Sean Dague Invites Us to Envision a Fossil Fuel-Free World

By Peterson Toscano

In this episode of the Art House, we use the power of our imagination to experience the future we desire. Right now, we need to reduce localized pollution and global heat-trapping greenhouse gases. How do we build the political will so that the public clamors for legislation and policy that will change how we get and use energy? We need to communicate to the public what success looks like.

But envisioning success in our climate work requires imagination.

To help us with this task, Sean Dague, the group leader for the Mid-Hudson South chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, leads us through a powerful exercise. He asks us, What does a decarbonized world look like? What does it smell like? What does it sound like?

Once you hear Sean’s vision of a successful future, we invite you to continue the exercise. Try some creative writing. Write a short story or a letter from the future about what you see, smell, and hear. Maybe create visual art, a drawing or painting. If you can’t draw or paint, get images from magazines or online then create a collage. Write a song, create a map, choreograph a dance. Use art to capture a vision of a decarbonized economy.

Even if you don’t see yourself as an artsy person, just try it.

the end of his life, writer Kurt Vonnegut would say, “Everyone should
practice art because art enlarges the soul.”

Please feel free to share your art with me at radio @ and let me know if I can share it with listeners, on the podcast, Facebook, and Twitter.

Coming up next month, poet Catherine Pierce crafted the extraordinarily moving poem, Anthropocene Pastoral. It was published in the American Poetry Review. She reveals the creative process from the original inspiration, through the many choices and changes she made, to publication. Then she reads her poem for us.

If you like what you hear, you can listen to full episodes of Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, Podbean, Northern Spirit Radio, Google Play, PlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. 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.

(Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash.)

This article is part of The Art House series.


As host of Citizens’ Climate Radio, Peterson Toscano regularly features artists who address climate change in their work. The Art House section of his program includes singer/songwriters, visual artists, comics, creative writers, and playwrights. Through a collaboration with Artists and Climate Change and Citizens’ Climate Education, each month Peterson reissues The Art House for this blog. If you have an idea for The Art House, contact Peterson: radio @


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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