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Category: Comedy

Using Comedy to Communicate Climate

Since 2014, we clowns at Climate Stew we have been advocating comedy as part of the climate action figure’s toolbox. It is not the only way to get the message across, but it is a potent one.

Yale Climate Connections reports on a series of comic ads in Ontario, Canada created by the provincial government. They use humor as a hook to raise awareness about climate change.

Climate change has very serious consequences. But to attract public attention, Ontario, Canada has created a series of videos that are … well, silly. Take this one, in which a man fails to impress his wife with an amazing fish story:

[Save the Fish Stories PSA]

Husband: With climate change, higher temperatures in our lakes could mean less trout. That means fewer great fishing stories. Like that time up north when…

Wife: (deadpan) You caught a fish?

Here is a great sample:

I imagine there can be a really funny one about maple syrup as an endangered specie, but that might be to tragic of a story to tell.

Take a listen to the short report and hear samples of some of the other ads.

Ad Campaign Raises Climate Awareness with Humor

Laughter is so important to address the world’s problems

I am so cold I am blurry! Taking in Iceland this winter.

Serious Topic? Try some humor!

I will forever advocate that laughter is a solution to the world’s problems.

We live in interesting times, no denying it. And many of us feel inadequate in comparison to the many miscommunications and corrupt decisions and mile-high walls people make. Discussing climate change, in particular, can really bring a girl down.

But throughout my internship, my mentor, Peterson Toscano, advocates for storytelling and humor as a method of breaking those communication barriers and having more honest conversations.

Science Proves: Laughter is Essential Medicine for Communicators

My partner in Iceland adventures

And guess what? His thoughts are backed up by science! According to the article Humor Theories and the Physiological Benefits of Laughter written by Julia Wilkins, 

…laughter evolved as a protective shield, not as a coping mechanism for people’s own misfortune, but because humans needed to have empathy for others in order for the human race to survive.

Comedy can facilitate empathy while it also physically relaxes the body and the mind so that the people you are talking to can actually hear what you are saying. This is essential when talking about topics that typically stir up fear and shame.

Read the paper here and turn on the Seinfeld, folks! Also, enjoy the Iceland photos as good examples of using laughter in tough situations.

Have a great week and don’t be trashy.

Climate Denial is No Joke (video)

Our own Climate Stew correspondent, Marvin Bloom, has an off-beat way of looking at the world. During his regular segment on the podcast, Your Moment with Marvin, he has recently taken on Asthma and Racism, Drought and missionaries in Guatemala, and a Biblical exposé of Joseph and his amazing climate adaptation plan.

But his claim to fame was when he exposed climate denial for what it is–grief, or at least the first stage of grief. Through comedy and his own wacky insights, Marvin reveals the what he thinks is causing all this denial, and why it actually gives him a lot of hope. Marvin has a new video where he explains it all (with fun little captions and sound effects.) Enjoy and please share.

Featured image by Bernard Langlais from Portland Museum of Art photo taken by Peterson Toscano

Shocked! An Evangelical Woman Discovers Ecofeminists

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Like Scully from X-Files, Elizabeth Jeremiah harbors lots of suspicions when it comes to hard to explain oddities–like ecofeminism

On the Climate Stew podcast we are not afraid to get downright silly if it helps to communicate serious and important messages about climate change. One of our most popular recurring “guests” is Elizabeth Jeremiah, from the Elizabeth Jeremiah Global Worldwide Ministries in Jesus. While to some she may initially sound like a shallow, intolerant church lady dragged out of a Saturday Night Live skit from the early 90’s, our Elizabeth Jeremiah has a lot of depth to her and a natural curiosity.

In this hilarious monologue, Elizabeth Jeremiah reveals the shock she felt when she discovered the existence of eco-feminists. In so doing she also reveals a thoughtful and powerful way of looking at our relationship to the earth in a time of a rapidly changing climate.

If you like Elizabeth Jeremiah, you are in for a treat. Rumor has it that she is branching out into the world of YouTube very very soon. Stay tuned.

Elizabeth Jeremiah and the Eco-Feminists (full transcript below)


 

IMG_3617This is Elizabeth Jeremiah from the Elizabeth Jeremiah Global Worldwide Ministries in Jesus with a special word just for you. As a woman in the church of God called to the ministry I have had to claw my way to the pulpit. Now technically according to the male leaders I must submit to, I am forbidden to teach men, and have be relegated to women’s conferences, prayer breakfasts, and shopping mall events. Now I can’t help it if the men sneak in the back to hear me deliver God’s word.

While I feel opposed to feminism because of some vague discomfort I have due to the ways that feminists are portrayed in the media and from the pulpit, how can I be opposed to the feminists’ basic tenet of equality in the workplace? Similarly while I recoil at the sight of environmentalists with their sloppy, sagging hippy fashions and their rigid impractical dogmatism, I do care about clean air and looking after our temporary earthly home that God has graciously allowed us to journey upon. I am not from the religious camp that says the earth doesn’t matter and we might as well whip up wars and trash the planet so that Jesus can more quickly return to create a new heaven and a new earth while the wicked are placed in hell, God’s eternal rotisserie oven of judgment.

Both feminists and environmentalists are reviled and rejected by so many powerful people in society. So you can only imagine how shocked I was to discover that there is a group of women who call themselves ecofeminists. These are feminists who believe men have used, abused, and exploited the planet in the very same ways they have used, abused, and exploited women. They are feminists environmentalists who I have heard rumored sometimes gather for full moon menstruation ceremonies.  I wonder if ecofeminism was created in some Left Wing think tank as a weapon of mass destruction in order to give Conservative pundits like Rush Limbaugh a heart attack.

These likely terribly lonely ecofeminists rightly point out how domineering, and I mean that in the bad way, men have been towards women and towards the earth–sucking the life out of us and leaving us as an empty shell of our former selves. But these much maligned eco-conscious strong women also point out that the planet, like women in community, operates on “traditionally ‘female’ values of reciprocity, nurturing and cooperation” which I no doubt have witnessed at our Women of God Warrior Mothers and Daughters Annual Conference and Fashion Show.

Now while the concept of Mother Earth sounds like New Age pagan devil worship to me, in theory I can appreciate the thought that Mother Earth is sick from all the poisons we have been pouring into her body and lungs (that would be the earth and the atmosphere or what I call the heavenly firmament.) I also imagine she is sick and tired of people treading heavily upon her, leaving greasy, muddy carbon footprints everywhere, piercing her deep in her heart over and over, extracting, extracting, extracting, and never giving anything in return. I imagine she feels backed up against the wall and is growing more and more angry to the point where she is about to say, the hell with all y’all and in a righteous rage she ejects us all from this planet we call our temporary home. Lord have mercy.

God tells us in Proverbs 18:19 that a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city. Now I wonder how much harder is it to make peace with a wronged woman. When we harm someone through our greed, exploitation, and general selfish bad behavior, we are instructed to repent—turn from our sinful ways, make amends, and seek to rebuild the trust we squandered. While I have no idea how to do this with a body as large and powerful as Mother Earth, I believe today is the day that the Lord has made, and today is the day for doing a new thing.

This is Elizabeth Jeremiah from the Elizabeth Jeremiah Global Worldwide Ministries in Jesus. May God bless you and keep you and your whole household too.

Marvin wrestles with Polar Bears

polar bear funny pictures (1)Our very own Marvin Bloom has taken to YouTube to share some of his feelings about the polar bear. Turns out he is not a big fan. He finds them to be scary and disgusting bullies. But in his short, funny video, he reveals something about the climate crisis that often gets overlooked. There is a specie that is threatened right now that we run into on a daily basis. It is warm and lovely and friendly, and it is under attack! I’ll let Marvin break it down for you.

And if you want to hear more of Marvin and his off-beat approach to climate change, check out the Climate Stew radio show on  iTunes,  StitcherSoundCloud or right here at Climate Stew. We take global warming seriously, but we don’t try to scare the snot out of you.