Using comedy to unpack complex climate topics with Rollie Williams (Climate Town)
Today’s guest is Rollie Williams, host and creator of Climate Town.
The topic of climate change can be dark upon initial exploration. While some find inspiration in innovation and action, many folks struggle to get beyond the pervasive desperation and doomerism that dominate the conversation. Climate Town takes a totally different approach and uses humor to unpack complex climate topics while offering suggestions for how audiences can take meaningful action. In the past two years, the Climate Town YouTube channel has amassed 393,000 subscribers, several millions views, a handful of awards, and has spawned an engaged Discord community of climate-focused-yet-delightfully-regular people.
Rollie is a Brooklyn-based comedian and video editor, and he holds a graduate degree in Climate Science and Policy from Columbia University. He’s also the former creator and host of the monthly comedy show 'An Inconvenient Talk Show' doing sketches and comedic deep dives by pairing comedians (SNL, The Daily Show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, etc) together with climate scientists (NASA, MIT, Harvard).
Rollie and Cody have a great conversation about his background, the role of comedy in climate communications, what he's learned about communicating complicated topics to mass audiences, and what's next for Climate Town.
In today’s episode, we cover:
[5:41] And overview of Climate Town and how it came to be
[13:32] How climate is being communicated today, its complications and direct opposition
[18:18] Rollie's goal of making comedy videos while sharing facts and CTAs
[22:25] Importance of taking action on the local level and where to start
[28:20] Rollie's comedic influences
[35:56] The future of the Climate Town community
[46:41] Why context and learning helps keep people grounded
Visit our website for a full transcript of this episode.
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Episode recorded on August 10, 2022.