Who Doesn’t Love to Laugh? Let’s Use Humor & Comedy to Break the Ice for Climate Conversations

Tired of feeling bummed out by gloomy news about climate change? Well, you’re not alone. That’s why the Guardian has partnered with Ben & Jerry’s to launch its new series “Climate Change: Too Hot to Handle”, featuring smart and funny videos, satirical photo galleries, opinion pieces, and more. Working together with College Humor, the Upright Citizens Brigade, and some of the best and brightest stand-up comedians, the goal is to use humor to cut through emotional barriers and make the topic of climate change more approachable for people. The idea is that climate change comedy and laughter will raise awareness, start a meaningful conversation with people of all stripes, and engage them to start taking action on climate solutions.

Anyone who’s run for public office, delivered a stump speech, or presented in front of a room full of people knows that humor can resonate with all kinds of people. By injecting a bit of “funny” into the otherwise serious climate change conversation, we can break the ice to better connect with our audience. And check out Path to Positive’s other resources and tools to help city leaders and policy makers frame their climate messaging to most effectively engage their communities.

Handle with humor: why we want you to laugh about climate change

By Travis IrvineThe Guardian | June 19, 2015

With the historic People’s Climate March taking place in cities around the world last year, the landmark US-China deal, as well as record carbon-dioxide levels and the hottest year on record, awareness of the potential devastation of climate change continues to grow. Now, even the Pope has spoken about it – and yet, public concern over the issue remains low.

There once was a time when climate change was very popular to discuss. Al Gore made that movie, Leonardo DiCaprio snuggled polar bears, there was a potential green economy and even dumb ol’ Congress debated carbon cap and trade. Then, somewhere along the way, our focus shifted to a crap economy, fighting terrorists and the government seeing our dick pics.

So climate change took the back burner as people had more important things to worry about. And who could blame them? Frankly, if you do believe in the realities of climate change, the future seems pretty scary. Of course, if you don’t – well, your life is probably great!

The worst part about climate change is the longer we don’t do anything about it, the more likely it is to be as bad as scientists say. We’re at the point in human history when our population is rapidly expanding and our resources are being exhausted. And as the science continues to show, burning fossil fuels and filling the atmosphere with chemicals is still a horrible idea. The only glimmer of hope is that if we all start making better choices as a species, the worst parts of climate change could be avoided.

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