Stepping Up tells fun, funny, surprising stories of Americans who are taking action on the greatest crisis of our time: climate change. 12-year-olds tackle ocean acidification. Grannies risk arrest. Clowns take to the street. Evangelicals battle climate chaos for their Lord. These smart, articulate, passionate individuals spark our imagination and show us how we can step up our game as well.
These audio documentaries are story-driven, scene-based and sound- rich. Each one takes several months to create and we will be rolling them out as we produce them. So, stick with us! We will be posting the next one soon.
Ep. 4 – Smackdown: City Hall vs. Big Oil
Richmond California is a working class town that grew up in the shadow of a Chevron refinery. The company ran both the economy – and the local government – for more than a century. But times are changing. Climate champions have flipped City Hall to their side. What happens when an oil company decides to fight back? Andres Soto has lived in and around Richmond all his life. And today he is standing up to big oil. With climate deniers holding the highest offices in the land, Andres’ work to put environmental leaders into city government may be the best path for climate activists. Cities across the country are joining Richmond as mayors design their cities for climate resilience and a green economy. “Think Globally, Vote Locally” is a good motto for our times.
Ep. 3 – Clowning Around
Climate change is serious business. But some climate clowns are donning red noses to get your attention. One seasoned street performer has sung and danced his way from Los Angeles to London, bringing a climate message through imaginative skits and wacky antics. His gang of merry pranksters have slipped into corporate board rooms and press conferences, posing as VPs and speaking truth disguised as power. On the streets he may play the priest or the pauper; with little regard to propriety. While the climate message is clear, the delivery often comes with a pratfall. And passersby who shirk from taking that political flier find themselves stopping to listen, laugh and join the conversation.
Ep. 2 – Sitting Down
Following in the footsteps of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, Millennials are turning to civil disobedience in response to the climate catastrophe. But what is the role for elder activists? This story’s producer hasn’t been arrested since the anti-nuclear protests of her youth. It might be time for her to join the next generation on the line.
Ep. 1 – The Loudest Smallest Voices
A group of 12-year-olds, tired of the grownups messing up their planet, have decided to solve the problems of the oceans themselves. They are working on issues like coral bleaching, kelp forests and ocean acidification. These kids are stunningly smart. But they’re also… just kids. Silly, irreverent and playful as puppies. And they’ve captured the imagination of some top climate scientists who are working with them. The kids are spreading the word, speaking at high-powered science symposia and showing other kids how to start their own Heirs to Our Oceans club.
Climate Change and Local Hope!!
The smackdown episode of Stepping Up has it all! A sense of place, great characters, narrative tension, a wonderful lead voice (Andres Soto), clever turns and a hopeful conclusion that makes one feel that there are things to be done. What an amazing achievement in a podcast about climate change!! Claire Schoen leaves no question or doubt unaddressed. This is really worth a listen!
Personalizing the struggle
This is the only podcast I’ve heard that’s tackling the most crucial issues of our time. If we’re going to survive climate change it will be because people like producer Claire Schoen have the courage, skill and commitment to tell the stories that will reach hearts and minds. This is not about polemics but about the rich, human stories that let us know how much is truly at stake.
Delivers what's missing in the Climate story
So much of what I hear about climate change is overly technical and often leaves me with a hopeless feeling. Stepping Up is a refreshing way to engage on the issue. It brings us the flesh and blood emotions and commitment of the people making a stand — and often making trouble — so we don't lose sight of what's at stake. It also doesn't hurt that Stepping Up is a show that's as pleasing to the ear as it is important to the cause.