Category: Citizens Climate Radio

Adapt, Adapting, Adaptation

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 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.

Art, Storms, Stories

In the climate crisis, those who help you will not be your Twitter followers. They will be your neighbors. -Jenny Odell

Princella Talley

Princella Talley lives in Louisiana. As an artist, a writer, and a climate advocate, she is deeply engaged in her community, and even more so now after Hurricane Laura brought so much damage to her town. She has organized fundraising and disaster relief efforts. On Friday she published a piece for Grist, In Louisiana, grief surges with another storm. So does hope.

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.

Last week I released a podcast episode in which Princella tells some of her own climate story. As a queer woman of color, she was unsure where she fit in a climate movement that looked very white and heteronormative. As an artist and a storyteller, she knows she has a lot to contribute. She speaks candidly about moving into predominately straight, white climate spaces, and how she found her place in Citizens Climate Lobby. In the episode you will also hear Clara Fang speak about and read her poem, The Children on Why They are Striking on Climate. Krista Hiser shares recommendations for cli-fi and sci fi.

Flood of 1972

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.

You can hear both of these stories in Fall 2020 episode of Susquehanna Life Out Loud.

Featured photo by Princella Talley for Vogue Italia

Imagine a world without fossil fuels. Seriously, let’s imagine it!

A World without Fossil Fuels??

What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it smell like?

Through a mind-expanding thought experiment, three guests joined me to help unleash our imagination potential. Imagine a world without fossil fuels.

In this episode of Citizens’ Climate Radio, three guests join us to help unleash our imagination potential: Hannah Pickard from the National Network of Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation; Dr. Natasha DeJarnett, a leader in environmental health research and board member of Citizens’ Climate Education and Physicians for Social Responsibility; and Sean Dague, a software engineer by day, a CCL group leader, and an En-ROADS Climate Simulation tool ambassador.

PLUS I chat with Jennie Carlisle and Laura England. They are both part of the Climate Stories Collaborative at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.

All this on Ep 49 of Citizens Climate Radio: Unleashing Imagination.

Hear it and be inspired!

Featured Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

“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.



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