We have entered that time of year when many us give or receive a lot of hospitality. Holiday dinners, guests spending a few days or more at a time. Some people LOVE it while others dread it. Showing hospitality can be great practice for the new world that is upon us. I’ve been thinking about how more extreme weather means we will need to extend extreme hospitality to friends and strangers. So I chatted with two experts.
We live in a world with stronger and more frequent extreme weather events. As a result, giving and receiving hospitality is becoming the new normal for humans. Citizens’ Climate Radio host Peterson Toscano speaks with public theologian Jayme R. Reaves and public health expert Dr. Natasha DeJarnett. What are the risks leading to more displacement? What are the dilemmas and challenges of housing, feeding, and creating more space for people uprooted from homes during extreme weather? And what are some of the creative ways communities provide protection to those temporarily or permanently unhoused?
Chantal Bilodeau tells us about Climate Change Theatre Action (CCTA) 2021. Founded in 2015, CCTA is a worldwide series of readings and performances of short climate change plays presented biennially to coincide with the United Nations COP meetings.
CCTA was originally founded by Elaine Ávila, Chantal Bilodeau, Roberta Levitow, and Caridad Svich following a model pioneered by NoPassport Theatre Alliance. It has since evolved into a U.S.-Canada collaboration between The Arctic Cycle and the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts.
Chantal is a playwright and translator originally from Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal, but now based in New York City, the traditional land of the Lenape People. In her capacity as artistic director of The Arctic Cycle, she has been instrumental in getting the theatre and academic communities, as well as audiences in the U.S. and abroad, to engage in climate action through programming that includes live events, talks, publications, workshops, national and international convenings, and a worldwide distributed theatre festival.
To tell us about one of the plays is Dr Zoë Svendsen, Lecturer in Drama and Performance in the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge. Dr. Svendson’s play comes out of a larger project called Love Letter to a Livable Planet. Through collaboration with members of METIS Arts, Zoe created a short play called Love Out of Ruins, where we get to decide many of the details.
Think of it as a much more sophisticated version of Mad-Libs with the aim to create a vision of the future worth pursuing. The play begins in the present time and moves forward. You get to decide the details that shape the character’s world.
You can read Love Out of Ruins by Zoë Svendsen at one of your CCL events. In fact, having a group of friends, students, or climate advocates sit and each fill in the lines can be a mind and heart expanding activity.Then you can share the results at a Climate Change Theatre Action event you host and read some of the plays by the 49 other playwrights from around the world.
Also Zoe’s colleague/mentor/friend Luk Perceval, who is a Belgian theatre director who works in the classical European theatre in Belgium, Germany, Poland, Norway (among other places!) – has edited a series of conversations that we had around these questions, during lockdown: The Naked Theater
As a podcaster and radio producer, our host, Peterson Toscano listens to many climate change podcasts. Every now and then though he hears a well designed podcast that hits him in the heart and the gut. It becomes a transformative audio experience. This is exactly what happened when he first listened to Claude Schryer’s Conscient podcast.
As a sound designer, he is able to reach deep into a listener’s mind and even our bodies. Sound has that power. Peterson chatted with Claude about his podcast and his own journey as an artist addressing climate change. From that recorded conversation, Claude wove in sound effects and personal reflection.We encourage you to listen with headphones on.
We always welcome your thoughts, questions, suggestions, and recommendations for the show. Leave a voice mail at 518.595.9414. (+1 if calling from outside the USA.) You can email your answers to radio @ citizensclimate.org
Life in South Africa is wonderfully busy (and it is not all work!) I have some new content to share with you. Regardless of what you like, I must have something for you!
Bubble&Squeak Season 2 Ep 5 Tender Gasp
1. Performance artist George Ferrandi tells us about intimate work that has emerged in spite social distancing
2. Four Voicemails from Peterson’s Dad, Pete Toscano
3. A sound slice from an incomplete temple in Mexico
Bible Bash Season 2 Ep 1 Drawing Near with NEW co-host Don Durham
First, Liam invites listeners to draw near to our new co-host, Don Durham, and invites Don to draw near to listeners as well. We learn a little about Don, who is – among other things – a trained organizational change and transition consultant, and strategic coach helping clients be who they want to be and accomplish what they want to accomplish
After seeing their children struggle with remote learning at the start of the Coronavirus Global Pandemic, five families decided to pool their resources and started modern day one-room school house. They call it The Lewisburg Pod School.
TikTok: I have become a minor breakout star on South African TikTok as I practice Afrikaans and isiZulu and tell stories about my nosey neighbour.
For more than half of my adult life I identified as a Conservative, Evangelical, Born-Again, Republican Christian. After 20 years of going to Conservative Christian churches, I came out gay and began to piece together my life and the many ways being in the closet and in conversion therapy distracted me from dealing with personal issues that needed attention. As a result, my faith changed. I stopped going to Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, and eventually became a Quaker in New England. (The quiet type of Quaker not the sometimes Evangelical type with pastors.)
Still I have a fondness for the people I remember from my churches who were warm, sincere, and seeking to be the best people they can be–servants of God. Whenever possible, I enjoy conversations with these types of Christians who genuinely want to understand God’s will and are not caught up in politics or attacking others.
Recently I chatted with Conservative Christians who take their faith and climate change seriously. The language they use differs from mine, but we shared a lot of common ground when it came to values that compel our climate work and the urgency we feel. Up until these conversations I was not a fan of the term “Creation Care.” Hearing them speak about it though, I got a deeper sense of the phrase and learned more about how people who use it often are inspired directly from the Bible.
In the most recent episode of Citizens Climate Radio, I speak with Kesley Grant and Andrea Zink about their faith, their commitment to creation care, and why they see Citizens’ Climate Lobby as a place where they can pursue meaningful solutions. They talk about their values, the Bible, the spiritual charge to do the work of reconciliation, especially in a contentious and politically divided country.
In the Art House I feature Lindsay Linsky. A Bible-believing Christian in Georgia, she is the author of the book, “Keep It Good—Understanding Creation Care through Parables.” Through her book, she seeks to break through environmental apathy and partisan noise to show Christians God’s simple yet beautiful message of creation stewardship.
If you are a traditional Bible-believing Christian, I feel certain you will find kinship with these three women. If you are not Conservative but want to develop deeper understanding into Conservative values that overlap with your own, I urge you to listen. Even if the language they use is different, I imagine you will also find connections.
Ever since I started listening to Doug Parsons from the America Adapt Podcast, I have been thinking about climate adaptation. Sure I am working hard to change how we get our energy; we need to ditch the fossil fuels and move into a more realistic and safer means of energy production. I recognize though that limiting and even ending the causes of greenhouse gas pollution is not all the work we need to do. We feel the impacts of climate change and we will feel them even more. We need to prepare our communities for the extreme weather that is upon us and will intensify.
For Citizens Climate Radio I chat with Doug about adaptation. He gives excellent examples and highlights how adaptation work can actually lead to more mitigation work.
In this episode you will also hear an excerpt from a conversation Doug Parsons has with Dr. Carolyn Kousky, the Executive Director at the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania. They discuss how wildfires in California drove their utility into bankruptcy and what policy reforms are needed to prevent this from happening again.
Joining us in the Art House is musician and composer Jason Davis. Jason curates ClimateStoriesProject.org. The site hosts videos from people all over the world. They reveal the impacts of climate change in their lives, and how they are responding. Jason takes some of these stories and composes music to accompany them. You will hear a moving and powerful testimony from John Sinnok, Inuit elder in Alaska. Woven around the story is Jason’s haunting and beautiful composition for the double bass. He calls the piece Footsteps in Snow. You will also learn how you can share your own story on the website.
She writes about Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans in 2005. Being on the front lines of climate change has changed people’s attitudes about a crisis that many ignored or denied for so long.
Fifteen years later, the psychological and economic destruction have not left us. And Louisiana continues to serve as a real-time state of reference for the harrowing effects of climate change. In 2016, Isle de Jean Charles, mostly home to residents who belong to the Isle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe, became known as the first place to have climate “refugees” from Louisiana.
We’re still face-to-face with grief. But acceptance is also evident. Last year, Republican Congressman Garret Graves took a stand against climate denial. In February of this year, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the formation of a new Climate Initiatives Task Force to address climate change by reducing carbon emissions and building resilience for the coast. Just last week, in a historic move for our state, he signed two executive orders on behalf of this initiative.
I live in rural Central Pennsylvania. My attempts to learn about the history of the original inhabitants before Europeans arrived has been challenging. It takes digging around as there are no public markers or easily accessible information. Therefore, I was thrilled to chat with Elizabeth Wisler. She is part Lenape and Choctaw, and is a registered member of the Cherokee Nation. For five years she lived in nearby Williamsport, PA working in theater and the arts. She walked along the Susquehanna River keenly aware of what was missing.
“I just couldn’t help but feel an absolute absence and erasure every time I walked on the River Walk. I would really like more people to understand what happened there—to the land, to the trees, to the people. An enormous amount of trauma happened in that area,” she says in the interview I feature in the most recent Susquehanna Life Out Loud podcast. She speaks about the land and the people, and reads a letter from President George Washington that made my blood go cold. He gives the command to destroy the land and the original inhabitants. It is a powerful conversation.
Joining me on the show is Andrew Stuhl, an associate professor of environmental studies and sciences at Bucknell University and someone very involved in the local Green New Deal chapter. Andrew is committed to hearing and sharing people’s stories. He believes the memories and experiences of the past can guide us today and for the future. With the Agnes Flood Project, he and his team are connecting with local survivors of the historic 1972 flood. He sees valuable lessons in what they have to share.
The USA has been slow/reluctant/opposed to address climate change. Climate skepticism has derailed any serious bipartisan discussion about the various ways we can transform our energy economy and how we power our lives and industry. The good news is that young Republicans want their party to act. One can speculate to all the reasons that have led up to it, but Alex Flint, the Executive Director at Alliance for Market Solutions, told a group of Conservatives recently that some time last year there was a big shift.
Mr. Flint previously served as staff director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. He was the senior vice president of governmental affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute and was a member of President Trump’s transition team. He outlines for us the dramatic shifts he has witnessed while speaking with lawmakers on climate.
Jim Tolbert, CCL’s Conservative Outreach Director and Jacob Abel, a CCL conservative fellow, provide insider glimpses to the conversations about climate change they have with fellow Conservatives.
In this episode, you will learn what has changed in the Republican party on climate, and the new landscape climate advocates face when lobbying conservative members of Congress. Guests will share what Republicans bring to the climate conversation and the conservative values that compel them to pursue effective ways to transform our energy economy. You will also receive specific advice and learn the ways these conservatives are speaking with their family, friends, and elected leaders about climate change.
I had the honor of interviewing eight women who share their wisdom, experience, and insight about both eco-grief and the collective grief we are all experiencing one way or another because of the impacts of Covid-19. In a single podcast episode I was able to weave in these eight voices and provide listeners with an encounter with these thought leaders. The show is getting a lot of downloads, and many who have listened so far, say it provided an opportunity to better understand themselves and the rapidly changing world around them.
Recently I spoke with Jonathan Lu. He graduated from Princeton and now continues his studies in California. When he lived in New Jersey though, in his spare time from pre-med studies, he and his friends decided they wanted to research, write, and advocate for a state law that would price carbon and give the revenue back to households. They needed lots of help though, and found willing, engaged, and fast learners in a groups of 15 and 16 year olds.
I spoke with two of these high schoolers, and found myself encouraged, impressed, and educated by what they did and learned, and how they did it. As members of New Jersey Student Climate Advocates (NJSCA), they also reveal best practices for working with young people.
I share these conversations in the latest Citizens Climate Radio. In addition to sharing their discoveries about “making the sausage” of legislation, they reflect on the power of the Student Climate Strikes and why they ultimately put most of their energy instead into working on policy.
Shirley’s latest novel, which gets awesome reviews on Good Reads.
In the Art House I chat with my friend, Shirley McMillan, an Irish young adult fiction writer. Shirley does not hide her feelings, and is about as direct as a New York City cab driver. In 2014 when I started posting about climate change, Shirley wanted nothing to do with it; a Facebook comment made that crystal clear.
She and I chat about what was behind that reaction. It was definitely NOT denial. Her feelings likely mirror a lot of people you may know. I also check in to find out where she is now.
If you never heard my show before, fear not, we don’t ramble and waste time. I craft each show to highlight people’s stories in ways that are compelling. I accompany the conversations with a soundtrack designed to amplify the messages and feelings behind them.
If you do listen on Apple Podcasts PLEASE rate and review us. That will help a lot.