Climate is No Joke, but Humor Might Help

June 12, 2019

Science Communication:

Kimmel on Climate: Disentangling the Emotional Ingredients of a Satirical Monologue – Abstract:

This study explored whether satire (an emotional blend of humor/indignation) can minimize the emotional tradeoffs researchers have documented for humorous appeals about climatechange. Using a sample of U.S. young adults, we conducted a 2 (humor: present/absent) × 2 (indignation: present/absent) + 1 (control) experiment in which we manipulated a climatechange segment from Jimmy Kimmel Live! Our evidence suggests that it is possible for a late-night host to affect young adults’ climate change risk perception and behavioral intentions under certain conditions. 

I loved seeing my friend Aradhna Tripati in the “I’m not fucking with you” vid – definitely a classic of this genre. (disaster education humor?)

Below, another friend, John Cook, was one of the young scientists I profiled in the latest Yale Climate Connections vid, on creative ways to communicate science. As a scientist/cartoonist, John has also used humor to get the point across.

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6 Responses to “Climate is No Joke, but Humor Might Help”

  1. jimbills Says:

    Well, if one is distraught about this stuff most of the time, it’s probably healthy to laugh about it occasionally.

    BTW, on the video, it’s probably not so great for Aquaman, either:
    https://phys.org/news/2019-06-hot-sea-life.html

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Distraught is perhaps too strong a word to describe how most of us feel about this stuff—-it will become more useful if and when we pass some tipping points and the SHTF (and people start dying in large numbers).

      I DO appreciate the efforts of the comedians to lighten things up, but “ironic chuckles” and grins is about as close as I get to outright laughing. I did burst into laughter at the very end of the clip when the little kid let loose with his statement. Right on, you big-eared little MF!!

  2. Keith Omelvena Says:

    Great, but we know the vid will not be seen by anyone with a heavily worn fox news channel remote button, right?

    • dumboldguy Says:

      The Kimmel clip DID get over 900,000 views on Youtube in 3 years, but you’re probably right about the Faux News viewers not being among them.

  3. Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

    When science, logic and common sense hit a brick wall, why not try dismissive contempt?


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