Episode 79: How to Tell a Climate Change Solution Story


In this episode, host Peterson Toscano looks at climate stories that reveal the impacts of climate solutions. This is a harder story to tell because many of the best solutions are still on the table. In fact, CCLers are working hard to get lawmakers and community leaders to take these solutions seriously and put them into practice. In 25 or 50 years, we will be able to tell many stories about the beneficial impacts these solutions will have. But we need to tell these stories today. 

There are three different types of climate solution impact stories you can tell.

  1. The current solution success story
  2. The future solution success story
  3. The solution motivation story

For examples of current climate change solution success stories, we hear from Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz and Yale Climate Connections. 

  • A new solar-powered car designed to travel up to 40 miles on sunshine alone — that’s enough to cover many people’s daily commutes.
  • Eight states and 30 cities team up to reduce flooding threats along the Mississippi. They’ve partnered with Ducks Unlimited to restore more than 60 wetlands that will hold floodwaters during storms.

To hear and read more of these stories visit Yale Climate Connections

The future climate change solution success story

This type of story relies on our efforts to envision and imagine the world filled with the solutions we advocate for. We want to paint a picture of a future worth pursuing. When we succeed, we create a yearning in others for this better world. For examples of these, head over to the Clifi Imaginarium. Allison Whitaker tells us about the ways they take seemingly dry information about solutions, and turn them into compelling stories. Check out With Many Roots to read these cli-fi solution stories and to learn about the free monthly Introduction to climate fiction on-line workshops. 

The climate change solution motivation story

This story reveals why an individual is motivated to do the climate work they do. The story itself may not seem to have anything to do with climate change. Still, this story goes right to the heart of a person’s work. 

Citizens’ Climate Radio host, Peterson Toscano, shares one of his motivation stories, and shows us how to then pivot to climate change solutions and specific, meaningful action. 

What you will learn in this episode

We can tell effective climate stories. There are two types of climate change stories. 

  1. The climate change impact story
    1. A story that reveals the dangers climate-changed-induced extreme weather and other impacts have on our lives and the world. 
  2. The second is the climate solution stories. In this episode, three different climate solutions stories are covered. 
    1. The current climate change solution success story: This might be a story about a breakthrough in technology, a new important person or group who is on board in pursuing climate change solutions, or it can be about a solution that has been put into action.
    2. The future climate change success story: This one requires your imagination to envision what the future will look like with solutions in place. This is a form of cli-fi, or climate fiction. 
    3. And finally the climate change solution motivation story. This story reveals why you are so passionate about a particular climate change solution. 

Once you tell a compelling story about your motivation, the future, or climate impact, you can then do the climate change pivot. Connect your story to the solution you are pursuing.  

But don’t leave them with just a pivot. Provide your listener with a specific, meaningful, and achievable next step. It might be as simple as asking, “Do you want to get together over coffee sometime next week to talk more about this?”


Volunteer for the environment today


The Art House

Alan Gratz has written nearly 20 books for young adults, including “PRISONER B-3087,” about  World War Two holocaust survivor and “Refugee,” which weaves together stories of three children from three countries escaping their countries in search of a new home. In his latest book, “Two Degrees,” Alan takes on climate change.

CCR Ep. 79 author Alan Gratz

Author Alan Gratz

He tells us about the challenges he had to overcome in writing about climate change, and how this book was much harder to write than his previous ones. He also gives us a reading from the book. 

13-year-old Juno gives a review of “Two Degrees.” 

CCR Ep. 79 Two Degrees

Alan Gratz’s book, “Two Degrees”


Resilience Corner

Tamara Staton is the Education and Resilience Coordinator for Citizens’ Climate Education, and in this installment of the Resilience Corner, she helps us to ask for the help we need.  

Get more tips and resources by visiting The Resiliency Hub

CCR Ep. 79 Tamara Staton

Tamara Staton, CCL’s Education and Resilience Coordinator


We always welcome your thoughts, questions, suggestions, and recommendations for the show. Leave a voicemail at (518) 595-9414 (+1 if calling from outside the USA). You can email your answers to radio@citizensclimate.org.

You can listen to Citizens’ Climate Radio on these platforms:

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.

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