Category: Climate Change

In which I talk baby talk…

It gets weirder. In episode nine of Climate Stew I interview an infant who is pretty darn smart when it comes to global warming and air pollution. We also dive deep into the seas to try and figure out where all the heat is going, and from the year 2164 we learn about the role of the artist in climate history. As always we have great music.  Listen here or on  iTunes, and Stitcher.

Want to see Me and Marvin Bloom and Timothy Meadows live and on stage? See the full tour schedule.

A Scientist Straightens Me Out–Well Kinda

I recently sat down with Dr. Kathy Straub, an atmospheric scientist who does research and teaches at Susquehanna University. She dispelled some climate change myths that her undergraduate students carry with them into the classroom. Turns out all that carbon footprint calculating doesn’t make much difference. I know shocking, right? If you have 12 minutes, turn on the Climate Stew Show which you can hear on iTunes and Stitcher or listen directly from the Climate Stew Website.

climate stew logo

The global warming show that is not afraid to be funny

This is not your typical gloom and doom global warming freak the shit out of you and then make you feel guilty climate change program. Infused with hope and humor, you will  have a laugh and may even learn something. I also include some wonderful music from the Dusted Wax Kingdom label. Wow, they have so many great artists and albums.

Queer Synchroblog: Coming out for Climate in weird religious ways

Every four years I take part in Fr. Shay Kearns’s Queer Theology Synchroblog. Today is the day again and there are some amazing blog posts out there (scrool to the bottom.) This year’s theme is Coming/Going, which opens up many blogging opportunities. Those of you who follow me know that my head and heart have been gripped by the reality of climate change, and I have been seeking for creative ways to convey a message that is serious, hopeful and even humorous.

Stripping the climate talk of fear and guilt is an act of queerness. Tying that queer climate talk with old time religious, well, that may be just the ticket for a queer quirky Quaker like me. For this year’s Queer Theology Synchroblog the transcript and the audio of episode four of the Climate Stew show staring church lady Elizabeth Jeremiah. I reached back to my repressive gay reparative therapy days and use some of the very same oppressive Pentecostal Holiness teachings that kept me bound to deliverance ministries and other extreme religious sports. I then apply these to greenhouse gas pollution. 

The entire transcript is below and you can also Listen here or on  iTunes, and Stitcher.

Climate_Stew_Logo_Square1400x1400

Links

Scientists trace extreme heat in Australia to Climate Change.
How Coal is Formed
Generational Curses and Naughty Gay DNA?

Music Credits

Over and Over from Five Song Demo by Mark Chadwick
The Association News Theme by Jake Hallman
Muhammad Ali from Curses from Past Times by ProleteR
Dream On on Lush Life by Poldoore

Episode Four Transcript

Intro

Welcome to Episode Four of the Climate Stew Podcast. Last time we brought you sounds and voices from the Peoples Climate March, and I adopted some sort of chill Roman Mars 99% Invisible podcast speaking voice. But I’m back with my normal voice and we are ready to serve you a delicious melange in three segments. Special guest Elizabeth Jeremiah, who has an offbeat view of the natural and the supernatural worlds, is our main feature today followed by Timothy Meadows with an update from the future looking at the past to help us see how we might address global warming in the present.

But first the news

News

In our one climate change news story today we learn that scientists have at last connected an extreme weather event directly to global warming. Our correspondent, Tony Buffusio in the Bronx reads directly from the New York Times:

“Thank you Peterson, I have the article right here, and I quote: ’The savage heat waves that struck Australia last year were almost certainly a direct consequence of greenhouse gases released by human activity, researchers said Monday. It is perhaps the most definitive statement climate scientists have made tying a specific weather event to global warming.

Five groups of researchers, (ok, not just five researchers but five groups from all over the world) using distinct methods, analyzed the heat that baked Australia for much of 2013 and continued into 2014, briefly shutting down the Australian Open tennis tournament in January when the temperature climbed to 111 degrees Fahrenheit. (And that’s in January our coldest month of the year which of course is backwards for those people over there)

 A tennis fan tried to cool off at the Australian Open in January. Temperatures reaching 111 paused the tournament. Narendra Shrestha/European Pressphoto Agency

A tennis fan tried to cool off at the Australian Open in January. Temperatures reaching 111 paused the tournament. Narendra Shrestha/European Pressphoto Agency

 

All five research groups came to the conclusion that last year’s heat waves could not have been as severe without the long-term climatic warming caused by human emissions.’ Which sounds like they’re saying farts, but I know it’s bigger than that. Yeah, so there you have it. Back to you Peterson in the studio.”

Uh, Thank you Tony.

Climate scientists up to now have been unable to prove that recent severe weather incidents were caused by climate change, but in this case no climate model that looks at only natural factors could possibly account for the extreme heat in Australia; carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are the most likely factors. Further proof that things are heating up and we need to act up for climate and maybe reschedule the Australian Open.

Main Section: Elizabeth Jeremiah And Generational Curses

This is Elizabeth Jeremiah from the Elizabeth Jeremiah Global Worldwide Ministries in Jesus. I requested to appear on this radio podcast internet transmission to share a concern I have for you—one that potentially affects generations to come. What I’m talking about of course are generational curses. In my church we warn people that their actions today have consequences for our children and our children’s children’s children. (can we please turn off that music?)

breaking-free-from-the-grip-of-generational-curse-1-638

Oh I hear you saying, “But Elizabeth Jeremiah, I don’t have any children.” To which I reply, “Well, then, I will pray for you.”

No, our actions for good or bad have repercussions like ripples on the ocean that reach far beyond us. Exodus chapter 36 verse 7 states that the iniquity of the fathers will fall upon the sons, and upon the son’s son, unto the third and to the fourth generations. Oh, and this applies to mothers and daughters too; God is not a respecter of persons.

Now normally the generational curse example I like to give is homosexuality. And before you jump down my throat, let me just say I am the most tolerant person I know when it comes to the homosexual. In fact, my best friend’s cousin gets her hair done by a homosexual and we are faithful to pray for that man and his partner, Pablo, who isn’t even American, but apparently has all his papers in order.

No I discern that many of you in the listening audience are secular humanists, so I will give you an example of a generational curse that makes sense for you: Carbon Dioxide. Thank the Lord that he created this wonderful chemical compound that is filled with energy and with the wonder working power of the sun, no not the Son of God but the sun in the sky that God created.

Carbon Dioxide, which we breath out by the way, is held high up in the heavenly firmament, which you call the atmosphere, and moves about and warms the planet, otherwise our earthly home would just be a dead frozen rock, like the hearts of some people I have known.

150 years ago our ancestors, bless their hearts, hoping to better themselves began to burn coal in factories.  Now a one foot pile of coal condenses the energy of 10 feet of decomposed trees and plants—so a lot of bang for the buck. Our people burnt the coal and then the petroleum which is even more energized.

God had created the perfect system that recycles, mmmm, I know y’all like that word, a system that recycles carbon dioxide through trees and the oceans giving us clean air. But the system got overburdened and just couldn’t keep up. And this is NOT God’s fault!

I hate it when people asked, “If God is so good, why is there still evil in the world?” Well it is because people are evil, selfish, wasteful, vengeful creatures. We’ve behaved like those awful tenants in the vineyard Jesus preached about, who were given land to care for but instead squandered God’s riches like a whore-hungry, drug-addled prodigal son or husband.

Our ancestors, Father forgive them for they knew not what they did, did not know that a single molecule of carbon dioxide which is smaller than an angel on a pinhead, remains in the heavenly firmament stockpiling one on top of each other for a hundred years ultimately disrupting the seasons and bringing disasters and woe upon all our heads, especially for those poor people in Africa.gencursessmallthumb1

But here is the Good News—we have the power to break a generational curse and turn it into a blessing. How? Repentance, just repent of your evil polluting ways. Oh, and I am NOT talking about sitting around self-indulgently calculating your personal carbon footprint and feeling all good about yourselves. No we need national repentance, we need to turn from our sinful fossil fuel lifestyles and go in whole a new direction. Instead of a curse, we shall give unto our offspring a blessing of clean air and a stable planet.

The Lord God Almighty gives his firm promise to us in 2 Chronicles chapter 7: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Hmmm, that’s God’s good stuff, now.

Oh, and on a side note, if you want to know how I talk about generational curses in the churches where I teach, just substitute carbon dioxide with homosexuality.

This has been Elizabeth Jeremiah from the Elizabeth Jeremiah Global Worldwide Ministries in Jesus. May God richly bless you and keep you and your whole household too.

That Day in Climate History

I am Timothy Meadows, It is Saturday October 6, 2164 and time for “That Day in Climate History.” The massive heat waves of 2017 and 2018 caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people—mostly elderly, infants, and those with respiratory ailments, in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, North America, and Australia. While governments struggled to keep up with disaster relief, in the spring of 2019 a group of clergy met to develop strategies to protect the most vulnerable in their communities.

First conceived in Albuquerque, New Mexico by a Muslim Imam, a Jewish Rabbi, a Christian minister, and a Pagan High Priestess, the Summer Sanctuary Project opened the doors to places of worship and provided places of refuge when people could not afford to run expensive air conditioning units. In retrofitted mosques, synagogues, churches, and temples, community members stayed cool and safe for up to two weeks at a time during the extremely hot summer of 2019. The pilot project proved so successful that it was quickly adopted by other places of worships along with gender queer community centers, local schools, and town halls.

By 2020 the Climate Sanctuary Movement expanded to create safe spaces during times of all types of extreme weather with the unexpected positive outcome of deepening community ties leading to greater cooperation and peace. It is estimated that by 2022 the Climate Sanctuary Movement saved over 2 million lives. On this day in 2164 we remember that day in Climate History.

Advert:

Climate History is brought to you by Ikea offering stylish and affordable carbon capture artificial house plants.

Closing:

You have made it to the end of episode four of Climate Stew Podcast. Thank you for listening. Please feel very free to share this podcast with your friends through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Email—you get the point. As a new podcast we need your help to let people know that there are fun ways of talking about the serious issue of global warming. Soon I will tour the North America with stops in Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Portland, Vancouver, BC and more. Check out www.petersontoscano.com for more information. You can see a complete transcript of today’s program, along with show notes and music credits over at www.climatestew.com Special thanks to Jane Brazell, Glen Retief, oh, and Joe G who with just a tank top and super short cutoff jeans completely altered the climate at the Iowa State Fair.


 

2014 Queer Synchroblog Contributors

* Fr. Shay Kearns Coming Into My Own

* Schrodinger’s Triceratops Coming/Going

* Mackenzian Coming Back To Prayer

* Wally Coming Out

* Andrew/Amanda A Journey of Coming and Going

* Rev. Liz Edman Coming and Going in the Wilderness

* The Fugitive Minister You’re Right

* A Queer Calling In Which We Decide To Go To Church

* Wall Of Illusion Coming, Going, Staying

* Holy Ghost Heretic Coming/Going

* Jonas Weaver Listening to the Old Bray of My Heart

* Mark Dixon Welcome Home

* Peterson Toscano Coming Out for Climate in Weird Religious Ways

* P Synchroblog Entry

* Jamie S Hill Dancing With My Shadow

* Seamus D Coming and Going

* Maggie Starr Synchroblog Entry

* Crumbs at the Feast Good To Come, Better to Go

* Sarah Moon And Though I Find Here No Permanent Dwelling…

* Delfin Bautista The Struggle of Rebirth: A Catholic Coming Out

* Brian Gerald Murphy Be Gentle

 

The Peterson Apocalypse Fall Tour Schedule

While my amazing tour manager duo, Jane and Karina, still have some final bookings to confirm, I have most of my fall 2014 schedule posted. In addition to performing Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible, a performance lecture that explores the stories and lives of gender outlaws in the Bible, I have four new presentations I now have ready for public enjoyment and edification.

These include

The tour begins this weekend with a performance of Transfigurations in State College, PA on Saturday followed by a special presentation about my own funky, off-beat look at global warming on Sunday at the Friends Meeting. Later in the month I will hop on an Amtrak train and cross the country heading up into Vancouver, BC. The train is like a rolling reading retreat for me as I nestle in my sleeper car.

lunapic-1238031399594692

 

The Peterson Apocalypse Tour includes:

  • Oct 7 & Oct 15 Susquehanna University
  • Oct 18 & 19 Lancaster, PA
  • Oct 29-Nov 2 Minneapolis, MN
  • Nov 5-10 British Columbia
  • Nov 11-15 Washington and Oregon
  • Nov 19 & 20 Simpson College, Indianola, IA
  • Nov 22 & 23 Pittsburgh

Not my First Rodeo–um March

For the early part of my adult life I was a Christian fundamentalist believing in evil spirits, generational curses, and the desperate need to reach out to a lost and dying world. As a fresh-faced 19 year old in Glory Tabernacle, the little storefront Pentecostal Holiness church I attended on West 106th Street in NYC, I frequented prayer meetings, where with my brothers and sisters, I faced the four directions screaming against demonic warlords. One day our Pastor Willy  announced that in order to take authority over “principalities and powers of darkness” he felt called to organize the first ever NYC March for Jesus.  Think of it as Christian Pride Parade in church drag.

Unable to get support from other pastors who had their own fiefdoms to protect, our tiny congregation marched alone. Picture it: Central Park West shutdown from 72nd Street to 59th on a Saturday morning as 30 born-again Christians in their Sunday best marched with banners proclaiming Jesus’ triumphant reign over New York City. The police set up barriers in vain because no spectators lined up to see us, just the occasional dog walker or parent with child who stopped momentarily as we waved at them and pleaded the blood of Jesus.

That was in 1987. Fast forward to 2014 and the 350,000+ people jamming Central Park West for the People’s Climate March. I saw pagans addressing the four directions beseeching their blessings. I heard people from many nations crying out against the powers and authorities who make money as they pollute the atmosphere, and I felt the urgency to save a sick planet overburdened with endangered earth dwellers.

A Queer for the Climate dressed as Earth Element

A Queer for the Climate dressed as Earth Element

At their core the two messages from these two different periods are similar. Repentance and Salvation. Renewal and Revival. Renunciation of Past Evils and the Promise of a Better Future.

On Sunday I stood on West 83rd Street, two blocks from my former apartment. Assembled with the Queers for the Climate we promoted a “gay agenda” unlike anything Pastor Willy ever preached against. Cleaner air, justice for those most affected by environmental damage, and a commitment to consider the intersections of gender, race, class, and nationality. Marching the same route nearly 30 years later, I remembered my former days and felt grateful for personal growth and a growing movement.Climate_Stew_Logo_Square1400x1400

Recently I began working on a new podcast (check out the short, fun, audio confection: Climate Stew Podcast) In 1995 I left NYC to train in the UK as a radio presenter and producer for a new position running a station in Zambia. In a little studio in West Bromwich, England, I learned how to record and edit radio programs. Then I moved to Zambia and became an on-air presenter and programme manager. Years later I find these skills still in place, albeit a little rusty (need to work on levels!)

In the old days at church we talked about God doing a new thing and the need for new wine in new wineskins and the creation of a new heaven and earth. These days those concepts are still real to me, but in a completely different way.

Turning the Climate March into a Pride Parade

While I could have marched with the Quakers or the Citizens Climate Lobby, in the end I opted to march with the Queers for the Climate. Good choice! I also recorded lots of audios and mini interviews for the Climate Stew Podcast. Stay tuned!

preparing the puppets and queers to march (see glen retief?)

preparing the puppets and queers to march (see glen retief?)

Ready to March on W 83rd Street

Ready to March on W 83rd Street

IMG_1750

herding queer cats & mermaids

Fierce, just fierce

Fierce, just fierce

Her sign got a lot of attention.

Her sign got a lot of attention.

Justin Vivian Bond on the far right (she marched the whole way with us)

Justin Vivian Bond on the far right (she marched the whole way with us)

Video posted by Earl Dax reveals we know how to chant and look fabulous on 42nd Street

A homage to Robin Williams by a sociology professor who marched beside me.

A homage to Robin Williams by a sociology professor who marched beside me.

Love the buggy eyelashes

Love the buggy eyelashes

These two got up early to prepare (or never went to bed the night before)

These two got up early to prepare (or never went to bed the night before)

Wind & Fire ready to march

Wind & Fire ready to march

We're here; we're queer, and OMG those pumps will kill you!

We’re here; we’re queer, and OMG those pumps will kill you!

This one even has the global warming pout going on.

This one even has the global warming pout going on.

IMG_1763

Even Frida showed up

I was there. See peeking in the bottom of the frame.

I was there. See peeking in the bottom of the frame.

Marching in Midtown

Marching in Midtown

IMG_7554

And a drag queen shall lead them on.

And a drag queen shall lead them on.

People of Color Already Hit Hardest by Climate Change

Steven Hsieh writing for The Nation highlights the race disparity that exists in the USA when it comes to pollution.

Sixty-eight percent of African-Americans live within thirty miles of a coal-fired power plant, the zone of maximum exposure to pollutants that cause an array of ailments, from heart disease to birth defects. Communities of color breathe in nearly 40 percent more polluted air than whites. African-American children are three times as likely to suffer an asthma attack.

The NAACP launched its Climate Justice Initiative address the stark numbers head on. Working in conjunction with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and Indigenous Environmental Network, the Initiative published “Coal-Blooded: Putting Profits Before People” in 2012, which evaluated the impact of 378 coal-fired power plants on communities along racial and economic lines. “Just Energy Policies: Reducing Pollution and Creating Jobs,” released in December, looked at the energy policies of all fifty states through a civil rights lens.

The article continues with an interview of Jacqueline Patterson, executive director of the NAACP’s Climate Justice Initiative. She explains why people of color are affected more than others by climate change and the weather disasters associated with global warming. She also talks about the benefits of cleaner energy on communities of color.

Your work explores the importance of making sure benefits from clean energy are equitable and reach communities of color. Could you talk a little bit about that?

We talked earlier about how 68 percent of African-Americans live within thirty miles of a coal-fired power plant and other frontline communities, such as indigenous Native American communities and Latino communities, are also right in the smog zones of these facilities. Just transitioning to a more energy-efficient economy and clean energy economy would benefit those communities in terms of having clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and clean land to live on. In addition to that, we also want to make sure that those communities are in decision-making spaces as we develop this economy, as well as revenue-generating positions. African-Americans spent $41 million on energy in 2009, but only 1 percent of African-Americans were in energy jobs and less than 1 percent of revenue in the energy sector was earned by African-Americans. Whatever room there is for estimation on either side of those statistics, they’re still fairly stark in saying not only are we being negatively impacted by the current fossil-fuel dominated portfolio, we’re also not even benefiting from the revenue or jobs in that sector, nor are we in positions of being able to have input in how those sectors advance and roll out.

As we transition to a new-energy economy, we need frontline communities, not just communities of color but also low-income communities, to be working in decision-making and revenue-generating positions within the industry.

Read all the article: People of Color are Already Getting Hit the  Hardest by Climate Change 

(photo credit NYC International Socialist Organization)

The Climate Stew is Ready!

After weeks of preparation, the Climate Stew Team and I are ready to present to the world our NEW WEBSITE and the Climate Stew Podcast.

We take global warming seriously, but don’t scare the snot out of you. Explore your role on a new planet with Climate Stew.

At Climate Stew we will look at global warming with a fresh, cheeky approach though our blog and podcast. We are considering lots of lenses through which we can view climate change. How is it a queer issue? An issue that already concerns people of color? A faith issue? We see it so much more than simply a scientific and policy issue. And we also feel hope. We seek out hope. We plan on sharing that  hope along with our fears and how we are facing them.

Oh, and humor too. We try to be funny when we can. We need to relax our tensed up, terrified brains, so that we can think critically and face the future together.

Check out the first episode of the podcast (only 13 minutes and transcript included) In it:

  • We talk about coffee mmmmmmm
  • I explain why on earth I am marching for climate change (a humorous essay where I reveal I am rubbish as an environmentalist)
  • and you will hear: This Day in Climate History: A radio broadcast from the future that revisits the past to help us respond to climate change in the present.

We also have GREAT music.

Welcome to Climate Stew. Please visit and share us with your friends.

Climate Stew. Coming SOON!

Turns out my nine month sabbatical was not all about watching YouTube and growing tomatoes! In addition to the redesign of this website, the formation of an excellent team, the premiere of my newest play on October 15, two new talks (this and this), and a nearly completed second draft of a memoir–PHEW–next week I will launch ClimateStew.com and the Climate Stew podcast.

I find most climate change blogs are terribly boring and impersonal. Ok, I know we shouldn’t have to be entertained while researching the greatest threat to civilization since Noah’s zombie apocalypse plague asteroid alien invasion, but the reality is, this shit is scary. If we want people to learn about what is happening in our world, we need to develop creative ways of engaging people.

For me global warming is not simply about science and policy (and definitely not about a debate over if it is happening or not or why.) For me global warming is about people, human rights, environmental justice, food, peace, oh and coffee and pasta. So the new website will focus on people now and throughout history facing crisis with extraordinary creativity and resolve. It will look at climate change from some weird angles. Both the podcast and the website will not shy away from the seriousness of global warming.

The first episode of Climate Stew podcast will begin:

This is Climate Stew, the podcast that takes a serious look at climate change but doesn’t try to scare the snot out of you. Explore your role on a new planet with your host, Peterson Toscano. 

Each episode will be short (I’m aiming for 10 minutes or less) and will have three segments.

  1. A current climate news story. Just one story which might be good news, disturbing news, hopeful news.
  2. The main segment. This will vary. Sometimes an interview (like with environmental science teacher, Dr. Jennifer O’Brien, who knows more about pop culture than anyone I know.) It might be the introduction of a concept that we can discuss in Twitter, Facebook and on the site (like: what might be a queer response to climate change?/ how do we work through the grief of a broken planet? / what’s behind all the denial? / what are the different types of deniers and which one am I?) It might also be performance or comedy, because the world seriously needs climate change comedy right about now.
  3. Finally, the last segment, This Day in Climate History: A Report from the future that revisits the past to consider how we might respond to global warming in the present. It’s hard to explain, but listen once and you will get it.

We will roll out the new site and the new podcast next Monday (September 15, 2014) in advance of the historic Peoples Climate March. I cannot tell you how excited and thrilled (I couldn’t sleep last night!) about sharing with you some Climate Stew!