Dying of laughter: comics joke about climate change at U.N.
Jump to navigation. As strange as it may sound, thinking about global warming can make a lot of people feel frozen in place. We know that collective action is the only thing that can save us. In the gap between these two understandings, concern can quickly turn into fear, and fear can just as quickly turn into a kind of incapacitating fatalism. Environmental education specialist Patrick Chandler has given this unfortunate psychological trajectory a lot of thought. And he believes he may have found the key to breaking it: art.
Using humor to talk about climate change makes it easier to take action
Climate change is not inherently funny. Typically, the messengers are serious scientists describing how rising greenhouse gas emissions are harming the planet on land and at sea , or assessing what role it played in the latest wildfire or hurricane. Society may have reached a saturation point for such somber, gloomy, and threatening science-centered discussions.
With a climate summit kicking off this year's meeting, world leaders in New York were under pressure to negotiate the international politics of how to avert a climate catastrophe while comedians tried another method to rally people: laughter. The comedy show was one of more than 20 events across New York using arts to raise awareness about climate change, now a global movement inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg that has seen young people on streets globally calling for action. Other climate-inspired art on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly included a ballet where dancers were melting polar ice caps, the launch of a theater program focused on climate, and a set of online cartoons.