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Episode 2: Duh, we are the children

For those of us who want to motivate our friends to climate advocacy, we often look for a silver bullet — that perfect talking point that will get people on board. One of the most popular is, We need to think about future generations. We must act on behalf of the children and the grandchildren. In this episode we explore this climate pitch.


Clara Fang

Host Peterson Toscano speaks with three women whose lives have been affected by pollution, particularly during their childhood. Piper Christian is a 16-year-old climate advocate from Utah who was moved by an even younger person from Malaysia she met at the Paris Climate Summit last November. Clara Fang is an ecologist and poet, who as a girl experienced extreme pollution in her homeland of China. Now living in the U.S., she is seeking global solutions to climate change. Cathy Orlando, a Canadian, had an epiphany about climate change when she was pregnant at age 40. She brought her instincts, knowledge, and sass with her to the climate advocacy table.

We also hear from ecologist and poet Lilace Mellin Guignard, who during our Art House section of the program asks the profound question, How do we raise children in a time of climate change? She answers this question with a poem.

Many people wrote in with their answers to last month’s Citizens’ Climate Puzzler. Hear how people responded to Claire, who is concerned about climate change but feels there are bigger issues to address. In addition to hearing from listeners, we are joined by Joanna Huxster, PhD, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Bucknell University, who does research on the public’s understanding of climate change. She shares her expert opinion on what sort of responses might be most effective.

This month’s Puzzler

Imagine you are chatting with someone while traveling somewhere — bus, train, plane, camel, however you travel with others. You reveal that you are concerned about climate change. You say you are pursuing a variety of solutions. The person you are speaking with, let’s call him Sven, replies, “I could not agree more. In fact, I am doing so much to address global warming — I recycle, take shorter showers, ride my bike to work, and I have become a vegan. If we each would just do our own part, we will tackle this problem.” 

What do you think about Sven’s response? Is he correct to assume that if enough people change their individual consumption habits, we will tackle this problem? He clearly cares about addressing climate change and is putting lots of effort into cleaning up his personal lifestyle. How would answer Sven?

Send in your answers. Leave your name, contact info, and where you are from.

Get back to Peterson by August, 15th 2016. You can email your answers to radio @ You can also leave a voicemail at 570-483-8194 (+1 if calling from outside the USA) or tweet to us at @CitizensCRadio.

You can also access this month’s CCR episode on CCL’s podcast. Follow to receive notices of future podcasts.

Steve Valk is Communications Coordinator for Citizens' Climate Lobby. Steve joined the CCL staff in 2009 after a 30-year career with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter at @valklimate.