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Episode 5: Diving into Climate Change Denial

Angel Collinson, professional skier

Angel Collinson, professional skier, weighs in on climate denial in this episode of Citizens’ Climate Radio.

Citizens’ Climate Radio is a monthly podcast hosted by CCL volunteer Peterson Toscano. Browse all our past episodes here, and read about the latest episode in the post below.

Ah, climate denial: a constant companion. It has distracted climate advocates and slowed down public discussion and political action. As a result, climate activists and comics have gotten downright snarky and angry at people who are skeptical of climate science. In this episode, we bring in climate advocates and communication experts to explore what might be behind the denial and how to respond.

We hear from professional skier Angel Collinson and Chilean climate advocate Andres Forno. We also get some good news from Bessie Schwarz at the Yale Program on Climate Communications. Peterson then raises some questions, including, “What if starting 10 years ago there were no more climate skeptics in the world? What would we be talking and writing about today? And how do we engage the 29 million Americans who say they are alarmed by climate change?” As always, your input and responses are welcome.



Art House

In this month’s Art House, you will meet Marvin Bloom, a fictional comic character who takes a serious look at climate denial. Through his playful meditation on the issue, Marvin humanizes the denial experience and considers various types of climate denial. He also reveals a weird place where he is still stuck in denial.


We received many excellent and inspiring answers to last month’s puzzler. As an added bonus, Cathy Orlando, from Citizens Climate Lobby Canada (featured in Ep. 2) talks about the recent success in Canada. After years of lobbying, the Canadian government has agreed to place a fee on carbon starting in 2018. Cathy shares some of the many ways she and her fellow Canadian Citizens’ Climate volunteers engaged lawmakers and the public.

Here is our new puzzler submitted by Chris Wiegard from Citizens’ Climate chapter in Richmond, Virginia.

When I blog on climate change or go to public hearings on it, I often hear or read fossil fuel defenders say that “shifting to renewable energy is unrealistic because low income people are dependent on low energy prices. The cheapness of fossil fuel is all that keeps certain people alive.”

And Chris is right; poor and working class people cannot easily afford buying expensive energy hybrid cars and installing solar panels and the other alternatives currently on offer. So how might you respond to the argument that shifting to renewable energy is unrealistic because low income people are dependent on low energy prices?

Send in your answers by November 15th, 2016, along with your name, contact info, and where you are from. You can email your answers to or leave a voice memo of 3 minutes or less at 570-483-8194 (+1 if calling from outside the USA).

Dig Deeper

You can hear Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Podbean. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group and follow on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.

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.