Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to The Conversation, injecting humour into climate messages of impending death and destruction helps bypass people’s political filters.
A little humour may help with climate change gloom
November 11, 2019 12.06am AEDT
Lakshmi Magon, Dalla Lana Global Journalism Fellow, Science Communicator, University of Toronto
This year, three studies showed that humour is useful for engaging the public about climate change. The studies, published in The Journal of Science Communication, Comedy Studies and Science Communication, added to the growing wave of scientists, entertainers and politicians who agree.
In March 2017, the American Psychological Association published a reportdefining ecoanxiety as “chronic fear of environmental doom.” The report referred to literature that described an increase in depression and anxiety caused by peoples’ “inability to feel like they are making a difference in stopping climate change.”
With psychological stakes this high, humour may seem inappropriate. But Phil McCordic — a Canadian actor, writer and producer of children’s programming and the host of TVOntario’s Science Max educational series — thinks it could be a way to access “the attention of a lot of people you wouldn’t have otherwise.”
“Humour is so useful for children’s programming because it grabs attention,” says McCordic, who adds he believes this can be applied to adults too.
“Climate-change humour stops people from worrying about their politics and lets them take in the information …. Scientists don’t always understand their audience. Getting someone to laugh is half of the work of getting them to understand.”
…Read more: https://theconversation.com/a-little-humour-may-help-with-climate-change-gloom-125860
I thought about trying out a few climate jokes, but trying to make fun of this latest climate communication effort seems a bit redundant.