Is climate change funny?

Did you hear the one about when the glacier and the rabbi went into the bar, well the rabbi was talking, the glacier melted away and did not make it!

Why did the chicken cross the road?  Well, with a carbon tax, there were no more cars, so he did not actually cross the road, he lived on it!

Is climate change funny, are you a comedian?

So far i have posted on the themes of imagination, the artist and imagining what the future could be and using the power of the human imagination to create a world where humanity addresses climate change.  This has included the visual as well as one play.  I have also been reading some clifi – climate fiction, although not yet posted about any of it.

The other day i got an email based on the list serve that i am part of about a contest hosted by the University of Colorado on climate change and comedy.

Here are the details – If you think you can do it- go for it and if you can think of good jokes, send them my way!


Inside the Greenhouse at The University of Colorado-Boulder are holding a comedy & climate change short video competition

1st place: $250 prize ~ 2nd place: $100 ~ 3rd place: $50

Humor is a tool underutilized in the area of climate change; yet comedy has power to effectively connect people, information, ideas, and new ways of thinking/acting.

In this call, we seek to harness the powers of climate comedy through compelling, resonant and meaningful VIDEOS – up to 4 minutes in length – to meet people where they are, and open them up to new and creative engagement.

The winning entry will receive a cash prize, and be shown during the upcoming ‘Stand Up for Climate: An Experiment with Creative Climate Comedy’ night on March 17 at 7:30pm on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, Colorado.

The event will feature a range of comedic approaches, including stand up comedy, sketch and situational comedy, and improv.

The primary audience will be University students along with members of the community in Boulder, Colorado (no age restrictions will be in place).

AWARD CRITERIA: Successful entries will have found the funny while relating to climate change issues. Each entry will be reviewed by a committee composed of students, faculty and graduate students at CU-Boulder.


(1)  1-2 page pdf description of entry, including

A. title of creative work,

B. names and affiliations of all authors/contributors,

C. contact information of person submitting the entry,

D. a statement of permissions for use of content, as necessary, and

E. a 100-word description of the work.

(2)  A link to the up-to-4-minute composition, posted on Youtube or
Vimeo or the like

ELIGIBILITY: must be a citizen of Planet Earth; work created since January 2015 is accepted; works must be less than 4 minutes in length, captured through video; CU-Boulder employees are not eligible


·        March 1: entries due to

·        March 14: applicants informed of decisions

·        March 17: winning entries shown at ‘Climate and Comedy’ night


Max Boykoff
Associate Professor
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Studies (CIRES) Center for Science and Technology Policy Research (CSTPR) Environmental Studies Program Campus Box 488
tel: (303) 735-0451

Danielle K. Garrison
MFA Dance Candidate-Aerial Dance Track
University of Colorado-Boulder
Aerialist, Dancer, Choreographer and Teacher Artistic Director and Founder/DKG Dance Entertainment Coordinator and Performer/Frequent Flyers Productions, Inc.
Teaching Artist/Colorado Ballet
Tel: (708) 717-4891

This initiative is part of the Inside the Greenhouse project at CU-Boulder. More information is here:

This project acknowledges that, to varying degrees, we are all implicated in, part of, and responsible for greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. We treat this ‘greenhouse’ as a living laboratory, an intentional place for growing new ideas and evaluating possibilities to confront climate change through a range of mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Our project is also associated with the Spring 2016 ‘creative climate communications’ course (ENVS3173/THTR4173) at CU-Boulder.

Is satire part of the climate culture Hack? Yes of course

As part of this blog’s continuing effort to support the cultural shift that I feel is needed for humanity to really change what we do, and our expectations, here is video making fun / satire of the Koch brothers. If you want to perform your own version of the song and possibly get a viral hit, grist has the vocals here.

Of course, for those of a certain age, it is  obvious that this is satire of the “We are the World” video series.  Here is the original..

I think I will be checking out the people who have produced this as well “Funny or Die” and see if they have any other videos!

And of course the version done by Canadian musicians, called Tears not not enough!. Enjoy!

The polar bear is melting

With COP21 ongoing and non-stop climate news and announcements as well as the fact that I am continually uncovering more attempts of creating art to engage people in the story of climate change.

The Toronto Star had an article about a melting polar bear which was created out of ice and allowed to melt over the course of time that COP 21 was being hosted.

Equiterre head Steven Guilbeault, pictured with one of the sculptures. The campaign in which the polar bear melted over the course of about three weeks was intended to raise awareness about the effects of climate change in the Arctic. It also coincided with the United Nations climate change conference in Paris, France.

The polar bear ice sculpture is part of the action that the environmental group Equiterre is doing.  Lucky you if you want to go see it, you do not have to travel all the way to Paris to see it since it is in Montreal….but you better go fast as it is also melting faster than expected.





Feeling Climate Change

Some more images of climate change and art – this time not from COP21 but from an event taking place in Miami called Art Basel.  I did see a tweet from Ed Burtynsky who i already did a blog about who is also down in Art Basel.

I became aware of this latest entry in the climate change art encyclopaedia (if I can call it that) from one of the many followers (ha!) of this blog (Thanks Martin).

Here is a great article from the NY Times about one of the exhibits and I love this quote “feel climate change in their guts, rather than just understand it.”

Fitting as well since Miami and Florida are one of the coast lines most at risk to rising sea levels from climate change.  I remember going to a conference on emissions trading in air pollution and staying at a new Trump hotel which had just been built in Florida about 100 m from the beach in the early 2000’s and thinking, has no-one here heard about climate change.  Maybe all the capitalists think that they will be bailed out by government money when the sea rises or maybe they only need the hotel and tourism sector to last for 20 years to make their money back.

Here is a set of images from Lars Jan and his website.

Holoscenes, a performance and installation piece by artist Lars Jan, at Miami Dade College, in Miami.

Enter a caption

A couple engaged in a duet as an aquarium fills and empties unpredictably, over and over, to symbolize the uncontrollable nature of climate change.


Street Artists in Paris – Stirring the Pot

With COP 21 going on right in Paris, all of the wires, social media feeds and email user groups are firing at all cylinders with all of the announcements and press releases around what everyone is doing on climate change. I thought I should contribute.

I am most certainly torn in many ways.  While policies and carbon pricing is needed to internalize all of the costs, a part of me still thinks that we actually need a cultural reset about our society and how we live.

Let me use just one example, if all of the cars are replaced with electric vehicles – will that solve the greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.  Well no, then we need to ensure that all of the power plants are not using fossil fuels and what about all of the new power plants and other electricity generating facilities that will have to be built, will they all be solar power and wind – I suppose they could be.

Then think of all of the energy and mining and disposal that has to go into the manufacture and recycling . repurposing of that technology. Maybe given enough time and human ingenuity and price increases, all of these issues can be solved with a technological fix, but in the next 30 years, I do not see that happening. I do try to describe one view of getting to a low carbon future in this previous blog post.

I have strayed from the intent of my blog today.  I mentioned that i was going to try and highlight the artistic perspectives on climate change.  As I mentioned many times already, I was not seeing much and as soon as I started looking, I was seeing more and more.

To return to COP 21, apparently there a bunch of fake ads going up in Paris be created by street artists with themes focussed on climate change all organized by Brandalism.  One of these is illustrating the extent of corporate involvement in COP 21, when corporations are often seen as one of the barriers to action and change.  Sure they will embrace incremental change, but we may need more than incremental change to actually address the climate change problem.  Then of course, as soon as they were up, the ad company who was also a sponsor of COP21 was taking them down.

Here is the article from Fastco. 

Here are some pictures of the posters ;



Burtynsky – the first artist to engage on human impact on the world?

As I start to research and think about the artistic impact on shaping our views on climate change and how these views are mobilizing action, one name which i had forgotten but who had been doing amazing photography work for a long time about the impacts of humans on the natural environment and capturing this in a grand scale is Edward Burtynsky,  He has been taking pictures of the oil sands, mining operations and many others for long time.  These have been presented in books and he does talks and shows tthroughout North America and Worldwide.

Go check him out here and I also have a view of his images below.

Oh and our new Minister of Environment and Climate Change has even called him out in a tweet! but of course I cannot find it!




Highlighting the creative perspective – pivoting the blog

I have been struggling to maintain content so I am in the midst of considering a pivot.  As one of my earlier blog posts pointed out, one of the gaps that I was thinking was the lack of an artistic perspective on climate change and a lack of engaging the artistic, creative human mind to imagine a future which is not apocalyptic but is positive (and not techno-optimistic) and realistic.  Of course, since then I am coming across lots of artists of all types who are creating work and challenging this viewpoint and trying to address the cultural gap that is there.

To that end, I may be pivoting this blog to start highlighting all of the various efforts to use the creative and not necessarily just artistic brain to highlight the challenges and potential solutions to humanity in a world with the almost inevitability associated with climate change.

First off, there has been a series of pretend forecasts of the future done by the WMO.  They are called weather reports from the future.  Here is one for Canada in 2050  (en francais with English subtitles).

While we are at it, here is a comic from XKCD with their own take of a weather forecast from the future!



A failure to imagine? Artistic expression and climate change

The mind works in mysterious ways.  As soon as I starting thinking about a topic and then I do a blog post about it, all of a sudden I see many examples of what i was pointing out in my blog post.  Of course in my blog post I was pointing out a lack of examples of artistic expression and climate change and now I am seeing them everywhere. Here is my first blog about a failure to imagine as part of the barrier to getting to a low carbon future.

As you can see at the bottom of the post and in some comments that I have added, I have found some people doing exactly what I was talking about re art and climate change.

Here is another one , a post from grist – an online magazine that discusses all things environmental with a focus on climate change.  In this case, it is an interview with Mary Iverson and her move from her traditional landscapes to starting to incorporate a dimension of climate change – re rising seas and a the expansion of the economy and trade via shipping containers.

Here is one image of one of her paintings from her website.


And speaking of grist, about a month after I first posted this, they published another article about stories about climate change being collected by medium.  Check them out here.  Based on all of this evidence, it looks like artistic expression is starting to address and think about climate change.

I will read some of these stories and maybe do some book / story reviews.  I am interested to see if there are any stories of a positive future or if they are all negative, fear based stories.

Happy reading