On the Frontlines of the Climate Crisis | Crooked Media
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October 21, 2022
On the Frontlines of the Climate Crisis

In This Episode

This week on Hot Take, Mary is joined by Sara Sneath, investigative reporter and alligator doula and Drew Costley, climate & environment reporter at The Associated Press. They discuss how to approach communities in the throes of a climate disaster, the tension between chronic and acute crises, trauma-informed reporting, and the disabled community. And, gators!

 

If you want to contribute to relief efforts in Florida, here are a few places to give to:

 

Disaster Relief at Work

Florida Disaster Fund

Convoy of Hope

 

If you want to contribute to the relief efforts in Puerto Rico, here are a few places to give to:

 

Proyecto Matria (women’s rights org): 

Taller Salud (women’s health org) 

Brigada Solidaria del Oeste: Mutual Aid Network

Follow us on twitter @RealHotTake and sign up for our newsletter at hottakepod.com

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Hey, hot cakes. Welcome to Hot Take. I’m Mary Annaise Heglar.

 

Sara Sneath And I’m Sara Sneath, an investigative journalist filling in for Amy Westervelt.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar And we are so happy to have you. Sara is both an investigative journalist and an alligator expert. She doesn’t like to brag about that last part. Unfortunately, Amy had to miss this week’s recording, and we will miss her. But we’re always happy to have you here, Sara. Thank you so much.

 

Sara Sneath Thanks for having me.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar This week, we’re going to be talking about a word you probably hear a lot of if you’ve been listening to climate conversations, front line communities.

 

Sara Sneath That’s right. And just a refresher, frontline communities are those communities that suffer the worst impacts of climate change. These communities are more often black and brown communities.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar The term frontline communities can sometimes be used interchangeably with fenceline communities, but those are actually different things. Fenceline communities specifically refers to communities that are located near fossil fuel infrastructure, often literally across a fence. So while first line communities are frontline communities, all front line communities are not necessarily fenceline communities.

 

Sara Sneath That’s right. But even for folks who know what frontline communities are, by definition, we’re not exactly good at talking about them. And the media still regularly ignores them or silences them until it’s way, way too late.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Right. And that’s why I’m glad we’re going to be taking this deep dove with the Hot Take champion Drew Costley.

 

*Airhorn*.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Perfect. Drew Costley is one of our all time favorite people to talk to about so many things, which is why they’re the first person to come on Hot Take. Not once, not twice, but now three times.

 

Sara Sneath I remember those episodes with Drew. They were so great. I can’t wait to talk to them again.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar And actually, you’re not that far behind, Drew, because now this is your second time on on a Hot Take. Drew came on in 2020 to talk about the importance of local journalism and then again in 2021 to talk about prison abolition. And we’re really excited to talk to them again. So I think it’s time.

 

Sara Sneath It’s time to talk about climate. Hi, Drew. How are you doing? How’s life at the Associated Press?

 

Drew Costley Oh, I’m doing well. You know, it’s we’ve reached the end of of disaster season, which I have dubbed the most the most the busiest time of year. I feel like all these other beats sort of rest during the summer, you know, like education, business slow down, entertainment even slows down. But then the environmental beat, that’s when things pop off. But, who knows, maybe things will keep popping off or maybe they’ll be over. So, you know, things are good. Just relaxing.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Drew. I have a wooden table in front of me and I’m knocking on it because to say  disaster season is over in this climate is kind of crazy.

 

Drew Costley In this economy? In this political. In this political economy?

 

Sara Sneath On this heating globe?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. Yeah, in this atmosphere. So I hope you’re right. I really do. Because I think we could use a break. But one of the last times you and I talked it was because you were in my home state reporting on the Jackson water crisis. So the thing I’m dying to know is, did you make it to my aunt’s restaurant?

 

Drew Costley I did. I’m sorry. You know, I stopped eating meat again, and I was, like, undecided whether or not I was going to eat fish. But I didn’t want to eat fish until I had decided, you know, because, like, I eat meat is meat is so good. I didn’t want it to sway my opinion on whether or not I should eat meat and what types of meat. So I didn’t go and it was I was really busy. I’m sorry.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar But that’s okay. I mean, I understand. And look, if you were, you know, on the fence and tempted by meat, that was not a great thing. I think probably made the best. Yeah. Probably made a better choice.

 

Sara Sneath Yeah, yeah, yeah. Personally, I was pescatarian and so my neighbor down the street started cooking for us. And then I stopped. I started eating meat there. I mean, that’s I feel like that’s that’s what’s going to happen when you live in New Orleans, you know, like the food’s too good.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I mean. I’ve been vegan and I live in New Orleans.

 

Sara Sneath That’s true. That’s true.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I’m good. I’m good.

 

Sara Sneath So, Drew, you were in Jackson at a particularly high stakes moment, though, and the city had no running water and reporters were flooding into the city from all over and residents were understandably on edge. I know I saw a lot of folks on Twitter talking about reporters coming to them and not so respectful ways. How was it for you navigating that and getting the story right?

 

Drew Costley Yeah. So I should say like. Yeah, thanks for asking that. I think like. I knew I went actually when I got there, it was I recognized that it was after the first round of of of media coverage of what was going on in Jackson. Right. And so I, I knew that people would be wary and wary. And so I kind of wanted to take I mean, I whenever I approach people who have gone through something that I recognize is traumatic, if I’m being honest. Right. Like losing water completely, like, and not being able to, like, do the things that are like normally the things you do in life with a very basic necessity to me qualifies as a trauma. You know, I’m going to go and try to, like, talk to them with the understanding that maybe they don’t want to talk great and that I’m not entitled to their story, you know, so that, you know, it was just like that’s how I kind of try to go into all like all of the stories that I write about in terms of environmental climate, justice. I feel like a lot of times. We think as a journalist because I’m saying, well, we is like you and I say, as people who work the beat and then like Mary, you get to have some distance from this sort of this this ethos of like, I’m doing the important work, right? Like I am doing something that’s going to hopefully result in a net benefit for society and for the people I cover. And so because of that, I really need your story in order to do that. Right. And that might be the case, I don’t know. But I think that what people get I think people can sense when you feel that you are entitled to their story and that you’re not really there to like try to connect with them on a human level regardless of like what the end product is, you know? And I try my best to not like go in with that attitude. So that’s kind of how I was approaching it.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. Yeah. So you don’t just, like, grab a microphone and shove it in people’s face and tell them, like, tell me your story or else.

 

Drew Costley Well, you know, it’s so funny that you say that, because I did I did start my career in environmental journalism doing just that. I was a sports reporter as people who might have heard me on this this podcast before, know when I started out. But my first taste of environmental reporting came when I was on an alternative spring break trip at Howard University with Howard University when I was an undergrad and I worked for the school paper and I thought I was like writing about I wasn’t writing. I wasn’t on the sports beat when I was in the school paper. And so I thought maybe it would be it was the campus activity that we were going down there to do to volunteer. Right, with people’s recovery and relief efforts. So I wanted to cover it and it seemed like an important story. And I had that attitude right of like, I’m coming down to save everybody with the one story that’s going to change everything. Right. And we were on the bus. We had just gotten pulled into we sort of think I think we’re thinking like a tour of New Orleans and some of like the volunteer work we were going to do was going to be based in the Lower Ninth Ward. And so we pulled up to the lower like to like I think it was like some busy street like next to it, like right on the outside of where the Lower Ninth Ward starts. And there was a guy who was had like a protest, like a one person protest, and he had a sign. And I don’t remember what the sign says, said. I actually have a picture of this whole thing, this whole this whole moment. It’s just pretty embarrassing and, you know, affirming that I shouldn’t act this way ever again in my journalism career. But. We piled out of the bus and a few people walked up to him, just walked up to him, you know. And I don’t know what their motives and things were. They weren’t there as journalists, though, as sort of this dual role that I was there as. But I rushed up to him with my voice recorder in one hand and my in my pad, my reporter’s notebook in the other, and I shove my recorder in his face. And I asked him some question about what it was like to live in the Lower Ninth Ward or live in New Orleans at post-Katrina New Orleans. And he completely ignored me, you know, which he should have. I might have completely ignored him, like. Right. Like if I was in his situation.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.

 

Drew Costley Like, I know I, I have like a me drew, like the real person. I am extremely shy around new people, you know, like you are. I’m so like, if, like, you know, like with you and you and I married like we had some exchanges online right before we started, like talking about stuff. But like if I had just like walked up, if we were in the same room and I had never met you before, I would be extremely shy. Right. And so, like.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Oh, wow. I wouldn’t expect that.

 

Drew Costley Yeah. Well, a lot of people don’t, but this like a very long story shy that I won’t get into, but I take it only takes me a little bit of warming up the people and then I’m a little more outgoing. But when it’s new, new, new people that I’ve never met before, I’m very shy. And so I think about like, well, what was this guy’s experience of like some random, like 20 something just running up in his face with all these other, like, little, like little undergrads knots like surrounding him, like asking questions about fucking this, like immense trauma that he was like having a one minute, one person protest over, you know, like and like, of course, he ignored me, and I. I felt that, you know, I’m sensitive. I felt him ignore me. And it was very informative for sort of that whole experience, which was really like a very formative experience for me in terms of how I approach environmental justice reporting and, and even like inspired me to like, you know, that that was sort of the first time that I had gotten a taste of doing this type of work. So yeah, it’s always stuck with me that like, I’m not entitled to anyone’s story. No one owes me their story. Like we, like journalists have a, you know, we have the First Amendment that allows us like freedom of press, but it doesn’t give us entitlement to someone’s story in like most intimate details. And like, they’re like feelings, you know, like we kind of have to earn that through the way we, like, approach people. So yeah, I did actually at one point in my career did shove a microphone in someone’s face, but I try not to do that anymore.

 

Sara Sneath Oh, wow.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar So I getting back to the Jackson water crisis, I want to take a moment to remind the audience that the Jackson water crisis is very much now over. And even at the time it wasn’t new. You might remember it burst onto the national scene back in 2021 with the winter freeze. It’s a chronic crisis and it goes much further than Jackson. I’ve talked on this show before about how it affects the entire state and the rural communities rarely get any type of attention, even though it’s just as much a crisis. They’re the water crisis over across the whole state. It’s chronic, but it only gets attention at acute flashpoints. And that seems to be a problem for front line communities across the board. Drew, how do you hold that tension as a national reporter when you’re going into a frontline community, how do you remain mindful of the chronic crisis while focusing on the acute crisis? And do you try to follow the stories after you leave?

 

Drew Costley Yeah, I mean, I feel really fortunate that I work for an organization that has reporters in a lot of different places. Right. So I like with what’s going on in Jackson, there are two awesome reporters, Emily Wagster Pettus and and I can’t remember the guy’s last name right now. Michael. Michael, whose last name? He was a very gracious host. And I’m sorry, I can’t remember your last name right now. They they they’re the ones that cover Jackson on a day to day basis. You know, I was brought down there because there were some, like, racial angles that like.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Hmm.

 

Drew Costley I have, you know, I’m informed about how systemic racism results in environmental harm, you know, and they wanted me to write that story. But if they, like, wanted me to write like there there are some things that I heard when I was down there about. Research that citizens are going to do into tracking water at the tap and understanding that, yeah, it’s a chronic issue. There’s other stories for me to write that they can’t handle, which I’d probably hard to to make happen because they’re great reporters. So I don’t know if anyone’s ever told you about a tickler file on this on this. Have I ever said tickler file? Sara knows what a tickler file is. Probably.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Can I guess what a tickler file is?

 

Drew Costley Sure. Yes.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I assume it’s probably like enemies lists of people who are extremely ticklish. Like you just want to you’re plotting how to sneak up on them at the most embarrassing moment and tickle them until they surrender.

 

Drew Costley Yeah. No, if that’s. No, I would be on that list. By the way, I’m very ticklish.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar But how many are you with somebody’s enemy though?

 

Drew Costley Oh, I’m probably a lot of people’s enemy, but that’s okay, you know? Yeah. You’re the one that’s got the enemies. Anyways, that’s the sidebar.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I’m a Scorpio.

 

Drew Costley What does that mean?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I’m a Scorpio. I’m. I’m allowed to have enemies.

 

Drew Costley Well, I’m a Leo, so I’m also allowed to have enemies, you know, because you know, I’m the star baby anyways. I’m just kidding.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Ya’ll don’t hold grudges.

 

Drew Costley We don’t hold grudges, but we do have haters, you know what I’m saying? Okay. So, yeah, so tickler file is like a file of your, like, story of like stories and story ideas, right? So I have like a tickler file of stories that I’ve done, stories I want to do, stories that are like harebrained ideas, you know, that I come up with like two in the morning and maybe need more development and research and like so I have a tickler file of like all the places that I’ve been or written about and I can like keep track of what’s going on, like major developments. But I don’t know, like I, I’m sort of an at large reporter, so I don’t really get the, like, I don’t have the same function as a local reporter. Right. Like, I think my where I’m at right now is there’s a job of amplification. And I think, do you know, to talk about like what you were. Im like in record write like the Associate Associated Press is like a news outlet of record, you know. So it’s important that there is a record that there was like systemic harm that fell along racial and class lines that resulted in like environmental inequity. Right. Those are sort of my functions. Right, I think. And less so sort of like the day to day coverage of like what a beat reporter would do but to talk to to get it. Like the other part of your question, I think about bringing like understanding like the chronic issue and like bringing that out in the report is like, you know, you just I don’t try to conceive any of my stories as I’m the first person that learned about this. You know, like I come from like really I come from hip hop, you know, and there’s a famous Nas line, no ideas, original, you know, there’s nothing new under the sun. And that’s like a that’s a paraphrase of a quote of a famous quote itself. Right. And so, like, I when I come down and I’m reporting like I one have to do a bunch of background research to like know what’s happened before, what’s been written about before and like don’t necessarily need to give my sources a book report, but like in, like let them know that I understand that there is a chronic issue and then like what? How have you been experiencing this since before we got here is usually a question I ask, you know, especially with things like with Jackson, like, you know, you know, it’s just like with Flint like that that there were people in the community for like a decade or more, like raising alarm bells. And you just. I don’t know. You don’t act like I just. I just don’t act like. Like this is. This is sort of the event. I know that I’m getting sent down there because there’s like acute attention in my EDS in like management are like seeing that they want to put resources to this. But like me, myself, the person trying to connect with sources like, you know, we have to have this understanding, like I have to like communicate this understanding to them that like, this is not new.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. Yeah. Sara, I know you do reporting trips as well. How do you think about these things as you try to make inroads with new communities?

 

Sara Sneath Yeah, I love what you’re saying. I just want to. Yeah, I love so many things that he’s saying about, first off, just letting people off the hook, too. Like, if they don’t want to talk right now, if they feel like that’s going to do them more harm, then I don’t push the issue. You know, just walk away. That’s fine. You know, because some people do feel like talking helps them and they and they feel that’s cathartic. But other people don’t. And like you should let people be themselves in that moment. And another thing I was just thinking about was like being curious, like not trying to assign your own context to what people tell you. So one, another thing that you just mentioned was about doing your research before you go into a community. One thing I’ve come across, though, is like when I do my research, the research, the quote unquote research often involves reading other news articles or like news clippings of that. So that’s kind of like an interpretation of what the community has experienced. That’s not exactly necessarily in the same words as the community would would use. So like, I think take those news articles sometimes with a grain of salt, like whose perspective is that really coming from? And maybe, maybe the community doesn’t like the way that they’ve been portrayed in the past. So be open to that and sometimes even asking the question, what have people gotten wrong in the past? Is that a good way to like let people help set the narrative straight? And then and I think another thing that I just wish I would have known a lot earlier is that it’s okay to offer a hand if people need help. Like if someone’s in the middle of doing something and you’re asking them questions, it’s okay to just like jump in there and help them do that thing. That’s a really good way to, like, bond with people, too, and show that you don’t think of yourself in some regard that you can’t get your hands dirty or like you can’t be there helping and be a human first, you know?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah, I’ve actually kind of always wondered how journalists handle that. Like if you’re reporting in the immediate wake of a like, let’s say a hurricane or a fire and somebody like needing diapers or something like that. Like, I know there’s attention around paying your sources, but how do you not give in in a moment like that? I know Amy’s talked about that before, but I wonder how you all.

 

Drew Costley Yeah, it’s difficult. I mean, it happened while I was down there. There were these guys who were, like, unloading a water truck, like an.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar In Jackson?

 

Drew Costley Yeah. And they were like, Can you help? And I was like. I’m not really supposed to. And, you know, I mean. I ended up helping some, but it’s difficult, honestly. And I, I, I’m grateful for what you’re saying, Sara, because I, you know, I think that we should be able to, like, actually be human and help our sources like. And I think there’s a line, you know, I think there’s some sort of commonsense line between like paying sources, right? Like favor for like access and like just like being a human, you know?

 

Sara Sneath Absolutely.

 

Drew Costley And, you know, I don’t know, I, I it’s it’s definitely like I’ll probably stop talking after I say this because it’s like, you know, my, my outlet isn’t necessarily like they have like a very old sort of, sort of like traditional ideas about, about that sort of intersection. Um, and I don’t know. Maybe they need to be revisited. Who knows?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. Yeah. Drew. Guess what?

 

Drew Costley What?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Chicken butt? No? Nobody laughed about it? That was funny.

 

Drew Costley Ha ha.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I am so disappointed in

 

Drew Costley In yourself?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Wow. Okay, first of fucking all.

 

Drew Costley Damn came on camera. Came on camera? Hey, whats up?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Are we. Are we fighting? Are we fighting?

 

Drew Costley No. I just was playing?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I feel like you’re coming for my neck.

 

Drew Costley Damn, your chicken neck.

 

*laughs*

 

Sara Sneath So, Drew, where do sheep go on vacation?

 

Drew Costley Oh, thank you so much. I’m so glad we’re doing jokes.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I did a joke a minute ago. You didn’t catch it.

 

Drew Costley Oh, that was was a joke?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. That was over your head.

 

Drew Costley Alright. That was over my head. *snorts* Where does sheep go on vacation?

 

Sara Sneath Yeah.

 

Drew Costley Sheer hammas. I don’t know. The shore. The Shore. The shore.

 

Sara Sneath Oh, my gosh. You were so close. They go to the Bah-ha-mas.

 

Drew Costley I was really close. Fuck, wait.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I feel like you get honorary air horn. Going to ads.

 

[AD].

 

Sara Sneath Yeah. One thing we’ve been hearing a lot about in recent years and not a moment too soon is trauma informed reporting. Oh, and and I know personally, I don’t think I’ve ever had any formal training for this. I literally remember a moment at my first newspaper job when I was interviewing a victim of a violent crime, and I was literally like Googling on points or how to talk to a person who’s the victim of a violent crime, as I was talking to this person. So, Drew, I’m wondering if you’ve done any training in this area. Do you have any tips?

 

Drew Costley The short answer is no. Like I haven’t gotten any like. Like if there was a certification. Right. Like taking a trauma informed reporting class. I’ve never done that. I’m a survivor of trauma. Mm hmm. I have chronic and complex PTSD. And I come from people that. That have experienced lots of trauma in multiple ways. Right. Like I’m black, I’m queer, I’m disabled. And I grew up with some level of poverty. And I think that that just like how, like those things can inform my report in some ways. In terms of identity. I guess also they can inform my report in terms of identity as being like a trauma survivor and understanding that like understanding having contact with people who have gone through trauma. Yeah, it’s a very important designation to be trauma informed, I think. Right. And one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. So I won’t I won’t say that I’ve gotten any training in doing it, but I have a lot of experience thinking about it and talking about it with people in and some some inside the industry and some outside. Just people who I know in some of the communities that I’m in. And I think that it’s something that like we should all have period. Journalists are not like we are all like. If you just take the most risk, like the most recent example, that is very overarching, which is COVID, right? A lot of the conversation in that was that that people had about that experience was there was a shared trauma, raised collective trauma. And I think like we can all benefit from some level of training on how to like approach each other period, regardless of whether or not we’re trying to get a quote, you know, when it comes to like being trauma informed. So I would love if there was actually some training to take. I signed up for that shit yesterday. And I think it’s incredibly important that that we have we have that understanding that people have experienced some really heavy shit and that we want to be careful not to retraumatize people too. Like. Like, I just I think it’s such a gift when people, like, share with me, period. Right. And they’re vulnerable. I just try to. And that’s period that’s inside and outside of my work. And I try to take that with me into my work. But yeah, I would love to like be trained by some fucking psychologists, right? Some therapists on like how to talk to people who’ve like, you know, experienced trauma. I’d love to do that.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. What I think I wonder about is in terms of trauma informed reporting. So like there’s the way that you approach, you know, your hopeful sources, but also there’s the trauma you take with you after those conversations and after those stories. And to go from like especially for climate reporters, I could imagine going from like disaster to disaster to disaster. That’s a lot to hope for you as a person, even if you weren’t the person who experienced the hurricane. And I know for you, Sara, based in New Orleans, like you have experienced the hurricane yourself, Drew, and you’re based in the bay like you were breathing that air just like everybody else during fire season. So like, how how do you hold that as journalists?

 

Drew Costley Give their answer to that question first. Because. No, because you because I live in an area that is not as disaster prone right now. And I’m really curious how you, as somebody who lives, who’s like more so in the trenches than I am, how you how you do that? Like how you handle that.

 

Sara Sneath Well, yeah, I guess one thing. I was talking to someone about this the other day. One thing I think I took away from Hurricane Ida specifically was just how the things that are reported as like, you know, as we’re reporting, we’re always looking for it. And there’s a tendency to look for the worst example, a death, somebody who is seriously injured, you know, something like that. You’re looking for something that’s out really shows the impacts of these events in a way that. Really captures the worst of it. But I think what’s missing, though, and what I when I experienced was just also how it can impact you and seem that seemingly small ways, but really get under your skin, you know, like the way like you can. During hurricane I like I came back to the I evacuated to Mississippi and then I came back and on my way back I was trying to get gas and the prices of the gas were so high you couldn’t even get them. And some of the lines were like hours and hours long and it was just impossible to like get back to the city. Then I got back into the city and like my water had a tree fell down on my front yard and so my water line had been pulled out and I had no water. And then I was like, I felt just like a disappointment, you know, because I thought, like, I want to be telling my community’s story and I want to do it well, but I can’t even do it very well because I don’t even have electricity. I don’t have the best internet like every like I’m not getting out the stories fast enough. And it just it feels like, though, those things just weigh on you, you know, in a way that is long term, too. You know, it doesn’t it doesn’t just go away when the storm happens, when the storm’s over either, like it sticks with you in it. You know, they say that people who are the children of like people who’ve experienced violence, that they themselves like take that violence with them, like it’s in their DNA, basically. And I feel like the same thing. They probably say a set of like people who experience multiple hurricanes. Like I just think it it must stick with you, you know, because it stuck. The one when I went that went through that was really bad. It really stuck with me, you know?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.

 

Drew Costley Yeah wow, thank you for sharing that, Sara. Yeah, I mean. I feel that. Yeah, I don’t know, I, I’m thinking now about personal experience and like, it’s like I did, I benefited. Is this the way in which I benefited from growing up in a dysfunctional household? Right. Like where? Like, I have some level of, like, training and a rhythm around. Like, is it going to be is is is the shit going to hit the fan today or is it going to hit the fan next week? But it’s definitely going to hit the fan. I, I just like. These are the same things that. I don’t know, man. I got a therapist, you know? I pray. I pray. I meditate. I drink water. I try to feed myself as well as possible. And it’s so I. I vibe with their what it’s like. I had that experience a couple of times when I was living in the bay and I was writing about wildfires while experiencing like having to like be in the house, like having to shelter in place. Because I lived in the bay between 2017 and 20 like 2020, late, late 2020, basically in like, yeah, it happened several times, right? While I was living there where it was like so much smoke outside that the local authorities were telling us to shelter in place. And like, I was still like reporting, you know. And yeah, that, that feeling of like being sort of part of the community that’s being impacted by whatever it is that you’re trying to report on is just makes it incredibly difficult. And then during COVID, you know, like I was like writing about research, you know, like all this COVID research and like when I worked at one zero and like also like was afraid of getting the virus, you know, like on a daily basis and like had all of these things like in afraid of my family members getting the virus and like had all these things impacted, right? Like where I used to say we get like 60% of what we wanted out of a day. You know, like we go to the grocery store, we want to get all our groceries, we come back with, you know. Some food that we don’t want some some toilet paper. We don’t we don’t have toilet paper. Shit like that. I mean, I don’t know. It’s hard. And the tools remain the same. Right. Like to. To. To try to cope. And to try to still, like, heal and recover and recuperate and grow. That’s. That’s what I do. I just try to take care of myself as well as possible. I mean, you know, I’ve had it I’ve had, you know, I’ve had I’ve had situations in my career where, like, I didn’t take care of my mental health in my wellness for long enough that it broke me and I couldn’t do the work anymore, you know, and and I recognized sort of when I was coming out of the most recent time of that, that like. I have to be able to take care of myself so that I can help help other people. So, yeah, I don’t know.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. That’s real

 

Sara Sneath Absolutely. I think I think when I’ve done my best at this, what I’ve been able to do is is is to show joy that people have an impact to communities and vulnerable communities. And I think that’s important because it shows how communities have all the ingredients to thrive when they’re given the opportunity. And I wanted to ask you to how do you think reporters can better show the joy that’s possible in frontline communities?

 

Drew Costley Yeah, by showing it. You know, you know, what I’m saying Sara. I know you can like. You can relate like like. You know you like it’s like when I was in Jackson, like I was like there was a water line and like, I didn’t it didn’t get into my story, honestly. And I wish it had right. I wish we had more space to tell the stories that we do. But people were like joking and hugging each other and telling jokes and like taking care of each other and smiling. You know, those are things that we should be depicting, you know, if we want to have, like, a holistic report. And maybe there are these times where like. We want to say. All we want to say is that people were suffering, but it shouldn’t be the whole picture, you know, it shouldn’t be the whole picture that people are just suffering because they aren’t. I know from like covering these stories enough and I’m sure you too share especially being in a place that like in New Orleans, you know, where people have to hold the realities of like great tragedy and great like hope and triumph and love. Like at the same time. Like, I mean, I feel like I come from those people, you know, in and I was I was I always recorded at the very least, like in my notes, you know, or like I ask questions about it and unfortunately doesn’t always get it to the report. And, you know, that goes to putting it in the story, fighting editors to keep it in the story, you know, and that’s how.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. I love this question. There I was. I don’t know if you all got to see last week tonight, but it was focused on transgender rights. And one of the things that ended the report was the importance to talk about the joy of the transgender experience and how it’s not always just suffering and sadness and right. And like, it’s problematic to allow that to dominate the story. But that also requires us to make room for complicated stories. And it also will require us to not just talk about vulnerable communities, frontline communities, you know, communities in in danger when they are at their most acute moments. That’s going to require us to to stick with these communities. And also, you know, I think showing the joy can probably start to tip the line with resilience narratives, which we all know is a problematic word. So if it’s like, you know, you’re showing folks after a hurricane celebrating, you know, celebrating life, you also still have to be able to talk about the horrible thing that they’ve just had to deal with and the long road ahead of them while also talking about their joy. Because if you end it on the joy while they’re still at the acute crisis, I feel like that can send the signal that these folks don’t need help. They’re good. They got it right. So that’s complicated. And I don’t think we do very well with telling complicated stories or reading complicated stories as a society. So yeah, I think we need to do it. I think that there’s ways to talk about joy that could become irresponsible, though. So I don’t know. What do you think, Sara.

 

Sara Sneath Yeah, I would say that like I know that I’ve done it right when someone leaves the story pissed off and sort of sad when someone reads a story of mine and they say, Oh, that was so sad. I’m like, I did something wrong. You know, that’s not what you should be feeling like you should be feeling mad if you feel anything. But because, like, mad isn’t an emotion that you can do something with. But I think sad makes you feel like you can’t do anything about it, you know?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Mm hmm.

 

Drew Costley Damn.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. Yeah, that’s real. So I. I know I’ve told Drew this. I may have told you the story as well, Sara, but back when I was trying to be a reporter, my short lived little stint, I did a story about how Hugo Chavez was giving people free oil to heat their homes in the winter in the Bronx. And I met this older woman who taught me about how the free oil had, you know, benefited her, cut her costs and all of that. And I was trying so hard to be respectful with my questions to her. And I was completely just taken aback when the photographer who came with me just outright asked her about her breathing machine, because I was wondering, but I felt like it was so rude to ask her. And she answered she answer and was not taken aback by that question at all. And like I was like, my mind was blown. I didn’t know you could do that. So how do y’all go about asking sensitive questions respectfully? Like, how do you decide when it’s too invasive and when it’s not?

 

Drew Costley Oh, yeah. I mean, I think it’s like there’s a lot of sort of contexts, clues, sort of thing. I think like it’s a case by case basis. For me, if, if it’s if it’s germane to the story, then I want to try to find a way to ask the question. Right? If it’s less germane and it’s more about detail than maybe it’s something that like I only ask if the vibe is right. It’s, it’s a very unscientific way of putting it, but that’s how I, that’s how I carry it. And then like, sometimes like it it depends. It’s like different for different people. I just like had a couple of stories come out about disability and climate change and.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Oh yeah, we’re going to talk about those.

 

Drew Costley Okay, well, well, we’ll just hit a little bit. I just asked people about their disabilities because I’m around a lot of people with disabilities just in my like life like otherwise and like also like personally having had a physical disability growing up and like when people find out about some of my unseen disabilities too, I don’t want people to like be like. Like when I when I’m asked about it in a way that’s, like, gingerly or like overly sympathetic, it kind of makes me feel like I’m without agency, right? Like I’m like, if I want somebody to just ask. Right. And maybe, like, a non-judgmental tone, but just ask. So a lot of times I’ll just ask people, you know, or I’ll say if it’s like, you know, like if it’s something that is more universally being experienced, like a, like an acute crisis, like the water crisis or like aftermath of a hurricane, you could just lead up to it and be like, Hey, I might have to ask about some things before you even turn the recorder on. Like, Hey, would you be comfortable talking about this stuff? No. Okay. What about that stuff? Okay. You know, sort of informed consent. Yeah. Being here. Yes. Like being transparent about what you’re that what you’re there to do and like how it might fit into the story. And. Yeah. And, like, letting people know what they, especially if they volunteer something that you think might have repercussions for them. Like, I don’t think there’s any harm in like letting them know like or just confirming or checking that they’re okay with like that being that being used. So I don’t know. Like being sensitive, trying to be and not being entitled. Yeah. Being curious, like I think Sara said earlier, like. You know, not letting that curiosity die out because like you have something in the back of your head that tells you that this person might not want to share. And just sort of trying to hold all those things at the same time.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. I don’t know, Sara, do you have any any thoughts on that?

 

Sara Sneath No. I mean, I think think Drew covered it well. I think it’s best like they’re saying that just that you just like. Ask yourself why you’re asking this. Why do you need to know?

 

Drew Costley Mmmhmm.

 

Sara Sneath You know. Mm hmm. I think that will help you decide whether or not it’s a good question to ask.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. I mean, it was it’s funny because in in the case of the story I was just talking about with the breathing machine. I didn’t think it was that relevant. But then once I heard, you know, why she had the breathing machine, it was because the air was so polluted in the South Bronx that she developed asthma. And how that related to, you know, her bills and all of those sorts of things. It was like, oh, this actually really does connect. And I was going to be too shy to ask. So anyway. Drew, where do sharks go on vacation?

 

Drew Costley Oh, I got a good one. Martha’s Vineyard.

 

Sara Sneath What? What?

 

Drew Costley That’s where Jaws was shot.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Oh.

 

Sara Sneath That’s not a pun though.

 

Drew Costley Yeah, that’s true. It just went over ya’lls heads.

 

Sara Sneath You’re just, like, thinking of nice vacation spots for Jaws for sharks.

 

Drew Costley The sharks man. What if the sharks like want to get some vineyard vines, you know?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I mean. I could work at that as it is in Martha’s Fin-yard. You know.

 

Sara Sneath Oh that would have been good.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar But no, the correct answer is Finland.

 

Drew Costley Nice.

 

*Womp womp womp*.

 

Drew Costley They’ll die in Finland, but maybe not because of fucking climate change.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Wait, why is it too cold in Finland?

 

Drew Costley Yeah. Finland’s cold, right?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I don’t know.

 

Drew Costley I probably shouldn’t just be like a science reporter, just, like, all talking willy nilly about temperatures and wind like north. Oh, it’s probably cold and I doubt the sharks can. Anyways, all right. Never mind there’s probably like cold weather sharks or some shit.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Are there cold weather Alligators, Sara?  She’s a *bleep* she’s kind of low key about it, but she is.

 

Sara Sneath Well, I’m not a *bleep*.

 

Drew Costley You can’t like a science journalist isn’t going to be like yeah I’m an *bleep*. They don’t have a Ph.D. in alligators unless you do Sara.

 

Sara Sneath I wrote one story about alligators and Mary keeps calling me an *bleep*. But it’s okay.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar You’ve also like, swam with them.

 

Drew Costley That doesn’t make you a *bleep* bro.

 

Sara Sneath Oh, I live. Yeah, that’s true.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar You need to be *bleep* to get in the water with some fucking alligators as far as I’m concerned, that’s not some amateur shit.

 

Sara Sneath I know enough of. I feel like I know enough about them to know not to be too scared of them. But I’ll say alligators hibernate. So I think that answers your question. They hibernate during, I think, when it’s cold.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar So, Drew, last time you were on the show, we talked about how prison populations are actually front line communities that often get overlooked. And you recently did this series This Week on a group that’s also often overlooked, and that would be the disabled community just really alluded to and how they’re often left out of disaster planning. You’ve found out some pretty grim disparities between the countries that signed the Paris Agreement and the countries that signed the Convention of Rights for People with Disabilities. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

 

Drew Costley Yeah, I don’t know the actual numbers because I’ve been covering a lot of different stories right now, but.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Well, I could help you.

 

Drew Costley Yeah, please help me with the numbers.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar So only 32 of them, 192 countries that signed the Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Accord. Since 2015, only 32 of them refer to people with disabilities, and their official climate plan of 45 countries refers to disabled people in their climate adaptation policies, and no country mentions disabled people in its climate mitigation plans. And a lot of the world’s biggest contributors to climate change don’t figure people with disabilities into any of those plans at all. That includes the US, China, Russia, Brazil, Germany, Japan and the UK.

 

Drew Costley Yep, yep, yep, yep. Thank you for running that down. Yeah. So it’s like I was pretty shocked by that actually. Yeah. Because I don’t know, like mindfulness and planning around people with disabilities seems to be kind of a thing that like you would expect of a more technologically advanced or economically advanced country. Um, and that’s not the case like some of the poorest and maybe, maybe that, maybe if, if we’re talking climate, you know, maybe we put our climate hat on. We’re thinking about this, you know, some of the poorest countries in front, in the ones that have already experienced, you know, the worst of climate change so far are the ones that are the that are the first to come up with ideas around climate solutions, you know, and are willing to, like sign on to some of the more drastic policy measures, you know, and policy commitments. So maybe, maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked. But yeah, I mean, and the other thing is that a lot of these countries, minus the US, have signed on to the UN Convention of Persons with Disabilities, which is actually like pretty universally adopted at this point. But the U.S. has adopted that and I think it says something about the country’s mindfulness, about people with disabilities. You know, we have the we have the ADA, but there’s all sorts of problems with enforcement around the ADA. And then also that, like a lot of times people to bring like I think this might be I might be speaking weak, but I think, like, if the burden of proof is on the people with disabilities to prove that they need a thing, if it’s not so or if it’s not like explicitly like in the in policy. In in federal policy. Yeah. I mean, there’s all this. There’s there’s all these ways that we just don’t care about and think about people with disabilities. Yeah. Generally speaking. And so obviously, I guess, I guess it’s. It’s the kind of planning.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. And for clarity sake, ADA is Americans Disabilities Act.

 

Drew Costley Mm hmm.

 

Sara Sneath Yeah. I really liked these stories that I thought they were so impactful. And 20, 21, my best friend, who I co-own my house with, she was hit by a car while riding her bike and she was in a wheelchair for three months. And I really it gave me a glimpse of what trying to navigate New Orleans is like in a wheelchair. We we have an elevated house and most houses, you know, our elevator. And we had to have a ramp built for our house. And we took like doors off of our some of our rooms because they they didn’t allow for her wheelchair to go through. And and most of the and that’s one of the things I never noticed prior to that. And I’m ashamed to say, but I never noticed that all of the bathrooms at most of the bathrooms at establishments in New Orleans are elevated because the plumbing like has to be elevated to not flood. So like every time you go to a restaurant or something, you have to go up three stairs to go to the bathroom. And that also makes it just so hard for for folks. And that’s that’s before you even get to, you know, dealing with a hurricane or something or an evacuation. So, yes, very important issues. Very important issues.

 

Drew Costley Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. I think, like, yeah, this is the one the one thing that I learned from the sources I spoke to so far for this series is that, yes, that their lives are really hard before a disaster strikes or before the run up to a disaster, you know, or the aftermath of one because. Society doesn’t plan for them, you know, in so many different ways. Or and that’s not to say that like. Like what you’re describing. Right, is like. Is there is a well-reasoned thing like right, like the bathrooms have to be at a certain elevation it seems like. So probably there would be need to be some additional planning that goes into having both of those things be true, that the bathrooms can be elevated and it can be accessible. You know what I’m learning? What I’ve learned from like a lot of the sources that I spoke to for for the story, for the stories that I hope to keep publishing on this is is that society just isn’t doesn’t really care about them, period. But this is definitely a population that this sort of needs to be planned for totally. And it’ll be interesting to see. I mean, I know like at the U.N., there’s like, you know, we’ll see. What if the UN is completely accessible this year? I’m sorry, cop the UN Climate Change Convention is completely accessible this year. It wasn’t last year. And we’ll see what kind of, um, what kind of audience the disabled community get in, what type of inclusion they get in terms of being part of the policy discussions there. Yeah.

 

Sara Sneath Yeah.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. Your story mentioned at the last cop there was, you know, someone using a wheelchair who basically wasn’t able to access the convention. Right. And that was just last in Scotland.

 

Drew Costley Yeah. Yeah. In Glasgow. Yeah. So, yeah. Corinne O’Hara, Israel’s energy minister, uses a wheelchair and they basically it was that like they didn’t have they didn’t want to give her her and her people access to the insurance that she could use because she had it was there wasn’t there was there was an entrance, but they wouldn’t let her get to it. Because she wasn’t cleared or something and there wasn’t in the one that they wanted her to use wasn’t accessible. So. And this is this is how it goes. I mean, I have a recording of it. I don’t know that I report on it because I was actually involved in and what happened, but I was that like so it’s just like a public hearing for like federal policy. It was on Zoom and during the there was a break in. During the break, there were some people who were typing things into the chat on Zoom. And there was like a moderator or something, somebody who was like helping out with like whatever agency the the meeting was for that. Everyone has to say everything. That they want to communicate. They can speak it. They can’t type it into the chat. Because it needs to be recordable into the public record. And I was just starting to work on these stories when that happened. And I was like, Well, what about people who are mute who, like, literally can’t speak? Like they just literally can’t participate? Right. And, I mean, they could you know, they have like closed captioning for people who. Who? Who are deaf. But what about people who just can’t speak? Who might want to participate? So, yeah, I mean, it’s very. It’s a century. Sara Right. Disability, climate stories. Everybody who’s in the field, right? Disability climate stories. Mary. Right. Disability and climate essays. Very important story. Everybody, please help, please.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar No for sure. For sure.

 

Sara Sneath And we’ve been focusing we’ve been talking about disabilities, physical disabilities. But your story mentions people with cognitive disabilities, too, and and how they’re neglected in emergency plan planning. Can you can you talk about that a little bit?

 

Drew Costley Yeah. I mean, yeah, I think it’s not just and one thing that didn’t make it into the story that I’d love to talk about, too, is, is that people with like neurodivergent, it’s often they have trouble like being involved in like protest is what like some people were talking to me about in like demonstrations. Because there’s just not like this mindfulness of people who have maybe sensory issues or things like that. But yeah, the part that was in the story was, was just about how like communications about climate change are not mindful of people with like reading disabilities. It’s like a very simple way to like to think about it. Like there’s like an easy read format which, like when I was writing the sentences, that of this paragraph talking about easy read format, I was like, Oh my gosh, I’m not even writing an easy read format. Communications about climate change are not accessible to people who have like either attention deficit or a combination of attention deficit, dyslexia. That’s like another way that like we are leaving out a lot of people who like could be part of the solution, who wants to be part of the solution in like at the very minimum, they want to be part of the future, you know, like they want to survive and thrive.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.

 

Drew Costley And.

 

Sara Sneath Yeah.

 

Drew Costley They, they have less of a say in it. You know, I think if you really look at it because the, the solution is inaccessible to them.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah, that was actually one of the things we thought about as we were starting this podcast, Amy and I about, you know, not everybody learns by reading dense articles, not everybody, you know, processes information that way. The best. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m a better listener than I am reader. And so I think that there’s a tendency in the climate community or in the climate conversation to like prioritize that specific kind of intelligence where you’re somebody who reads really fast or somebody who processes numbers really fast, and that’s not everybody, and we need everybody. So why would we do that? So another thing I want to talk about is like it’s kind of wild how after every major disaster, you kind of only have to wait for the dust to clear a little bit for there to be news about some nursing home scandal, which kind of gets back to what we were talking about before about frontline communities being neglected until they’re in an acute crisis. How do you think the journalism community could better serve and include the disabled community on a sustainable or term basis?

 

Drew Costley Giving them giving like hiring them not just in, not just reporting disability, putting them in positions of power in journalism and news outlets and in journalism organizations by seeing them making it part of the regular report. It’s an incomplete report if it’s not concerned with people who are elderly in the community, if it’s not concerned with disabled people, just like how I mean, this, you know, this is the way that it came up for me was I was like, well, when we talk about environmental and climate justice, a lot of times we talk about class and race in America, at the very least. And and but what about other communities that are historically marginalized? Right. And so the same thing applies here. That applies for inclusion of bipoc voices of queer voices and trans voices. And it just has to become part of your everyday existence in mindfulness of it. Like we can’t live our lives with these like, blinders, which one fucking might not, not intended. And even my language needs to change. Are we? Yeah. With these, like, with this, like sort of like individualistic mindset where we’re not in community with a broad array of people, you know? Yeah, we often, you know, our society is very atomized and we don’t live in community with people or we like are very like. Narrow about who we are in community with and we can’t. And journalists, you know, if you want to be a record keeper, if you want to be a storyteller, you got to you got to realize that it’s like you’re telling like humanity story. You know, you’re not just telling like suburb the suburb story. You’re not just telling a foreign people story or white people story, right. Or straight cis people story or able bodied people story. And that’s how you get it into the report, you know is bi it’s got to it’s got to leave the it’s got to leave the newsroom with you so that I can come back with you when you come back. And it needs to be in every it needs to be in all parts of our lives, you know, that’s how, in my opinion.

 

Sara Sneath Snapping over here, totally. I totally I agree.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar But I do just have one more question, Drew. How do you know if an elephant loves to travel?

 

Drew Costley The size of its trunk?

 

Sara Sneath *Gasp.*

 

Drew Costley Give it to me. It was close enough. Do I get an airborne?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Really? Actually, that’s. Yeah, I would say that’s pretty much it. Yeah. It’s because they always pack their own trunks.

 

Drew Costley They pack their own trunk. Damn.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I know. No, I think he got it. I think that counts as a victory.

 

Drew Costley No, I don’t want that.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar You don’t want that one? Wow. I wish I’d more puns.

 

Drew Costley I want a victory. We just. We just stopped talking about living in community, and I want an absolute victory now. No I’m kidding. Thank you very much I appreciate it.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar This is the most Leo reaction to getting a pun slightly wrong.

 

Drew Costley I’m a double Leo. I’m a double Leo.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Really?

 

Drew Costley I’m a Leo sun and Rising.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Can you guess what sign Sara is?

 

Drew Costley Hmm? I’m not good at that. Just tell me I’m not good at that.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Well, one thing you know about Sara from this interaction is that she stays updated. She’s she’s a Pisces.

 

Drew Costley Mmmmhmm.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Right? Like just keep swimming.

 

Drew Costley Okay? I’m, like, just now learning, like, astrology stuff.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. Yeah. And also Pisces and alligators get along really well.

 

Sara Sneath Oh, jeez.

 

Drew Costley That makes you. I think being a Pisces makes you *bleep*.

 

Sara Sneath Oh.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I think so.

 

Drew Costley Every Pisces in the world is an *bleep*. New study

 

Sara Sneath That’s it. That’s it.

 

Drew Costley New, new study. I’m going to piss off my editors as much as possible.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I mean honestly Sara, you are the only. You are the only person I know who has ever said the word alligator gar.

 

Sara Sneath Yeah. Alligator, gar?

 

Drew Costley Alligator what?

 

Sara Sneath A fish. You’re talking about the fish, Mary?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I don’t know. It looked like an alligator to me.

 

Sara Sneath No, there’s a fish called an alligator, Gar. They’re really huge and they have lots of teeth.

 

Drew Costley Cute

 

Mary Annaise Heglar They look like alligators.

 

Sara Sneath Yeah kind of

 

Drew Costley That’s hot. So I guess you haven’t eaten alligator since you’ve lived down there, right, Mary? We’ve talked I think we talked about this.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar No, I’m vegan,.

 

Drew Costley Right.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I’m not going to eat an alligator.

 

Drew Costley But have you ever had alligator?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Probably.

 

Drew Costley Right.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar But I don’t recall it. Yeah.

 

Sara Sneath I’ve had alligator. I’ve also held a baby alligator out of its egg before.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Oh, so you’re an alligator midwife?

 

Sara Sneath Yes.

 

Drew Costley You’re alligator doula midwife. Come through.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Oh, my God.

 

Drew Costley Birth work is word.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar I need the story. I think we have a couple more minutes. So ugh story.

 

Sara Sneath Well, okay. So I went to this alligator farm when I was in Texas, and, um, they told me while we were at that, well, first the story just caught, like, completely off the rails as it would at an alligator farm. One of the things that happened while we were there was a local rancher called the alligator farmer and said that a couple of his cattle had just been electrocuted by some lightning. And he was like, if you come over here and pick up the cattle, you can feed them to your alligator. And so I was like, I need to stick around for that. I’m coming right back after lunch and I’m going to like watch these cattle get to the alligators. And they’re like, Yeah, sure, you should do that. And also, you know what else? If you really like really into all of it, you can come back when we’re hatching our alligators and you can help us hatch the alligators. And I was like, Yep, I am coming back for that as well. And so I came back several months later and I, I helped them hatch the alligators, the baby alligators. They make these little like vocalizations when they’re ready to hatch. And at the alligator farms, they, like, help them because that’s what the mother alligators typically do, is they help them, like tear their little leather sacs open.

 

Drew Costley Wow. What’s the sound? Can you make the sound?

 

Sara Sneath It’s like Mm hmm. *laughs* Hey that wasn’t too bad, right?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar And then if you call her a *bleep* she gets mad. But yeah, ain’t no regular ass people out here pulling alligators out of eggs, Sara. Like that’s not.

 

Sara Sneath I won’t dispute alligator doula. I do like that, actually. I’ll I’ll claim that one. I’ll put that on my Twitter profile.

 

Drew Costley Honestly, reptiles are tight.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Honestly, that’s amazing. This is a great place to leave it. So. Thank you so much, Drew, for for coming on the show. The third time champion of Hot Take. *trumpets*

 

Drew Costley Am I the first third timer or no?

 

Mary Annaise Heglar You are. You are the first third timer.

 

Drew Costley Niiiice.

 

Mary Annaise Heglar Sara’s going to catch up to you because this is Sara’s second time and thank you so much, Sara, for filling in at the last minute. Really appreciate it.

 

Sara Sneath Thank you. This was so fun.

 

Amy Westervelt Hot Take is a Crooked Media production. It’s produced by Ray Peng and mixed and edited by Jordan Kantor. Our music is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Leo Duran is our senior producer and our executive producers are Mary Annaise Heglar, Michael Martinez and me. Amy Westervelt. Special thanks to Sandy Girard. Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin and Charlotte Landes for production support and to Amelia Montooth for digital support. You can follow the show on Twitter at Real Hot Take sign up for our newsletter at Hot Take Pod dot com and subscribe to Crooked Media’s video channel at YouTube.com slash Crooked Media.