Climate change. Some people haven’t woken up to smell the coffee—that’s grown in Brazil where the rainforest is being depleted at a rate of upwards of 80,000 acres per day (‘Scientific American’). And with today’s United States government leaders not just denying climate change, but taking action to accelerate it, what can we do? It’s a depressing and sometimes emotionally crushing thought, but former-satirist and current Minnesota Senator Al Franken finds a way to reach audiences, educate them, and yes, even find humor in what most of us consider a devastating situation.
Franken has joined forces with Funny Or Die and ‘Years of Living Dangerously’ to give us (are you ready for the title?) Boiling the Frog. Executive Producer David Gelber explained the title: “If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it’ll jump right out. But if you put a frog in a pot of cold water, place it on a stove and slowly start heating it up, it turns out the frog will stay in the pot and let itself get boiled.” He continued, “We’re living in a time where politicians are more like the frog in the heating pot. Despite climate change staring them right in the face, they’re not taking life-saving action.” While I’d rather not observe that whole frog-pot experiment, the short web series is more captivating and entertaining and doesn’t harm a soul. “Boiling the Frog” communicates relevant issues discussed between Franken and David Letterman. Both of these men with their roots in comedy hope to find a way to make the world a better place. And each with young children or grandchildren feel a sense of responsibility to them to make positive changes.
Franken, as Letterman put it, is more of a climate change optimist and given Franken’s position in government and his recognizable face and name, that’s a good thing. As the two sit down for 6 short segments, their dry sense of humor underscores the seriousness of the consequences of taking no action or remaining ignorant. From coal mine jobs and alternative energy technology to the Koch brothers identity and even Rush Limbaugh as topics, the two create an engaging series that just might open your eyes a bit while you chuckle. At least one “take-away message” comes in each episode such as “Call your senator or congressman.” Believe it or not, that really does matter! Each episode is just a few minutes in length so it’s a short time investment that just might give you a high return in insight.
To watch the first episode, go to FUNNY OR DIE
For information about how deforestation affects climate change, go to climate.org