Episode 94: Antarctic Awakenings: Unveiling Climate Change at the Ends of the Earth with Elizabeth Rush + Episode 93: What is Your Climate Change Role? + Episode 92: There’s Something Funny about Climate Change + Episode 91: Good News

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Episode 94: Antarctic Awakenings: Unveiling Climate Change at the Ends of the Earth with Elizabeth Rush

In this episode of Citizens’ Climate Radio, co-hosts Peterson Toscano and Erica Valdez explore the theme of climate change and its impact on Antarctica. They interviewed Elizabeth Rush, author of “The Quickening, Creation, and Community at the Ends of the Earth,” who shares her experiences and insights from a research expedition to Thwaites Glacier.

They also spoke with Brett Cease, Vice President of Programs for Citizens’ Climate Lobby, who traveled to Antarctica and shared his observations. Additionally, they discuss sustainable fashion, resilience, and the Great School Electrification Challenge.

Journey to Thwaites Glacier with writer Elizabeth Rush

Elizabeth Rush joined a research expedition aboard an icebreaker in 2019 and headed for Thwaites Glacier for 54 days. This remote and deteriorating glacier is critical in understanding global sea level rise. Her book documents this journey, weaving together the awe-inspiring encounters with icebergs and the intense efforts of scientific labor. 

A Deep Feminist Rewriting of Antarctic History

During her time on the icebreaker, Elizabeth embraced her role as writer-in-residence to shift the narrative focus. Antarctic history, often dominated by tales of conquest by wealthy, white men from the Global North, is ripe for reexamination. Elizabeth spent considerable time engaging with the ship’s diverse crew members, including engineers and cooks from the Philippines, whose stories are usually overshadowed by scientists’ stories. By doing so, she highlights the essential labor that makes scientific discovery possible and challenges the traditional narrative that has long defined Antarctic expeditions.

Life Aboard the Icebreaker

Elizabeth’s account transcends typical adventure narratives, offering a glimpse into the daily realities of life on a research vessel. The absence of the internet and the close quarters created an environment of authenticity and camaraderie among the crew. This unique setting allowed genuine interactions and reflections that are rare in our every day, digitally-saturated lives.

A Thoughtful Dialogue on Climate Change and Parenthood

The Quickening” provocatively explores the intersections of climate change and the decision to bring children into the world. Elizabeth tackles this complex topic not by dictating what to think but by inviting readers to engage in a thoughtful dialogue. The narrative steers clear of simplifying the issue to mere carbon footprints, instead enriching the discussion with nuanced perspectives on regeneration and balance.

About Elizabeth Rush

Elizabeth Rush is a distinguished author known for her impactful exploration of climate change and its effects on communities. Her acclaimed book, “Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore,” was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and has garnered praise for its deeply felt portrayal of frontline communities facing environmental challenges. Rush’s writing is characterized by her commitment to listening to marginalized voices, whether they are those affected by climate change, the melting glaciers of Antarctica, or individuals excluded from environmental conversations.

“Rising” has been lauded as a vital contribution to the discourse on climate change and sea levels, earning acclaim from publications like the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. Rush’s work extends beyond her book, with her writings appearing in prestigious publications such as Orion and Guernica. Rush has received numerous fellowships from institutions like the National Endowment for the Arts, National Geographic, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Currently based in Providence, Rhode Island, she teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University while living with her husband and two children.

This is the fourth time CCR has featured Elizabeth Rush on the show. She also appears in Episode 26 In Deep Water, Episode 29, Truth, Fact, and Cli-Fi, and Episode 47, Eco-Grief in a Time of Coronavirus Mourning

Brett Cease’s Antarctic Adventure

Brett Cease, Vice President of Programs for Citizens’ Climate Lobby, shared his enlightening journey to the Antarctic Peninsula. His voyage on the Ushuaia, a research vessel turned expedition ship, offered firsthand insights into Antarctica’s harsh realities and stunning beauty.

Navigating through towering waves and enduring 24-hour daylight, Brett’s expedition highlighted the Southern Ocean’s raw power and unpredictability. The trip provided an up-close view of the continent’s dramatic landscapes and unique wildlife, including several species of penguins.

Penguins and the Impact of Climate Change

One of the most striking aspects of the journey was observing the effects of climate change on local wildlife. The Adelie penguins, in particular, suffer as rising temperatures cause the sea ice they depend on to form later and melt earlier each year.

Brett vividly described the overwhelming smell of penguin colonies, a mix of old cigarettes, ammonia, and rotten shrimp, illustrating the less glamorous side of these adorable but squalid creatures.

Ice Loss and Its Global Implications

The voyage underscored the dramatic ice loss in Antarctica, with the continent shedding approximately 150 billion tons of ice annually. Witnessing these changes was humbling and a stark reminder of the urgent need for global climate action.

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Resilience Corner

Tamara Staton explores the surprising relationship between puppies and climate change. Through her experience with her puppy, Mica, Tamara highlights how pets contribute to our well-being, from reducing stress to promoting physical activity and combating loneliness. She emphasizes how the positive effects of pet ownership can indirectly support climate action by fostering healthier, happier individuals. Tamara invites us to consider pet ownership or pet-sitting as a means of experiencing these benefits. 

To learn more about building resilience in the face of climate challenges, visit the Resilience Hub. Share your resiliency questions with Tamara via email at radio @ citizensclimate.org or you can text or leave a message at 619-512-9646.

CCL Youth Corner with Veda Ganesan

Veda tells us about the Great School Electrification Challenge, an initiative spearheaded by CCL National Youth Action Team that aims to transform schools into hubs of sustainability by advocating for the electrification of various systems, including HVAC, transportation, and energy sources like solar panels. Through the stories of youth teams in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Dallas, Texas, Veda showcases the grassroots efforts to engage school boards, policymakers, and the community in adopting clean energy practices. Highlighting the recent success of the Cincinnati team in getting their electrification resolution unanimously passed, she encourages listeners to join the cause and participate in the challenge

Veda Genesan is a high school student from Texas and the host of the Sustainable Cents podcast

Good News

Erica Valdez shares the adverse environmental effects of the fashion industry, as it uses resources and generates emissions to produce, package, and transport clothing. The good news is there are many groups taking action and bringing this issue to light.

Erica highlights the Scrounger’s Center for Reusable Art Parts (SCRAP), a nonprofit center for creative reuse in San Francisco. 

Through after-school programs like Sustainable Fashion Design for Teens, SCRAP educates students about the environmental effects of the fashion industry and teaches them how to reuse and revitalize clothing materials. This program empowers young people with hands-on workshops and educational sessions. It also provides a space to learn and process climate information and connect with other young advocates. SCRAP is a perfect example of how important individual and collective action is and how creative it can look.

Monthly Question

If you could advocate for the climate through art, what kind of art piece would you create? 

This can be music, dance, film, writing, or other mediums you’ve used in rural climate work. We want to hear about it. Please email your answer to radio @ citizens climate.org. You can also text or leave a voicemail at 619-512-9646. Tell us your story of using art in your climate work.


Episode 93: What is Your Climate Change Role?

In this month’s episode of Citizens’ Climate Radio, Eileen Flanagan, a writer, social change teacher, Quaker, and activist, dives deep with host Peterson Toscano into four different roles people have traditionally taken in change movements. In addition, Erica Valdez and Horace Mo join Peterson for a vibrant discussion about their personal experiences in taking one of these roles. 

Finding Your Role 

In Eileen Flanagan’s words, the four recurring roles in change movements include rebels, advocates, organizers, and helpers. One of the best ways to understand these four roles is through their different orientations. Eileen says, “The helpers’ orientation is: what can I do to improve things without messing with the system?” She mentions climate change helpers who take the initiative to help insulate houses or help put solar panels on a neighbor’s roof. A helper also prepares food for events, provides rides for volunteer lobbyists, and donates money to a climate organization.  

Elieen further explains, “An advocate takes the role of trying to use the tools of the system to change things.” Advocates often capitalize on lobbying and lawsuits to convince elected officials and people in power to make decisions. 

In contrast, Eileen points out, 

Rebels use disruptive tactics. They don’t do letter writing; they don’t do lobbying. Instead, they protest of various kinds. In my tradition, we usually use nonviolent direct action, targeting a decision maker, maybe a corporation, and trying to get them to change a policy through consistent troublemaking. 

Lastly, she shares, “Organizers are the trickiest because they can use different tactics. But what makes someone an organizer is they are oriented toward their group, toward their community.” She says, “The focus of the organizer is what will our group do.” She then talks about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, when Rosa Parks not only played the rebel role but was also an organizer. 

Livehouse With Peterson, Horace, and Erica: 

If you are unsure which role best suits you, listen to the conversation between Peterson, Horace, and Erica. They reflect on their experiences playing change movement roles in their community. Erica shares her experience working as an organizer on and off campus at her university. Her role has helped her realize the significance of team effort and mutual trust. 

Horace speaks about volunteering to help a local, sustainable food organization hand out free vegan burgers to football attendants near a stadium. Being a helper opened him up to new ideas and further inspired him to continue such work.

Good News Story

Horace Mo in Chongqing shares a good news story about China’s new carbon trading regulations.

For China to regulate its National Emissions Trading System is a big step. Horace shares some of the details. The Chinese carbon trading regulation will go into effect starting May 1, 2024. Learn more about China’s ETS from the International Carbon Action Partnership

If you have a good news story to share, email radio @ citizensclimateradio.org or leave a message at our visiting voicemail line: (619) 512-9646‬

Nerd Corner

Citizens’ Climate’s Research Coordinator, Dana Nuccitelli, discusses the very geeky world of permitting reform. Dana highlights climate research (and makes it understandable) for fellow nerds and the nerd curious! Visit The Nerd Corner to see the Chart of the Week, regular posts, and an active forum to connect with other nerds. 

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 need help with what you can do, consider one of the following next steps.

Since the episode covered the topics of our role in the climate movement, you can take one of these online quizzes to learn more about yourself and your place in the world. 

1.  Podcast Engagement

  • We would love to hear your thoughts and personal experiences of taking one of the change movement roles! You are welcome to email us at radio @ citizensclimatelobby.org, or even join and chat with us on the show! You can also leave a voice mail (619) 512-9646‬.
  • Please share our show on your social media and with your friends. If you listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, we would LOVE a review.

2. Read More About Eileen Flanagan

  • If you ever want to learn more about the four roles discussed by Eileen Flanagan, you can visit her website, ElieenFlanagan.com, to learn about her published books, online lessons, and informative writings. 

3Carbon Fee and Dividend Movement (For College Students)

  • Explore the Carbon Fee and Dividend movement, which advocates for effective climate policies. They creatively engage college students, faculty, and staff in their campaigns. This movement also facilitates direct connections with lawmakers
  • Utilize the hashtag #carbonfeeanddividend on social media.
  • Learn more at CFDmovement.com and follow them on Instagram @carbonfeeanddividend.

4Citizens’ Climate Lobby National Youth Action Team (For Middle and High School Students)

5. Additional Climate Action Resource (For anyone at any time)

  • For those seeking more ways to take action and potentially find one of their change movement roles, you can explore the action page at CCLusa.org/action.

Listen Now!


Episode 92: There’s Something Funny about Climate Change

In this episode of Citizens’ Climate Radio, listeners hear stories, insights, and innovative approaches to tackling climate change. From the unique perspective of a climate change comedian who marries humor with serious environmental advocacy to the empowering tales of youth activism at the global COP28 summit, this episode showcases diverse methods of engagement and action. Highlighting the importance of resilience, space for mental and emotional health, and the groundbreaking work of package-free shopping, it will inspire you while providing you with practical guidance. 

A Climate Change Comedian?

Brian Ettling shares his compelling journey from a park ranger to an influential climate change comedian, a story that encapsulates the essence of turning gloom into bloom. With seventeen years of experience as a seasonal ranger in the majestic landscapes of Crater Lake National Park and Everglades National Park, Brian shares how a simple yet profound question about global warming from a park visitor sparked a drastic shift in his career path and life purpose. 

“Excuse me, all-knowing ranger,” a visitor said. “I have a question.” I smiled, humbly curious and certain I had the answer. “What’s happening with global warming in the Everglades?” Wait. What?! I knew nothing about global warming, and visitors hate when park rangers tell you, ‘I don’t know.’

Brian spent time researching the question and was shocked by what he discovered. 

The information I learned scared me. What the (bleep)! Because of climate change, sea level was expected to rise at least three feet in Everglades National Park by the end of the 21st century. The sea would swallow up most of the park and nearby Miami since the highest point of the park road is less than three feet above sea level. UGH, I hate you, climate change!

This pivotal moment led him to deeply research climate change, eventually inspiring him to merge his passion for environmental advocacy with his unique sense of humor. An amateur video on YouTube led to two national television appearances on Comedy Central’s satirical Tosh.0. Daniel Tosh introduced America to the goofball who became the Climate Change Comedian

Brian’s narrative is a vivid testament to the power of individual transformation and the role of creativity in addressing serious global issues. He illustrates this by recounting defining moments in his journey, and he invites us to experience the journey complete with silly sound effects and a musical score. 

Brian Ettling is a dynamic climate change communicator from Portland, Oregon, with a deep history of engagement with Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). Over the years, he has worn multiple hats within CCL, including legislative liaison, co-chapter leader, and Missouri State co-coordinator. His dedication is evident in his attendance at nine CCL international conferences in Washington, D.C., where he served as a breakout speaker. Additionally, Brian has contributed his insights at the Canadian National CCL conference, showcasing his unwavering commitment to climate advocacy.

Listen Now!

Resilience Corner

Tamara Staton explores the nuanced relationship between space—both physical and emotional—and climate advocacy. Tamara emphasizes the importance of creating space for rest and reflection to enhance effectiveness in climate activism. She illustrates this with personal anecdotes, suggesting, “When I create space, I enable presence and perspective… Creating space widens our window of tolerance, allowing us to respond with grace, ease, and courage to the challenges we face.” She underscores the critical balance between passionate activism and the need for self-care to sustain long-term engagement in climate work.

Tamara Staton is the Education and Resilience Coordinator for Citizens’ Climate Education.

Get more tips and resources by visiting The Resilience Hub on CCL Community.

NEW! The CCL Youth Corner

The Citizens’ Climate Lobby Youth Corner introduces a vibrant platform where middle and high school students across the USA amplify their voices on climate action. Host Veda Ganesan highlights their proactive efforts to make their voices heard at COP28. She shares the important role CCL Youth volunteer Vinay Karthik played at the international conference in Dubai. In the next Youth Corner, you will learn about The Great School Electrification Challenge.

Dig Deeper: Check out the CCL Youth Blog.

Veda Ganesan is the producer and host of CCR’s new Citizens’ Climate Lobby Youth Corner; it is a project of CCL Youth. Veda also hosts Sustainable Cents podcast. 

Good News 

Damon Motz-Storey (they, them) shines a spotlight on the Realm Refillery in Portland, Oregon, a pioneering package-free grocery store. It exemplifies sustainable shopping by offering a wide variety of bulk goods, from flour to laundry detergent, all without disposable packaging, presenting a compelling model for reducing single-use plastics and living one’s environmental values.

Damon Motz-Storey is an active climate advocate and the Oregon Chapter Director of the Sierra Club, dedicated to promoting sustainable practices and environmental conservation.

In other Good News, Peterson Toscano highlights two innovative climate change exhibitions in New York City museums. At the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Life Cycles: The Materials of Contemporary Design showcases the intersection of design and sustainability, featuring Solar Ivy, a system of small solar panels resembling leaves that generate energy from sunlight and wind. Additionally, the Climate Museum in SOHO focuses entirely on climate change, currently featuring “The End of Fossil Fuel,” and encourages visitors to engage in actionable steps toward environmental advocacy.

If you have a Good News Story to share, contact us: Radio @ CitizensClimate.org

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 need help with what you can do, consider one of the following next steps. 

Stay Tuned

In the March 2024 episode, you will meet Erica Valdez, the newest team member of Citizens’ Climate Radio. Erica, Horace, and Peterson will engage in a discussion on the various roles individuals can adopt in addressing climate change. Eileen Flannagan, a Quaker author, activist, and trainer, will elaborate on the four roles change-makers often play: Advocate, Rebel, Helper, and Organizer. They ask, “What is your role on this new planet???” The episode is set to premiere on Friday, March 22nd, 2024.

Episode 91: Good News

n this episode we celebrate some of the good news the CCR team have found for you. Lily Russian, Karina Taylee, Horace Mo, and Peterson Toscano will each share with you good news stories about what is happening in the climate change sphere. You will also hear good news about what you can expect from our show in 2024. Did someone say True Crime Climate mini series??

Lily is a junior at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, studying Political Science and Environmental Science. Karina is from Miami, Florida, and started volunteering for CCL in 2021 before becoming an intern this fall. She has just finished her graduate studies. And Horace, a recent graduate from the University of Michigan, has returned to his home in Chongqing, China.

From Coal Power to Green Energy

Coal mines are bad for the environment. At least that is what we have always heard. Well, Lily tells us about a revolutionary project in Gateshead, England, which shows the remarkable potential of using abandoned mines to reduce carbon emissions. Lily says, “The ground-breaking project uses the warm water from the tunnels to heat hundreds of homes and businesses in the former coalfield community.” 

In this episode, you will learn more about this first-of-its-kind initiative that demonstrates the potential of harnessing the Earth’s natural heat stored in flooded mines to create clean, renewable energy. If you want to dig deeper, check out this article

High Seas High Hopes: Treaty Aims to Protect Two-Thirds of Our Unprotected Ocean

If you’re passionate about protecting our oceans, Karina has some good news for you! Deep beneath the waves, a silent struggle unfolds. The high seas, which cover two-thirds of the world’s oceans, remain unprotected, vulnerable to human activity. 

A beacon of hope shines in the form of the High Seas Treaty, currently navigating its way through international ratification. This historic agreement aims to establish marine protected areas, safeguarding vast regions from damaging activities like oil drilling.

“These regions will be kind of like gigantic National Parks, but in the ocean.” – Karina Taylee

If you want to learn more about the High Seas Treaty, listen to the episode and read this article.  

“Ocean Breakthroughs” Initiative: World Leaders Unite for the Oceans

Imagine 400 global leaders and changemakers – conservation experts, business representatives, local communities, and indigenous groups – uniting to address the critical issue of ocean health. 

Horace tells us about The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Leaders Forum, a platform for innovative solutions and collaborative action. The IUCN facilitated the launch of “Ocean Breakthroughs,” a global initiative aiming to revitalize five key marine sectors: conservation, renewable energy, shipping, food production, and coastal tourism. This ambitious plan seeks to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35% by 2050, demonstrating a profound commitment to ocean sustainability and climate action.

If you have a Good News Story you want to share, email us: radio @ citizensclimatelobby.org

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. 

1. Podcast Engagement

  • To celebrate 91 consecutive months of podcasting, share our show on your social media and with your friends. If you listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, we would LOVE a review.

2. Carbon Fee and Dividend Movement (For College Students)

  • Explore the Carbon Fee and Dividend movement, which advocates for effective climate policies. They creatively engage college students, faculty, and staff in their campaigns. This movement also facilitates direct connections with lawmakers
  • Utilize the hashtag #carbonfeeanddividend on social media.
  • Learn more at CFDmovement.com and follow them on Instagram @carbonfeeanddividend.

3. Citizens’ Climate Lobby National Youth Action Team (For Middle and High School Students)

4. Additional Climate Action Resource (For anyone at any time)

  • For those seeking more ways to take action, explore the action page at CCLusa.org/action.

Listen Now!

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. 

You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on:

Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group, on X (FKA Twitter) @CitizensCRadioInstagram @CitizensClimateRadioLinkedIn, or TikTok @ClimateChangePodcast. You can reach us by email: radio @ citizensclimateradio.org. Call our listener voicemail line: (619) 512-9646. +1 if calling from outside the USA.

Posted by Brett Cease on Apr 26, 2024 10:43 AM America/Los_Angeles

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