Eco-Warrior Profile: @Climemechange Tackles Climate Change One Meme at a Time
By: Lauren Pezzullo
Climate change can certainly be a depressing topic. And it can be pretty complicated too, especially to younger audiences or those who don't know much about it. But one eco-crusader—the face behind @climemechange—is changing all of that. The NYC-based Instagrammer, who chooses to remain anonymous, is the curator of some of the most laugh-out-loud climate change content on the Internet.
Using hilarious memes and pop culture references, he communicates urgent environmental issues in a way that everyone can understand, relate to, and—most importantly—laugh at. He's passionate about the fact that shrinking our collective eco-footprint means all of us working together. Therefore, if silly memes and trending gifs mean motivating people who weren't paying attention before, well, that's nothing to laugh at.
Was there an event or cause that compelled you to start your platform to raise awareness about climate change?
Yes! Well, not a single event, but a pattern I was seeing in which very few people were able to make climate change an engaging topic for a wide audience. Climate change is complicated, the details can be mundane and difficult to navigate sometimes, and once you do get your head around it, it’s very depressing! So I wanted to be the first page that could, first of all, communicate the issue in ways that big audiences could grasp, and second, make climate content that people could laugh at (as twisted as that is) so the posts could be shared with people who maybe weren’t paying attention to it before.
What aspect of climate change do you think isn’t talked about enough?
Just how solvable it is. We always talk about the apocalyptic outcomes if we don't do anything. Guess what - there's a lot we can do!!!! Just putting a price on carbon emissions would be a major step for progress. We can do it if there's the will for it.
How is climate change approached in your country? The good, the bad and the ugly…
I live in the USA, so, unfortunately, we have the most powerful climate-denying political party in the world in power in Washington (the Republicans). But the silver lining is that individual states and cities in America can also make their own policies without waiting for Washington to move, and there’s some really promising stuff at the state level. For example - a group of 12 northeastern states and Washington, DC have banded together to create a plan to curb tailpipe emissions from cars, trucks, SUVs, and buses. More than 20 percent of the U.S. population would be affected by the plan, which sets a cap, to be lowered over time, on the total amount of carbon dioxide that can be released from vehicles.
What are our chances of reversing the effects of climate change? Where do you see the most hope?
Every 10th of a degree of warming that we avoid matters tremendously. So it’s not a matter of “reversing” or “not reversing” the effects - there’s a spectrum. But I do think it’s possible to eliminate most emissions worldwide within a 20-year time horizon if we have the will to do it.
Who would be on your list of the top 3 eco-warriors on Instagram?
1. Ayana Johnson who’s now helping Elizabeth Warren put together a “Blue New Deal.”
2. An Inconvenient Talk Show which is a monthly live show in New York that brings together comedians and climate experts.
3. Xiye and Alexandria, the two leading youth climate activists in NYC.
Although his memes convey uncomfortable humor about the direness of our ecological crisis, @climemechange is actually quite optimistic that we can make some real change if we raise our voices and make smarter consumption choices. If you're feeling motivated by his work and curious to see others in the crusade against climate change, check out our blog for other eco-influencers around the world, and join us in the green revolution.