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Queer climate action, justice, and faith

How Science screwed up my GPA

img_0332I was just interviewed by Peter Buckland for his regular column, The Field Guide to Teaching Sustainability. We cover lots of ground from my  bizarre, failed quest to de-gay himself to how my artsy fartsy brain deals with all of the scientific climate data.

I am so NOT a scientist. I come from the world of humanities—literature, theater, and Bible scholarship. In university I had to take some science classes to graduate, and they seriously lowered my once impressive GPA. Then years later starting in 2013 I took a year off to study climate change—both the science behind it and the ways people were talking about it. Fortunately I felt very motivated to learn, something that has been proven to push students to excel where they failed before.

Climate Denial–It’s not just for skeptics

climateinactionfiguresI also talk about climate denial, stressing that we make a serious mistake in mocking climate skeptics. Not only is it dehumanizing, it is dishonest and distracting.

And if we are honest, we each struggle with climate denial to one degree or another. To fully accept the weight and reality of climate change and all it means would crush us. Scientists around the world who study climate change have to develop strategies to deal with the emotions that hit them as the seriousness of the problem becomes more and more evident. By picking on other people about their denial, we then inoculate ourselves from seeing our own. There is the denial that says, “If we each just do our part, drive less, take shorter showers, etc, we will begin to tackle climate change.” No, that is not true. We need to look honestly at this problem. So that is one issue—we judge others than end up absolving ourselves or hiding out a very very low bar for our lawmakers. It is enough if they acknowledge climate change is a problem.

Denial or Dishonesty?

I do make an important distinction between the person who struggles to accept the reality of climate change to the leader who outright lies about it.

Read the interview: What is a queer response to climate change? 

Want to read about my take on climate denial comedy, check out Climate Inaction Figures–Superpower to Deflect our Inaction


Author: Peterson Toscano

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

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