As delegates from around the world prepare for COP15, so do climate justice activists. In what's being dubbed the "other climate conference," KlimaForum09: Peoples Climate Summit (www.klimaforum09.org) will take place December 7-18. Thousands of environmentalists, NGOs and grassroots activists are expected to attend the talks, exhibitions, climate films and documentaries, global music performances, theater and guest speakers at the swanky DGI-byen conference center, on the Danish government's tab.
To spread the word, the organization has deployed a viral video campaign featuring four Huffy-riding, element-themed kid superheroes. "Instead of communicating about climate change in the language of green environmentalists, politicians or experts we decided to use peoples" own language, which today is steeped in popular cultural references, " says Mikkel Skov Petersen, CEO of Spacesheep, the Danish new media company that created the campaign. "We decided to use a cartoonish, humoristic, populist approach and so managed to say some pretty radical things—such as people need to consume less in the Western world," adds Mikkel. In the five episodes, the Earth's cape-clad heroes, The Elements, do battle with Dr. Ego and his evil cohorts Coalman, Gazolina, Mr. Voltage and Consuma Excess.
Niels Fastrup, head of press at Klimaforum09, says, "Normally the communication of climate change has been dominated by an imagery of fear and looming catastrophe. We thought it was important to make a shift to hope and a positive vision of a post climate crisis society."