We like to yuk it up at The Climate Center. This may seem twisted because we’re so focused on the climate crisis. But laughing makes everything more fun. Plus, humor can be a good tool for communicating when sticking to the facts can be so terrifying and a turnoff to the very people we want to reach.
So we’re always on the lookout for how to bring humor to climate. Some inspiring examples are out there such as the Blue Man Group’s video and Will Ferrell’s spoof on President Bush explaining climate.
A favorite video of mine wasn’t directly about climate, but close. End of the World was one of the first videos to go viral. It’s raunchy, cynical, and hits my funny bone straight on. More than 16 million people have watched it.
Recently I read that the creator of End of the World was making a sequel. Then I read that he lives in Sonoma County. “That’s it! I’ve got to connect with him!” And so I met Jason Windsor, a professional art director and animator. Turns out he was very interested in finding a way to help The Climate Center.
Staff at The Climate Center already had an idea for a video – to joke about the fact that the name of our organization is really, really hard for people to remember. Most people refer to us as “Climate Control.” We thought making a video like this with Jason would be a good way to have fun and to find out if he was a match for us. Particularly we wanted to know if Jason had a talent for getting humor right because it can be very tricky, very easy to get wrong.
One other piece needed to fall into place before we could move forward with Jason – funding. We approached a friend of mine who focuses his philanthropy on art. He gave us an enthusiastic “yes” in response to our proposal. Green light!
Jason produced a script we loved. He told us who he needed to shoot the video, so we gathered staff, board, and selected supporters. Jason shot the video, recorded the narration, and worked his editing and animation magic. We released the final version of the video on June 28. So far it’s had more than 2,000 views on Facebook.
We’re enjoying all the views the video is getting. We’re also enjoying the comments. Here’s one from a former intern of ours: “HE made your guys’ video!!!? I used to watch that in high school with my friends constantly. He is the internet video OG. The new video really is dope by the way.” (If you’re like me, you’re stumped by what OG means. It’s Original Gangster, someone who’s been in the game a while.)
Another colleague, in gushing about the video, mentioned that the narrator’s voice sounded vaguely familiar. (It’s Jason’s.) When I asked if she knew the “End of the World” video, she exclaimed, “Oh my! That’s it!” and starting quoting lines from Jason’s original video that he made when he was 18 years old.
We welcome your feedback on our new video. And if you like it, we hope you’ll share it with others.