Episode 87: TikTok, Daryl Hannah, and Barbie Take on Climate Change + Episode 86: Harnessing Local Political Power for Climate Change Solutions + Episode 85: Economics, Justice, and Carbon Price Solutions 

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Episode 87: TikTok, Daryl Hannah, and Barbie Take on Climate Change

In this episode, we’re diving into the creative and innovative ways people are reaching the public about climate change. We feature TikTok influencers and a special announcement on behalf of a major toy company. 

TikTok’s Climate Challenge: Humor and Creativity for Impact

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Creative communicators are harnessing TikTok to engage their followers with climate change messages. TikTok is known for its short, engaging videos, and we talk to two content creators who are using the platform to reach and educate younger audiences in a fun and creative way.

Preeta “Prach” Banerjee is better known as @Prachonearth, a passionate climate activist who aspires gain a TikTok following as she shares her day-to-day life while promoting climate change awareness. A pre-med student at Purdue University, Prach volunteers with Citizens’ Climate Lobby and the Carbon Fee and Dividend Movement, Prach speaks with Citizens’ Climate Radio team member Ruth Abraham and offers insights into her creative process, which involves spontaneity, authenticity, and connecting with viewers on a personal level.

unintentional sculpture analysisCyrus Ferguson is a NYC-based strategist, digital creator, and writer. He produces and hosts TikTok shows that imagine new paths for brands to connect to viewers, and if you’re on ArtTok, you’ve likely seen his “Unintentional Sculpture Analysis.” Cyrus playfully analyzes everyday scenes as if they were works of art, bringing a fresh perspective to mundane objects and encouraging viewers to engage with climate change through imagination and play. With nearly 200,000 likes and over 2,400 comments, Cyrus’ Unintentional Sculpture Analysis #13 REFORM is engaging viewers in a ridiculously serious conversation about climate change. He explains his process and shares expert tips and guidance for content creators. 

Cyrus Ferguson is currently Content Director at Bilt Rewards, advisor for venture studio Kairos HQ, content creator for brands like Instagram and GQ, and previously worked with award winning creative teams at Recess and Domino Magazine.

Both Prach and Cyrus highlight the importance of authenticity and personal connection in their content, underscoring the potential for TikTok to be a powerful tool for climate communication.

Nerd Corner

Citizens’ Climate’s Research Coordinator, Dana Nuccitelli, delves into the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Dana breaks down the financial incentives offered by the IRA to encourage household electrification and energy efficiency improvements. From tax credits to upfront rebates, the IRA aims to make sustainable choices more accessible and affordable for households across the United States. Dana emphasizes the significance of these incentives in reducing building emissions and promoting cleaner energy solutions. Oh, and you can see Dana talking about Permitting Reform on Citizens’ Climate’s TikTok channel

Visit The Nerd Corner for more easy-to-understand explanations by Dana and the team. 

Good News Story Eco Warrior Barbies: Daryl Hannah’s Major Announcement!

Actress Daryl Hannah on Citizens Climate RadioAfter actress and eco-activist Daryl Hannah shared a groundbreaking announcement on behalf of the Mattel Corporation, the company behind Barbie dolls, Citizens’ Climate Radio host spoke with Daryl about this big bold move. 

Earlier this month at a Los Angeles press conference, Daryl announced that Mattel has committed to going 100% plastic-free by 2030 and aims to support a global ban on plastics. To celebrate this important shift in toy production, Mattel will release a line of fully biodegradable Eco-Warrior Barbies, including one made in Daryl Hannah’s likeness. 

She shared some of the details with us. “I have a few accessories. I have a mermaid tail so I can do my work in the ocean. I have a monkey wrench. I have some handcuffs, but actually I used chains when I chained myself to a tree at the South Central farm. I have a snorkel so I can also go and check out under the ocean. I have a few more toys, but I definitely have a few non-plastic biodegradable tools.” 

If this story sounds too good to be true, it is because it is. It was all a hoax orchestrated by the fictional Barbie Liberation Organization (BLO). The real people behind this political satire is the infamous Yes Men, who for decades have fooled the press and public with their elaborate stunts. While Mattel did announce it has begun shifting its production of Barbie dolls to include recycled plastics and even unveiled Barbie Loves the Ocean; Its First Fashion Doll Collection Made from Recycled Ocean-Bound Plastic with more sustainable packaging, the BLO is trying to get us to envision a world where we find cleaner alternatives to plastics. 

In 1993 the BLO infamously swapped the voice boxes of Barbie dolls with GI Joe voices and returned the dolls to store shelves as a form of cultural protest. This time, they’re tackling plastic pollution with a playful spoof involving eco-friendly Barbie dolls. The fake news story made national news with pieces in the LA TimesNY Times, and CBS News

Learn more about the Barbie Liberation Organization and watch the spoof TV commercial for the new Eco-Warrior Barbies. See the video interview between Daryl Hannah and Peterson Toscano on YouTube. 

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. Visit our action page to find out how you can make a difference. 


Episode 86: Harnessing Local Political Power for Climate Change Solutions

Brandi Robinson

Brandi Robinson

As climate advocates, we want to get everyone engaged in some sort of climate action. When it comes to taking on global climate change, people can feel overwhelmed with the scale of the problem, and then they shut down. Brandi Robinson, Associate Teaching Professor in Energy and Mineral Engineering at Penn State University says, “You don’t have to make climate change someone’s top priority. You have to connect climate change to what they already care about, and figure out how you can work together on that.” She recommends we begin locally. 

Brandi has been collaborating with her colleague Dr. Peter Buck, a sustainability and climate change professional, public servant, and educator. Together they co-direct the Centre Region Climate Action Program in Pennsylvania. Their work focuses on the local responses to global climate change, with specific interest in community-scale climate action planning. 

Peter Buck

Dr. Peter Buck

In order to guide the municipality and region to meaningful climate mitigation and adaptation plans, Peter ran and won local office. “When I got elected,” Peter says, “I knew that I wanted to create a climate action plan without actually calling it a climate action plan. Because I didn’t think that our region was ready for something that you would call it that. What I started doing was thinking about, okay, where are the things that Ferguson township does? Where can I influence whatever is happening?”

The efforts have been wildly successful.  They not only saw the passage of Ferguson Township Resolution 27-14, a commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, but region-wide they have multiple climate mitigation, adaptation, and education programs in place. 

In this episode, they not only share their successes, but they also reveal the best practices, strategies, and approaches that you can use in your own town and region. 

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Resilience Corner

There is no need to be overwhelmed in your climate work, especially when we use the resiliency tool at hand. In her latest installment of the Resilience Corner, Tamara Staton connects our climate work with an emotion that doesn’t often come up — joy. And speaking of joy, check out the silly TikTok that podcast host Peterson Toscano made with Tamara in Portland, Oregon’s Forest Park. 

The Resilience Corner is made possible through a collaboration with Tamara Staton, Education and Resilience Coordinator for Citizens’ Climate Education. For more tips, strategies, and practices to stay strong and steady in your climate work, visit The Resilience Hub.

Good News 

Singer-songwriter Dane Meyers hung out with volunteer climate lobbyists in D.C. Together they created the “Live, Laugh, Lobby” song and music video.

Blending the mediums of music, video and climate activism, Dane has a long history of making sustainability feel less like a nightmare and more like a creative adventure. Beginning in 2019, his converted Tesla Model 3 became his home and recording studio for 18 months. The project showcased the unique capabilities of electric vehicles and led to a 17-song album entitled “The New American Dreamers.”

Eager to connect with others, Dane is gearing up for his next adventure — a series of intimate living room concerts along the East Coast. These performances aim to spark interest in sustainability and inspire audiences to both process the deep losses of environmental devastation while celebrating the adventure into sustainability. Learn more at his website


Episode 85: Economics, Justice, and Carbon Price Solutions 

For this episode of Citizens’ Climate Radio, interns Ruth Abraham and Lila Powell take over the show and take a deep dive into the world of carbon pricing. 

Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s carbon pricing page states: “A strong, economy-wide price on carbon could reduce America’s carbon pollution by 50% by 2030, putting us on track to reach net zero [carbon production] by 2050.”

Carbon pricing is an economic solution to climate change. When Marshall Saunders first envisioned the creation of CCL, cap-and-trade was the primary way lawmakers heard about carbon pricing. But through relentless messaging and volunteer lobbying, the discussion has shifted to carbon fee and dividend. 

The ultimate goal? Incentivize both businesses and individuals to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Citizens’ Climate Lobby advocates for a carbon fee and dividend, an economy-wide fee that is then returned to citizens. At the point of extraction, a fee will be placed on fossil fuels, incentivizing both businesses and people to slowly but surely rely on renewables. This collected store of cash will then be distributed to individuals, flowing through the economy.

Naomi Shimberg

Naomi Shimberg

Naomi Shimberg is a self-described aspiring economist who hopes to research the design of environmental and energy policy. 

A recent graduate at Yale with a B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics, Shimberg was the senior producer at Pricing Nature where she produced and hosted episodes of Pricing Nature, a podcast on the economics of climate change. She spends her time explaining externalities and the infamous  “social cost of carbon.” Shimberg also establishes that environmental inequities are essential to determining an appropriate climate price. Furthermore, she mentions that while it is efficient in reducing pollution it’s not an entirely equitable tool. 

Nokwanda Maseko

Nokwanda Maseko

Nokwanda Maseko is now a Senior Economist at Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies’ with a background in development economics. Nokwanda conducts economic research, with a focus on industrial policy, trade, and climate change. Gender and the Just Transition in South Africa is a topic Nokwanda enjoys and is able to work on professionally. In this episode, Nokwanda says that although carbon pricing can help reduce emissions and promote innovation, it can also potentially increase costs for marginalized communities. Nokwanda discusses how general development as well as the transportation, agriculture, and energy production sectors in South Africa have several factors to consider when envisioning a green and equitable future. 

The benefits of carbon pricing include but are not limited to affordable clean energy, saved lives due to the restoration of clean air, and the innovation of American businesses. 

Dig Deeper 

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Nerd Corner

Dana Nuccitelli highlights climate research (and makes it understandable) for fellow nerds and the nerd curious! In this episode Dana explains the basics behind addressing pollution and equity through carbon fee and dividend

Check out Dana’s post about how far and fast a price on carbon can drive down emissions within the United States here

Good News Story

Citizens’ Climate Radio host, Peterson Toscano, shares good news about the Conservative Climate Caucus in the House of Representatives. It is much bigger than most people could have ever imagined! 

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

Listener Survey

We want to hear your feedback about this episode. After you listen, feel free to fill in this short survey. Your feedback will help us as we make new decisions about the content, guests, and style of the show. You can fill it out anonymously and answer whichever questions you like. 

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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.

Posted by Brett Cease on Aug 25, 2023 10:21 AM America/Los_Angeles

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