Climate and the Art of Storytelling (San Jose Statue University)

Event Details

Tell us a story…

No story is harder to tell than the one about our changing climate and what it means for each of us. Reciting the facts is not enough to move people to action, in fact, many shut down when they hear even the mention of global warming. How we break through the collective silence in creative and effective ways? How do we connect with people who on the surface seem to have no interest in sustainability, climate change, or environmental issues?

Peterson will present this presentation at San Jose State University in an interdisciplinary class on global warming. This is open to students and faculty of the class and their guests.


Peterson is a person who is so many of the issues that are being discussed in today’s society — LGBT issues, religion issues and climate change — and he’s so relatable and so approachable that he’s able to make the divisions in our country seem irrelevant.

Peter Buckland
, Penn State University Sustainability Institute’s academic programs fellow



Climate and the Art of Storytelling

Experience Peterson and some of his many different characters

Conversations that entertain and enlighten 

It's not hard to see why Peterson's been successful engaging people across backgrounds in some interesting and important discussions. The discussions and followups were thoughtful and productive. He challenged some of our notions and approaches in intelligent ways and got the office thinking in some exciting new directions.

David Heithaus
, Director of Green Initiatives, Kenyon College


For a Catholic institution that is heavily focused on the social aspects of sustainability it was a perfect match to have Peterson speak on the faithful’s connection to climate change. Peterson’s humorous approach helped connect students who would otherwise be uninterested in the topic of climate change. Additionally, while on campus Peterson conducted meaningful conversations with a variety of groups.

Liesel Schwarz
, Sustainability Manager, Villanova University


Who is Peterson Toscano?

petersoninmaltaPeterson Toscano is a performance artist, activist and comic storyteller. Although he performs throughout North America and Europe, he actually lives in Sunbury, PA. Toscano presents original one-person comedies that explore gender, sexuality, faith, and climate change.

As someone concerned with human rights, for the past two years Toscano has taken on climate change as his primary focus as he considers LGBTQ, faith, and comic responses to the climate crisis. His does not dole out the typical gloom and doom, shame and guilt global warming messages. Instead he infuses his work with hope. He challenges audiences to pursue community building as he helps them connect climate change to everything from immigration to a cup of coffee. He is the creator of Climate Stew and the host of Citizens Climate Radio.


Peterson Toscano led a transformative lunch-time discussion exploring the intersection between race, justice, and climate change, focusing on environmental racism in disaster relief efforts. From beginning to end, Peterson made Bates students feel welcomed, supported, and hopeful - a task nearly impossible when discussing the climate crisis. Peterson Toscano, a true beam of light, touched hearts and minds as he equipped Bates students with the rhetorical tactics and perspective necessary to create a more equitable world, and for that we are so thankful!

Zsofia Duarte
, Bates College Student, Environmental Politics major


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