Fight Swack, Adapt to Climate Change or How to Use Humor to Engage the Public in Climate Issues

Monday, 15 December 2014
Raluca Ellis1, Karen Elinich1, Richard Johnson1, Jennifer Fink2 and Joey Crawford2, (1)Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA, United States, (2)Masterminds Agency, Philadelphia, PA, United States
We are carefully considering how a humor-based campaign can help us communicate important climate change messages. Using pilot campaign strategies, we have engaged local residents in focus groups and interviews to understand how effective the approach can be. Growing educational research suggests learning about climate change can lead to feelings of depression, fear and inaction. Climate change seems too big of a task to take on. But with sweaty back (or “swack” as it’s known in some circles), there’s a public enemy that can be defeated. As only one piece of an innovative model for informal climate change education, the Climate and Urban Systems Partnership repositions the war on climate change by declaring a war on swack instead. This way, we can talk about climate change in a way it has never been talked about before that will certainly get people’s attention. It also answers the common question of, “Yeah, but how does it affect me?” We’re educating about responses to climate change because heat waves, floods, and excessive back sweat all kinda suck a lot.