Looking for some sassy thunder from Down Under to convince a few more climate deniers in your hood?
If the record-breaking heat waves; the 18 simultaneous wildfires up and down the state of California; the horrific hurricanes of Harvey, Maria and Irma in 2017; the recent slow-walking devastation of Florence; the powerful typhoon Mangkhut that closed casinos in Macau for the first time and the accelerated melting in the Arctic, Antarctica and Greenland haven’t stirred your flock of friends who still have their doubts about our climate crisis, then maybe you can nudge them to watch and share a raucous, ribald and rowdy video called I’m a Climate Scientist…
With lines like “Climate Change is on Crack” and “Methane Release is Wack” intertwined with real Aussie Climate Scientists dancing and prancing while singing and slinging F-bombs throughout, this 2-minute video quickly dismantles all perceptions of how normally staid scientists present themselves on camera and lets their raw rage convey the accumulated anger and frustration that scientists around the world — well, all 97% of scientists — who agree that global warming is real and getting worse.
“The thing that really got me furious in the media dialogue about climate change was that every voice in the media area would provide an instantaneous caveat, ‘I’m not a climate scientist, but’ and that really annoyed me,” states Producer Dan Ilic who wrote, directed and produced the video for the Hungry Beast in Australia.
“Dan Ilic contacted us with the idea of doing a rap song by climate scientists to counter all the commentary on climate change by non-climate scientists,” explains Dr. Jason Evans, Professor in the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. “We sent in ideas for lyrics and Dan put it all together. I was excited by the idea as I’ve been a long-time rap/hip-hop fan with MC Hammer, Tone Loc and Young MC being some of my favorites.
“There were 6 climate scientists and another 7 PhD students — all of whom are climate scientists now — that appeared in the video,” adds Evans. “The F-bombs put some people off. But it’s all about your audience. A friend said to me, ‘Only 83% of the Wu Tang Clan believed in Anthropogenic Climate Change … that other 17% was our target audience.”
Labeling himself as an Investigative Humorist, Ilic is also a stand-up comedian, radio broadcaster, ad man, actor, showrunner and TV Host with acerbic satire the silver streak running through all of his gigs. Ilic even took his brash brand of evidence-based “shitstirring” to the UN’s COP21 climate change confab in Paris where he hosted and produced Fossil of the Day, a satirical take on the climate change negotiations.
Although I’m a Climate Scientist first aired in 2011 and has garnered nearly 250,000 views on YouTube, the trailer for Crazy Rich Asians has hit 19.2 million views! Plucking the planet for personal gain still, uh, trumps preserving the planet.
Whatever It Takes … More Than Ever!
With the U.S. Administration stripping away regulations designed to curb global warming and pulling out of the universally accepted Paris Climate Agreement — and with Australia just ousting its 29th Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull who at least acknowledged climate change as a threat but couldn’t get an energy policy enacted, in favor of Scott Morrison who believes Australia should get all of its energy from oil and gas — we need hundreds of Dan Ilics and video muckrakers around the globe to “shitstir” the masses into embracing what little precious time is left before a massive AMOC (Ay-MOCK) takes root.
WTF is AMOC?
“Does global warming have a hand in the magnitude of the Hurricane Florence disaster on the U.S. East Coast,” Dr. James Hansen rhetorically asked on his website. “Yes, we can say with confidence.”
“A 21st Century slowdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is underway,” he added. “Slowdown of the Gulf Stream, which is part of the AMOC slowdown, adds to the East Coast sea level. The slowdown reduces the west-to-east upward slope of the ocean surface across the Gulf Stream.”
In essence, the heating of our planet is causing the Westerly winds to stall and thus these superstorms hang around for days which exacerbates their destructive powers by carrying 50% more water than previous storms, according to a new study at Stony Brook University and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
A sense of dire urgency was underscored recently by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who stated in the Los Angeles Times, “If we do not change the course by 2020 we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change with disastrous consequences. Every day we fail to act is a day that we step a little closer towards a fate that none of us wants — a fate that will resonate through generations in the damage done to humankind and life on earth.”
Everyone is being severely impacted by our climate crisis. California’s wildfires are now year-round as are the Bushfires in Australia. One of the Greatest Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, has had 50% of its coral reef die off since 2016 in a catastrophic bleaching event primarily caused by acidification. In Africa, drought is draining the ability to grow crops all over the continent and with the AMOC running amok in the Atlantic Ocean, time is not on our side.
Unlike the print and digital media, our profit-driven TV and Cable Networks that are so beholden to ad flight buys from the Energy Voter, Exxon-Mobil and the oil and gas industry refuse to air News segments on climate issues day-after-day, week-after-week — let alone contract for brilliant satire like I’m a Climate Scientist — are liable for professional malfeasance as our planet, our very existence for our children and grandchildren, is blinking red and turning beat red.
So all of you social media Climate Nerds and Nerdettes, you can do something right now by sparking a 911 emergency call for choosing a sustainable life versus a planetary stroke by sharing I’m a Climate Scientist as we have just a little over two years to mobilize the masses around the globe and become all-in and balls-out to avert unimaginable consequences.
Author of Be A Global Force Of One! … In Your Hometown and a co-author of Chicken Soup for the Volunteer’s Soul: Stories to Celebrate the Spirit of Courage, Caring and Community, John T. Boal is a national accounts director for a New York-based nonprofit and resides in Burbank, CA.