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With 'Too Hot To Handle,' Guardian and Ben & Jerry's Banking on Humor to Drive Climate Action

Can humor save us? Today, the Guardian launched a new multimedia series on climate change that aims to drive the public conversation, debate and action on climate change by making its readers laugh. “Too Hot to Handle,” which encourages readers to take “a lighter look at the dark problem of climate change,” was created in partnership with Ben and Jerry’s and will run through December 2015.

The series kicks off this week with a College Humor video urging viewers to “Save America’s Dumps,” and a similarly snarky opinion piece by comedian Bonnie McFarlane, entitled, “Global warming is totally a lie liberals tell to distract us from their commie agendas.”

The Guardian expects this new content to reach a larger demographic of readers, including those who haven’t previously engaged with the topic of climate change. The publication is enlisting top comedy talent, including College Humor and the Upright Citizens Brigade, to create parody public service announcements, satirical articles, and original man-on-the-street and “Saturday Night Live”-style videos focused on environmental issues.

Bringing humor to climate change will help humanize the issue and drive engagement, according to Charlie Wilkie, SVP at the Guardian.

“The conversation around climate change is often overwhelming, and traditional ways of engaging people aren’t doing enough to drive change,” he said. “We think humor can help people connect to this important topic and encourage, not only awareness, but action. We’re really excited to partner with Ben & Jerry’s, a brand that cares deeply about the planet and has a long history of championing social justice.”

Ben and Jerry’s, a certified B Corp and active supporter of corporate transparency, hopes to motivate other brands to join.

“Businesses need to play a more active role in building a movement and championing solutions to climate change,” said Jay Curley, Senior Global Marketing Manager at Ben & Jerry’s. “Ben & Jerry’s is excited to partner with The Guardian to bring more people into the movement through humor.”

The Too Hot To Handle series launches as the Guardian’s divestment campaign, #Keepitintheground gets underway. Both of these projects seek to provide new ways for readers to take action in the fight against climate change.


Brynn is an Insight Development Associate and a principal writer for Sustainable Brands.

[Read more about Brynn McNally]


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