Category: Citizens Climate Radio

“The Era of Climate Denial is Over!” -Alex Flint

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.

The latest episode of Citizens Climate Radio features eight Republicans talking about climate change solutions and the ways they are urging their party to become leaders in the climate movement.

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.

You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud, Podbean, Northern Spirit Radio, Google Play, PlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.

 

(Featured Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash)

When Things Really Suck, Feel Your Feelings: Grief, Climate, and Coronavirus

Solemi Hernandez and her sons

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.

Guests include:

  • Dr. Natasha DeJarnett, Interim Associate Director Program & Partnership Development National Environmental Health Association
  • Dr. Lise VanSusteren, an American psychiatrist in private practice in Washington, DC with a special interest in the psychological effects of climate change.
  • Elizabeth Rush, author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore
  • Solemi Hernandez, Citizens Climate Lobby Southeast Regional Coordinator
  • Edie Lush, co-host of Global GoalsCast podcast
  • LaUra Schmidt and Aimee Lewis-Reau, co-founders of the Good Grief Network
  • Anna Jane Joyner, co-host of No Place Like Home podcast

Here is a sample of what they had to say

You can hear the entire show through this player or find Citizens Climate Radio wherever you get podcasts

You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud, Podbean, Northern Spirit Radio, Google Play, PlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in theCitizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.

Featured photo: Elizabeth Rush

So you want young people in your climate group?

Jonathan Lu

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.

Ahan

Aurora

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.

Check out the show wherever you get podcasts. Ep 45 Citizens Climate Radio.

He was aloof and alone, then Marshall Saunders had a breakthrough

Meeting Kurt Vonnegut

I remember fondly the evening I spent with writer Kurt Vonnegut. He was witty and sharp as a tack, but the thing that stuck with me most was how present he was to all the people around him. My experience with successful older men is that they typically do not acknowledge anyone except for other successful men (and young people who they find sexually attractive.) Vonnegut though looked at me when I spoke with him. He listened and heard me. He did this with everyone he encountered that night.

Meet Marshall Saunders

When I met Marshall Saunders, the founder of Citizens Climate Lobby, once again I encountered an older successful man who was not stuck on himself; Marshall aware of others around him and genuinely interested in them. Last month at the age of 80, Marshall Saunders passed.

For Citizens Climate Radio, I got to sit down with Marshall three different time to conduct interviews. In one interview he shared his backstory who as a successful businessman in Texas, he felt aloof and alone; he felt he was better than most people. He could have gone the rest of his life like that, but Marshall had a personal breakthrough. As a result, he improved himself, got educated about people who were suffering, and engaged in the world to make it a better place. First he helped organize a campaign to address world hunger and poverty, and then in a bold move to convince the US congress to do something meaningful to halt greenhouse gas pollution.

Listen to this short clip of Marshall talking about trusting individuals to do incredible things.

For this month’s Citizens Climate Radio, I pulled up two interviews with Marshall. I remastered these so they sound better than ever. His story will move you and inspire you, something we need when we are totally frustrated with aloof older men running things and not acknowledging anyone but their own interests. Marshall’s transformation will give you hope. Have a listen to Ep 44: The Extraordinary Marshall Saunders

(featured Photo by sudarshan poojary on Unsplash)

Sharing some good news from the world of science

Who doesn’t need a little good news now, especially if you are working to promote climate action. I recently spoke with scientist from the famed Tuskegee University, a historically Black university in Alabama.

Two researchers have been tuning in and made a series of extraordinary discoveries all from agricultural waste. Out of the muck Dr. Michael L Curry, Dr. Donald White, and a team of other researchers found a natural alternative to plastics, one that will biodegrade in less than 100 days. This will keep us from adding even more pollution to a very polluted world. Further researched revealed this material also has other extraordinary properties.

According to Business Alabama, “Scientists working at Tuskegee University have found a bio-based material that shows promise for capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — a more immediate solution to climate change than revamping land and forestry usage or geo-engineering.”

I share our conversation in the latest episode of Citizens Climate Radio.

You will also hear about an inventive theatre performance that was set on a large old wooden ship in harbors in Denmark and Norway. Acting for Climate members Abigael Rydtun Winsvold and Nathan Biggs-Penton recreate the performance for our listening audience. Hear about the circus artists and their amazing feats as they climb the eight-story high mast, do acrobatics, and take the audience on a wild and moving ride. After each performance, the troupe connected with the audience for further discussion.

You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher RadioSoundCloudPodbeanNorthern Spirit RadioGoogle PlayPlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.

If you listen on iTunes, please consider rating and reviewing us!

Fashion, Poetry, and Climate Change: Ep 40 Citizens Climate Radio

In the most recent episode of Citizens Climate Radio, I chat with Tatiana Schlossberg. She is the author of the new book, Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have.  In it she highlights just how good we are at being bad when it comes to fossil fuel pollution. She exposes the pollution generated by four major industries–Fuel, Food, Internet, and Fashion. For our conversation we talked about fashion, which turns out to be a very dirty busy when it comes to pollution.

I love Tatiana’s laugh, which comes through a lot even though we are talking about such serious issues as pollution and climate change. There is something about her relaxed, friendly tone that signals hope and a belief that humans will do the right thing. When it comes to fashion, it will take a lot more than consumers making the “right choices” when they purchase clothing. We have so few choices. Large system changes are required.

Catherine Pierce

For the Art House segment, I spoke with poet Catherine Pierce. She describes the many steps took and decisions she made when crafting her poem, Anthropocene Pastoral.  In it she explores the significant of beautiful manifestations of climate change, like the California Super Bloom of 2017. She starts the poem:

In the beginning, the ending was beautiful.

In producing the segment I was heavily influenced by the podcast Song Exploder. They invite a musician to unpack a song and talk about almost every aspect of it and their creative process. In the Art House, Pierce does something similar for us with Anthropocene Pastoral. The poem first appeared in the American Poetry Review. It has a haunting beauty to it. I find it emotionally honest too and very moving. After describing the poem, Catherine reads it for us.

Listen to the end of the podcast and you will also hear answers to the puzzler question. Two college students give advice to a middle school student who is freaking out about climate change. We also hear from elementary students from River Valley Nature School. Their presentation at the recent Climate Strike in Lewisburg, PA was a big hit with the audience.

You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher RadioSoundCloudPodbeanNorthern Spirit RadioGoogle PlayPlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio. See the full show notes here.

Featured Photo by naeim jafari on Unsplash

Become a better communicator — talk about values first

Blair Bazarich in SF Zoo Mobile

As a public speaker and activist, I am always looking to learn more effective communication strategies. In the latest episode of Citizens Climate Radio, I speak with skilled communicators who reveal proven techniques that they use in zoos, aquariums, and beyond.

Climate Communication experts Blair Bazdarich from the San Francisco Zoo and Hannah Pickard at Boston’s New England Aquarium share proven insider tips about effective communication strategies. They are both leaders at NNOCCI, the National Network of Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation. They train aquarium and zoo professionals how to speak about climate change. NNOCCI is a network of individuals and organizations in informal education, the social sciences, and climate sciences.They are currently working in 170 institutions in 38 states. NNOCCI members reach over 190 million people each year.
In this episode Hannah and Blair share the techniques they have been using, including a “values-first” approach. Through NNOCCI’s research, they identified two motivating values that prove highly effective in opening up conversations with members of the public. The first value is Protection—we feel a strong need to protect the people and places we love. And the second is Responsible Management. We value solving problems earlier before they become too big.
Sean Dague, leader for the Mid-Hudson South chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, leads us through a powerful exercise. He asks us, What does a decarbonized world look like? What does it smell like? What does it sound like?

Once you hear Sean’s vision of a successful future, we invite you to continue the exercise. Try some creative writing. Write a short story or a letter from the future about what you see, smell, and hear.  Maybe create visual art, a drawing or painting. If you can’t draw or paint, get images from magazines and on-line then create a collage. Write a song, create a map, choreograph a dance. Use art to capture a vision of a decarbonized world. Even if you do not see yourself as an artsy person, just try it.

Featured image  by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

Professional Athletes as Climate Action Figures

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

I continue to feel encouraged by the variety of people and niches of people that are seriously taking on climate change, talking about it, and pursuing solutions. In the latest episode of Citizens Climate Radio I chat with Lew Blaustein of Green Sports Blog.

He outlines a growing movement among professional athletes, teams, and leagues to not only green the sporting world but to speak out about climate change.

Lew puts the challenges we face into perspective. He says, “Mike Trout of the Anaheim Angels—best player in baseball—recently signed a 400 plus million dollar twelve year contract extension. Twelve years is also what the IPCC said is the time frame that humanity has to reduce our carbon footprint by 45%—basically Mike Trout’s contract.” Lew believes sports fans can become instrumental in taking on climate change. “We need to get the masses of people who follow sports…to engage on positive climate action.”

liz gonzalez with Chaco!

He believes professional sports is an essential arena to make this happen. “We’re athletes. We know how to solve problems and overcome obstacles.”

In the Art House meet poet, liz gonzalez, writing about a rapidly changing semi-natural world in Southern California. She reads poetry and prose about the Santa Ana winds.

All this plus the monthly puzzler–What color or sound do you associate with climate change?

Check out Ep 38 of Citizens Climate Radio


Featured image credit: Alexander Redl on Unsplash

Pitching and Juggling and Climate Change

My favorite part of podcasting is that I get to meet cool people doing things well outside of my normal experience. That is very true with the latest episode of Citizens Climate Radio. Brent Suter is a professional baseball player, a pitcher with the Milwaukee Brewers. Eliana Dunlap is a circus artist who specializes in the German Wheel, (which I had never heard of before.)

Brent Suter

Brent Suter received a scholarship to play baseball at Harvard University, where he studied environmental science. He learned about the effects of climate change and what how we need to drastically reduce our pollution. At first that meant making individual lifestyle choices to lower his own personal carbon footprint, but he has been expanding his efforts. Through his Strike Out Waste initiative, he got professional baseball players to use reusable water bottles during spring training.

In a recent interview for the Green Sport Blog he said, “At this point in time, a carbon pricing program and higher incentives for clean energy are absolutely imperative towards the goal of stabilizing our climate and ensuring a healthy and viable future for our planet. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would not only help achieve these goals, but would give the funds raised back to the people, save countless lives, and create millions of jobs! A Green Revolution needs to happen fast, and this law, if passed, would play a vital role in helping solve the most important problem of our lives.”

The Art House

Eliana Dunlap

Eliana Dunlap was not born into a circus family; instead she learned circus arts at a circus school in Quebec. Her circus skill set is impressive and includes acrobatics, juggling, dance, and her speciality, the German Wheel. She has been performing circus arts in non-traditional spaces. She is also someone who is creatively responding to climate change. Through her podcast, Changing the World and Other Circus Related Things, she is connecting with other concerned circus artists. She is also one of the founding members of the Circus Action Network.

Eliana likens the high stakes world of circus arts to the challenges we face with climate change. She also sees examples from the circus world about how we can get people from various backgrounds to work together. This summer she and a friend will do street performances of a new circus art show called, High Stakes–What’s the Plan(t)? In addition to lots of juggling and acrobatics, the show features a live plant as part of the action.

In this fascinating interview, Eliana opens up about the world of circus and how she and other concerned artists are creating avenues for a deeper conversation about climate change.

You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher RadioSoundCloudPodbeanNorthern Spirit RadioGoogle PlayPlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.

If you listen on Apple Podcasts, please consider rating and reviewing us!

Gagging on Plastic and Listening to Grindcore

Nicole Chatterson

Plastics? Yuck!

Plastic is so naughty. These days plastic products are being vilified because they:

  1. are made from fossil fuels and release a bunch of greenhouse gases while being made.
  2. end up everywhere (including our bodies) except in recycling and landfills
  3. last for a very long time and then release even more greenhouse gases.

While I do a lot of work talking about mitigating and adapting to climate change, I haven’t spent that much time learning about plastic pollution. Thanks to Nicole Chatterson from the University of Hawaii and Dominic Scicchitano from Bucknell University, I know a lot more. Nicole has done research in the Pacific Ocean while Dominic looked into plastics in the Susquehanna River.

I wanted to include Dominic because I live on the banks of the Susquehanna, and I wanted a local perspective. They both appear in episode 35 of Citizens Climate Radio.

Dominic Scicchitano

They are both engaging speakers and told me a lot about micro-plastics, tiny plastics either designed that way for say skin care products, or broken down from larger pieces of plastic that did not get properly discarded. What I especially love is how they are looking at big solutions. Sure do what you can to use less single-use plastic in your own personal life, but they are looking for systems changes in packaging, production, and waste management.

The Art House

The other part of the show that came out really well is an interview with sustainability expert, Peter Buckland. He is a renaissance man–a poet, politician, musician, teacher, and more. He also loves heavy metal music. He told me all about Grindcore (which sounds like a new gay app or else a very gay workout regime) and Thrash Metal (which just sounds like it must be really loud.) These two sub-genres of metal take sources of negative energy, including greenhouse gas pollution.

For example there is the band Testament and their song, Greenhouse Effect.

If  you want to learn about the world, there are many ways of doing it. One of my favorites is host a podcast. It forces me to engage with people and ideas that fall well ourself of my experience and even comfort zone.

Check out Ep 35 for yourself and please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts

(Featured image: Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash)