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Sep 1, 2022

Podcast Intro:

We are now experiencing extreme weather events and conditions predicted for 30 years or more. And this is just the beginning. This is the hour when Mother Nature gets rolling. 

The important thing for people to realize is that the EPA has many levers under the Toxic Substances Control Act. For example, they can regulate the industry with a fee and dividend so that they charge taxes on the fossil fuel industry. And those taxes are 100% refunded to the public, based on the public's financial needs. 

Dr. Lise Van Susteren is an expert on climate change's physical and psychological impacts and was behind implementing the Toxic Substances Control Act. Today, Cate and Lise Van Susteren will talk about the power of the Toxic Substances Control Act and its effect on large industries, how politics is hugely involved in protecting the environment, and the emotional effect on every individual.

What you’ll get out of tuning in:

  • How does Toxic Substance Control Act work?
  • How large can the Toxic Substances Control Act affects industries?
  • How the Politics block things, not the public?
  • How do environmental problems affect an individual’s emotional state?


Deciding that carbon dioxide is a toxic substance defined by law would only be the first step. The EPA would have to formulate and implement rules that could, for example, impose a fee on carbon emissions and require companies to remove carbon from the atmosphere they have already expelled.

But it’s all there in black and white in the Toxic Substances Control Act, which passed and was amended with bipartisan support. Textualists will have to tie themselves in knots to explain why the law’s words don’t mean what they clearly say.


  • Cate tells her story when she is at Carleton College in the year 1995.
  • Cate tells her story about when she was in the Massachusetts high schools
  • Cate tells her insights about Elon Musk’s Electric Cars


  • [3:08] Toxic Substance Control Act
  • [8:34] Scale of Industry
  • [14:42] The Political World that blocks things
  • [20:11] Growing Problem in emotional toll on individuals and community
  • [22:46] Organization Cate started in Highschool
  • [30:11]  Can the next administration reverse the Toxic Substances Control Act
  • [31:16] What can people do
  • [33:19] Elon Musk’s Electric Cars


  • Frankly, it's not the public so much anymore. It's the political world that is blocking things. And it's just a few people. 
  • You get the people who care the most, are the most sensitive, and they'll become the most depressed and despondent on not wanting to reproduce. 
  • If we want to change society, it's by connecting with the people that were connected to. So that's one of the key elements that people don't always realize. 
  • We have the power to design the future the way we want, the way we know, and we should, ethically. 
  • We're spending about $150 billion a year on cleanup. And suppose you take the national average inflation-adjusted. In that case, that's about three times the amount in the 40 years before the last five years and three times the annual amount we used to need to clean up after extreme weather.

Guest Bio: Lise Van Susteren

Dr. Lise Van Susteren is a general and forensic psychiatrist in Washington, DC, and an expert on the physical and psychological impacts of climate change. In 2011 she co-authored “The Psychological Effects of Global Warming on the U.S. – Why the US Mental Health System Is Not Prepared”. Van Susteren is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University and has been a consultant to the Executive Branch of the US government profiling world leaders.

After receiving her medical degree from the University of Paris she practiced medicine in West Africa, at community health centers and homeless shelters in metropolitan Washington DC. In addition to community organizing on climate issues, Van Susteren serves on the Boards of Earth Day Network, and Physicians for Social Responsibility and is a co-founder of “Climate Psychiatry Alliance,” and “Climate Psychology Alliance – North America “, professional groups dedicated to promoting awareness and action on climate from a mental health perspective. Van Susteren is the expert witness on the psychological damages to young people from inaction on climate in Juliana v US Government, in Held v Montana and in the European Court of Human Rights. 

She is a frequent contributor to television, radio, and print media. In 2006 Dr. Van Susteren sought the Democratic nomination to the US Senate from Maryland. Her book, “Emotional Inflammation – Discover Your Triggers and Reclaim Your Equilibrium During Anxious Times” was published in April 2020.