Episode 36: How to Be a Better Climate Advocate

Sam Daley-Harris, Glen Retief

Sam Daley-Harris, Glen Retief

Citizens’ Climate Radio is a monthly podcast hosted by CCL volunteer Peterson Toscano. Browse all our past episode recaps here, or listen to past episodes here, and check out the latest episode in the post below.

Sam Daley-Harris, author of the book “Reclaiming Our Democracy,” helped develop a model of advocacy that empowers citizens to connect directly with lawmakers. This model has helped shape organizations like Citizens’ Climate Lobby and the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Sam reveals some of the sources for his own inspiration. His parents’ faith and public witness, along with insights he gained from his 12 years playing in the Miami Philharmonic orchestra, directly contributed to his success in addressing world hunger, promoting micro-loans for the poor, and training climate advocates. Sam highlights the important roles advocates play in taking on climate change.

Another climate advocate, Glen Retief, had the opportunity to take on the rebel role during the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. He stood up to the racist policies of his government, but not as a rebel. Instead, he took on the role of advocate—lobbying, writing letters, and going to meetings. You will hear about the seemingly impossible task to turn his country around and the extraordinary lessons he learned, which he now applies to his work in promoting solutions to climate change. Glen is the author of the Lambda Award-winning book, “The Jack Bank: A Memoir of a South African Childhood.”


Art House

Elizabeth Doud takes on the role of Siren Jones in her one-person performance, “The Mermaid Tear Factory.” Based in Miami, Florida, she has been a catalyst to engage other artists in conversations around climate change. Each year she helps organize Climakaze Miami.

Elizabeth explains why she sees Miami as the city of the future—both with its international changing demographics and the many ways climate change is reshaping the city. She also shares why artists need to break away from telling the story of climate science and instead dig deep into the hard emotions around climate change.


Imagine that you attended one of the recent student walk-out demonstrations. While there, you spoke to a parent named Claire. Claire’s daughter was a protest organizer. You tell Claire how you speak to legislators about laws that will address fossil fuel pollution. You see yourself as an advocate, working in the system to bring about change. Claire confesses, “I would never have the patience for that. I am so angry, and I need to protest.” She then asks, “So why do you do that kind of advocacy work instead of protesting and civil disobedience?”

Try answering this puzzler question. You can email your answers to radio @ citizensclimate.org or leave a voicemail of 3 minutes or less at (518) 595-9414 (+1 if calling from outside the USA). Leave your name, contact info, and where you are from, and be sure to submit your answers by June 15, 2019.

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