Episode 84: Unraveling the Bible’s Message on Climate Change + Episode 83: The Not-So-Cool Effects of Air Conditioning on Climate Change

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Episode 84: Unraveling the Bible’s Message on Climate Change

In this episode of Citizens’ Climate Radio, we explore the intersection between the Bible and climate change. More specifically, we discuss the Christian faith and how it inspires its followers to advocate for the planet. 

Pastor Kyle Meyaard Schaap, husband, father, and self-described disciple of Jesus, is Vice President of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN). EEN is a ministry that educates, inspires, and mobilizes Christians in their effort to care for God’s creation. Pastor Schaap is also of the book, Following Jesus in a Warming World: A Christian Call to Climate Action. It was published by Intervarsity Press, and is a memoir and theological field guide written for millennials and Gen Z believers. His message is that there is a space for Christians in the environmentalist movement. 

In fact, Pastor Schaap reminds us that the Bible starts off with Genesis where God gives man authority over creation. Schaap reveals to us how his faith as a Christian inspires his climate work. Jesus asked his followers to love their neighbor as themselves, and Schaap asks Christians to extend this invitation to love all things, including the natural world. Even further, Pastor Schaap suggests as Christians strive to be like Jesus, they must be impatient for the Kingdom of God. He urges fellow Christians to commit to creation care. 

“Our hope, and God’s good plans for the world, has always been more stubborn than our fear of our ability to derail them.” -Kyle Meyaard Schaap

Take Action to Save God’s Creation

A Climate Life Verse

Ruth Abraham, a member of the Citizens’ Climate Radio team, shares with us the Bible verse that speaks to her about creation care and our need to clean up the pollution in the world. She is inspired by the Christian hymn “Joy to the World,” which was written by Isaac Watts, and a verse in Luke’s Gospel. 

Luke Chapter 2 verse 7:

“And Mary gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Joy to the world / the Lord is come

Let Earth receive her King /

Let every heart / prepare Him room

And Heaven and nature sing

And Heaven and nature sing 

/(say it with me now)/

And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.”

But the resonating line for Ruth is “prepare Him room.” 

In light of the humble reception Jesus received when he first arrived on earth, she recommends we consider how to prepare for his second coming. For Ruth, that means cleaning the air and water that God has gifted to us.

Take a Meaningful Next Step

Each month we will suggest meaningful, achievable, and measurable next steps for you to consider. We recognize that action is an antidote to despair. If you are struggling with what you can do, consider one of the following next steps. 

  • If you are a trained clergy or a lay minister, the Red Cross is actively looking for volunteers to provide spiritual support to people who experienced a disaster. Besides big regional disasters like hurricanes, tornados, and wildfires, the Red Cross also responds to local disasters like house fires. Learn about the many volunteer opportunities at RedCross.org.
  • World Vision focuses on helping the most vulnerable children overcome poverty so they can experience the fullness of life. Inspired by their Christian faith, they help children of all backgrounds, even in the most dangerous places. Part of this work includes disaster management. As storms and floods have increased, so has the efforts of groups like World Vision. They also assist during disasters caused by extreme weather and political crisis. Learn how you can get involved in their emergency support efforts.

Dig Deeper 

Resilience Corner 

“Resilience is about recognizing a challenge and moving through it, so that we’re a little bit stronger on the other side of it.”

Tamara Staton returns this episode with a new series: Resilient Climate-teering through Unexpected Climate Connections. The goal is to have you, the listener, worry less and act more. 

After revealing the motivation behind the name “Climate-Teering,” Staton begins to equip us with the tools necessary to combat the inevitable challenges that come alongside climate change. She reminds us that resilient minds respond to conflict with an “I got this” attitude.

Good News 

CCR’s very own intern, Lila Powell, delivers a story about various faith groups who are collaborating to advance a climate preservation mission. In 2022, Egypt hosted COP27. In attendance were several religious institutions and a wonderful demonstration of interfaith conversations in support of climate policy. In addition to committees, some faith groups have gone as far as publicly divesting from fossil fuels. It is a great step forward. 

If you have an idea for a Good News Story, contact us: radio@citizensclimate.org  

Episode 83: The Not-So-Cool Effects of Air Conditioning on Climate Change

In this month’s episode of Citizens’ Climate Radio, Eric Dean Wilson fills us in on the not-so-cool history of air conditioning and its complicated relationship to climate change. He is the author of After Cooling: On Freon, Global Warming, and the Terrible Cost of Comfort. Lila Powell and Ruth Abraham join Peterson Toscano in hosting this deep dive into air conditioning’s past, present, and future. 

Eric walks us through the creation and history of AC. Despite what all of us at CCR thought, AC was not first used for human comfort or health. Eric says, it was about money. From movie theaters to segregation to a mad scientist, the history of AC covers it all. Join us to learn about how AC got its start in the world of finance and how racism keeps exposing some people in American cities to more heat than others.

A white woman poses in an icy landscape, smiling, wearing a warm hat, helmet, and headlamp.

Lila Powell, one of the hosts of this episode

Air conditioning contributes directly to the warming of the planet, and its impact is nothing if not ironic. AC typically runs on electricity that’s generated by fossil fuels and the more AC units run, the more greenhouse gas emissions increase! Despite these climate effects, the US tends to hold AC up as the only option for staying cool, which Eric Dean Wilson refers to as the “cost of comfort.”

Eric says, “The United States is in the habit of criticizing those nations who were asking for the same comforts that we have, even though we’re not doing hardly anything” 

So, what can we do? Eric helps us see a future that does not rely on air conditioning for our comfort. Much like Sean Dague did in Episode 80: Unleashing Our Imaginations for Climate Change Solutions! Tune in and you will hear Peterson and Ruth’s suggestions for some Meaningful Next Steps. 

“One of the things I call for in the book is rather than focusing on individual comfort and individual survival, to really try to rethink our notion of comfort, and think about collective comfort and collective survival, community survival.” – Eric Dean Wilson

Eric Dean Wilson’s essays, poems, and criticism have appeared in Time, Esquire, the Baffler, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Tin House, among other publications. A graduate of The New School’s MFA program in creative writing, Wilson has just defended his doctoral dissertation in the English program at The Graduate Center, CUNY, which focuses on the tension between the personal and the planetal in ecological essays. In the fall, he’ll join the faculty at Wagner College on Staten Island as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and American Literature. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, he now lives in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Take a Meaningful Next Step

Each month we will suggest meaningful, achievable, and measurable next steps for you to consider. We recognize that action is an antidote to despair. If you are struggling with what you can do, consider one of the following next steps. 

A black woman sits on an orange couch, smiling. The ceiling above her has a collage of photos and postcards.

Ruth Abraham, one of the hosts of this episode

Ruth Abraham’s suggestion:

Shade helps cool the air without having to use air conditioning. Manifest the power of shade by making your space green! You can get houseplants that release extra moisture into your rooms. Some species include spider plants, jade, Boston ferns, and peace lilies. The plants help clean the air as well as cool things down. To take things a step further: If you have a yard or green space on the sidewalk, see about planting a tree that provides cooling shade, you may need to connect with your municipality, if that green space is part of a sidewalk. Get your neighborhood involved if need be. It’s these collective small steps that bring us closer to climate solutions! 

Peterson Toscano’s suggestion:

Consider a large building where you spend lots of time. It might be your school or where you work, shop or workout. In the summer these spaces can have the air conditioning pumping so high it feels good when you come in from the heat, but after 20 minutes, people start freezing. This uses a lot of unnecessary energy. How about you begin a campaign to have the building operators increase the temperature by one or two degrees? In other words, lower the intensity of the air conditioning. Do a little research about who makes these decisions. Find out who else shares your concern, maybe even figure out a cost analysis of how the building operators will save money by decreasing the amount of AC in the summer. Then use your volunteer lobbying skills to advocate for this change.

Dig Deeper – suggestions from Eric Dean Wilson

Listen Now!

Nerd Corner

In this episode, we premiere a new section in our podcast — the Nerd Corner! Citizens’ Climate’s Research Coordinator, Dana Nuccitelli, fills us in on the environmental impacts of renewable energy. Dana highlights climate research (and makes it understandable) for fellow nerds and the nerd curious! Check out Dana’s recent post about The little-known physical and mental health benefits of urban trees

Good News 

CCR’s very own intern, Ruth Abraham, shares her experience attending the CCL Southeast Regional Conference. The conference took place at the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design on Georgia Tech’s campus. It was the 28th building to receive a Living Building Certification. She heard from various climate continuous figures such as Georgia Senator, Raphael Warnock, and Atlanta’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Candra Farley. Ruth even joined a book club! 

If you couldn’t make it to CCL’s Southeast Regional Conference, don’t worry! The Citizens’ Climate International Conference and Lobby Day will be held June 10-13 in Washington, DC.


You can listen to Citizens’ Climate Radio on these platforms:

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.

Citizens’ Climate Radio is a monthly podcast hosted by CCL volunteer Peterson Toscano.

Posted by Brett Cease on May 31, 2023 3:00 PM America/Los_Angeles

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