents and maiming, Not to mention the mistreatment of non-registered aliens. Ok don’t get me started.

He could have communicated ideas. Instead he just vomited raw anger. So much anger. And that got me thinking to something Marvin Bloom said way back in Episode Two of Climate Stew. He talked about Kubler Ross and the stages of grief. He said the first stage is denial, and that so many people deny the reality of climate change because they are just beginning to grapple with the reality of a changing planet and all it means for them. But then the second stage of grief is anger.

Oh and I don’t know about you, but I am angry. Not so much about food but about I don’t know everything—how this planet is crap right now and people knew about it forever and haven’t done anything and there are rich companies getting richer and don’t seem to care and poor people suffer the most and capitalism seems to crush everyone but the 1%. I get so angry that I really can’t think straight. I don’t even know who I am angry with half the time and I lash out.

But I have been trying to figure it out, and I realized it isn’t just anger I’m feeling. It’s fear. Fear about the times we live in and what the future looks like. Fear that there will be so much political fighting and greed that people in power won’t do anything. Fear that life is going to get harder and harder. Fear that I can’t envision a better future for myself. And in all that fear is grief—sadness. I mean I’m heartbroken about the state of things in the world. My mom says I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. Racial injustice, violence against LGBTQ people, a failing planet. I can’t ignore all these truths. And I can’t just be angry about them either, because then I get stuck and end up doing nothing but rant and rave. Not that anger is bad, but it can be so distracting and for me dishonest. Because I don’t want to stay stuck. I want to make a difference.

That Day in Climate History—Water Wars

I am Timothy Meadows, It is Saturday, February 2, 2165 and time for that day in climate history.

By the year 2030 almost half the people on the planet lived in high water stressed areas. Excessive heat, droughts, an ever growing population, and unequal access to water supplies erupted into multiple conflicts over water resources globally. 2037 marked the beginning of what become knowns as the Water Wars. For nearly ten years fighting flared up repeatedly In the American Southwest and Northern Mexico and throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa, especially in Egypt, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Israel.

infographic credit: Princeton University

infographic credit: Princeton University

The on-going battles over water resulted in deaths, increased violence against women, and economic hardships. Exasperating the situation of dwindling water supplies was that a handful of wealthy businesses and landowners had monopolies over how the water was distributed. This led to extreme resource inequity with poor and working class families suffering the brunt of water shortages. Finally in 2046 nations gathered for a global peace summit and passed a binding resolution upholding a 2010 UN resolution that “explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights.” It further banned the corporate and personal ownership of large water supplies. Through thoughtful rationing projects and the introduction of water reclamation systems, people regained access to reliable water sources which lead to peace, security, and economic stability.

On this Day in 2165, We remember That Day In Climate History

Advert

Climate History is brought to you by Disani, Water purified through our patented filtration system. From the toilet to the bottle to your lips. Disani

Closing

That brings us to the end of another episode of Climate Stew. I hope you enjoyed Chad and the rest of the program. I am in Colorado (or on the train to and from Colorado) for the next three weeks, but we will try to keep the stew coming. We are committed to 25 episodes. If you want more, you need to let us know. Leave your comments at Climate Stew dot com or email me info@climatestew.com that’s info@climate.com.

Peterson Toscano extracting audio from the future.

Peterson Toscano extracting audio from the future.

Our opening music is by Mark Chadwick. Closing Music by Poldore. Our segment music is by Skaj Da Waidah and Raul Diaz. Check out climate stew dot com for transcript, show notes, and music credits. Special thanks to Kirstin Waldkonig, Prescott Allen Hazleton, Oh, and Chad Rodriguez, who is the illegitimate love child of Marvin Bloom and Joe Gee.

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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

This post has 3 Comments

  1. Andrea on February 2, 2015 at 7:43 pm Reply

    The anger around climate change activists and deniars can be palpable. I was at an event where there was talk of “warrioring up” and it scared me, no it rocked me. The room tension was escalating. Then this great big man stood up and with the most humblest of tone and calm, gently suggested that everyone needed to be good with themselves and at peace with themselves for the most effective action to save ourselves and the planets inhabitants. Recognized potential of anger as catalyst for change and did not deny or dismiss the anger AT ALL. It was almost as thought he drew anger out of the room with like a magical syringe. I think of him whenever I feel angry/fearful about what “WE” or “THEY” are willing to do to the planet…then I look for that loving calm and try to act through that. Definitely a work in progress.

  2. Peterson Toscano
    Peterson Toscano on February 3, 2015 at 3:23 pm Reply

    Andrea, that is a lovey story and a powerful model of how to acknowledge the anger without feeding into it and escalating it. Thank you for commenting and sharing that experience. I know the anger is real, but I also like how Chad in the podcast reveals taht there is something behind or under the anger. Anger makes so much sense in this time of climate change, but it doesn’t give life and it exhausts. It needs to be chaneled. But that is the challenge, getting it to flow in a new direction.

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