Flip the Script Greatest Hits: Our 100th Issue

April 27, 2022

Last week was our 100th newsletter! Like all of us, we know you’ve been counting with bated breath.

That means we’ve given you 100 weeks of insightful, exciting, and inspiring content to help you move from climate stress to clean energy action. If you all have had 1/10th of the enjoyment reading the newsletter as we have had writing it, then you’ve had an appropriate amount of enjoyment (let’s not get too carried away).

To celebrate our centennial issue, we’ve curated the top articles based on popularity. They serendipitously (have we used too many multisyllabic words yet?) range the gamut of topics. When putting together this list, we were able to look back and marvel at the truly wide range of themes we’ve covered. From electric vehicles to solar, storage, policy, the electrification of everything, and culture, we’re pretty proud of our coverage of the clean energy transition.

Here are the top five most popular issues of Generation180’s Flip the Script newsletter.


Issue #80: When should I buy an EV?

This thoughtful guide helps readers down the path of answering the question of whether owning an EV makes sense for their lifestyle right now. We go through a breakdown of practicality (range examples, charging types, model availability) and cost analysis (incentives, cost to charge, maintenance). Finally, take a look at the handy flowchart at the end that gives you a step-by-step path to help you determine exactly when you should buy an EV.
Read When should I buy an EV? ➝


Issue #28: The absurd truth about fossil fuel subsidies

This article has been so popular we’ve republished it (twice!) with updates. It truly is baffling how much the fossil fuel industry has been propped up by subsidies since its inception and that carries over in a massive way — especially today. We go over exactly how much the industry benefits from public funds, why that’s a huge deal, and what our options are moving forward.
Read The absurd truth about fossil fuel subsidies ➝


Issue #05: There’s a nationwide school budget crisis—solar can help

Even though this was one of our first newsletters, it still ranks as one of the most popular, and the message rings as true today as when it was first published in the early weeks of the pandemic. Schools are still reeling from deep cuts in their budgets and, now more than ever, solar is a great way to free up funds and get more resources to teachers and students. The growth of solar schools has been a bright spot (pun intended) in the solar movement.
Read There’s a nationwide school budget crisis—solar can help ➝


Issue #43: How my weed eater ushered me into the 21st century

We love this first-person story of how an ordinary weed trimmer that wouldn’t start ushered the author into the electrify everything movement. The experience in the garage is the same as in the world at large: electric is just a better way of doing things. It’s a fun, quick, journey that ends with an update that sheds light on how small changes can lead to a bigger imact.
Read How my weed eater ushered me into the 21st century here ➝


Issue #76: How comedy can conquer climate change

If you’re like a lot of Americans, sometimes it can be hard to know A: how to feel about climate change and B: how to talk about climate change. Enter climate comedy. This article surveys some of the funniest climate acts out there and breaks down exactly why laughing a little is so important: Comedy can make conversation topics that could become tense or depressing become more approachable and hopeful. This is one of our favorite articles as it highlights a very important initiative in the climate space, but also has lots of links to hilarious content.
Read How comedy can conquer climate change ➝



Gen180 at the 2022 New York International Auto Show

April 27, 2022

This past weekend Generation180 hosted Ask an EV Owner events at the New York International Auto Show.  We introduced hundreds of potential future electric vehicle owners to our EV Ambassadors who have already made the switch.  We addressed common misconceptions, highlighted benefits, and demystified EV ownership.  Oh yeah, and we had a lot of fun too!  Here’s a look at our top ten favorite things from the show:

#10 – So Many Cars, Trucks, and SUVs

The New York International Auto Show is pretty impressive. With over 600,000 attendees (2019 statistic), they’ve been doing it for over 120 years!  It’s THE place to be to see all of the new vehicles coming to market. See here for everything that was on display:

#9 – Everybody’s Getting into Electrification

Going electric isn’t just for passenger vehicles, the show also highlighted electric transit buses, street sweepers, and refuse collection vehicles, all with zero tailpipe emissions. Just imagine how much quieter (and cleaner) our streets could be!

New York City all-electric street sweeper

New York City Electric Transit Bus

New York City electric garbage truck

#8 – Where are all the Family-Sized EVs?

True, things are getting better with new electric compact SUVs and pick-ups coming to market, but where are the electric mini-vans and electric mid-sized three-row SUVs?  In the US, midsized SUVs sold more than 3 million units last year. Hey, auto manufacturers, let’s make it easy for families to go electric too, shall we?

The Chrysler Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle is currently the only minivan with the ability to drive in an all-electric mode.

#7 – More Electric Trucks, Some Clever Marketing

Chevrolet had its new electric Silverado pickup truck on display to challenge Ford’s electric Lightning F-150. The Silverado sold over 500,000 units in 2021. Imagine if some of those were electric!  Also, check out Chevy’s creative use of color on its display to highlight its commitment to going electric.

#6 – New EV Brands Coming to Market

There were some new faces at the auto show this year, VinFast and Indie EV both had products on display or on the test track.  Read more about them  and  These slick electric SUVs certainly were turning heads!

#5 – Not Just Four Wheelers

It’s understood: not everyone drives a car. So it was great to see the auto show embrace micro-mobility as part of the experiencer this year.  On-site were representatives of electric scooter and bicycle companies with a test track to actually ride some of these cool two-wheelers.

#4 – Signing the Going Electric Pledge

Seven out of ten show attendees are actually in the market to buy a car… and based on the number of Going Electric Pledges signed during the weekend, everyone is going electric.  Whether new or used, in 1 month or 5 years, electric vehicles are increasingly making it onto car buyers’ shopping lists. But, we can do more.  Right now EVs account for only about 3% of the US market share.   Check out the link here to learn more and sign the Pledge yourself!

#3 – Ride and Drives Galore

Since EVs have zero tailpipe emissions, for the first time ever, the auto show hosted an indoor track for test-rides as part of the show’s 250,000-square-foot EV display. Research shows just riding in an EV can increase an individual’s consideration rate by three times.  The participants’ smiles post-EV ride totally proved this statistic!

#2 – No Idling

Apparently, there is a New York City Administrative Code establishing that “no person should allow the engine of a motor vehicle to idle for longer than three minutes while parking, standing, or stopping.”  After a long day talking about zero tailpipe emissions EVs, we had to laugh at the irony!

And the #1 thing we loved at the New York International Auto Show…

 EV Ambassadors

There is an old saying in the auto industry, “the car is the star”.  However, I’d argue the EV owners were the highlight.  During the Ask an EV Owner panels, attendees heard first-hand from actual EV owners about the benefits of driving electric.  And did you know, word of mouth has the biggest impact on what vehicle people buy?  These panelists knew what they were talking about based on driving EVs: you could see the audience growing increasingly inspired.

We hope to see you at a future Ask an EV Owner event, either as a panelist or in the audience!  In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you, you can contact me at

— Stuart Gardner, Program Director, Electrify Your Ride


In predicting the future of climate change, we are the X factor

April 20, 2022

Over the past few decades, climate modelers have been busy tinkering with their datasets and scenarios to try to make sense of where we’re headed. For the most part, it looks daunting – greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, and at the current rate we’re unlikely to be able to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius this century (the stretch goal of the Paris Agreement). But most climate models are telling only part of the story – and that’s actually a good thing, especially for those of us who want to make a real difference on climate and clean energy. 

Current modeling relies on a few key solution areas when developing pathways for how we might (collectively) avoid the most devastating impacts of a heated planet. Most of these scenarios hinge on the critical role of “supply-side” technologies to bring down emissions – things like ramping up wind and solar power, finding more efficient ways to heat and cool buildings, and shifting to low-carbon ways of getting around, like electric vehicles. These are all good things, of course. (Some models also consider options like removing carbon from the atmosphere, which is less proven and more controversial.)

Fossil fuel companies (rightfully) get the lion’s share of the blame for the crisis we find ourselves in. They have rigged the energy and political system for years — including bold-faced lying to Congress for decades and showing no signs of stopping. However, our individual lifestyle choices have also contributed to this mess. With all the focus on techno-solutions, models overlook this key variable: us. Or more specifically, human choices and behavior.

In part, it’s our activities and lifestyles – and the infrastructure and systems that we’ve developed to support them – that contribute to carbon emissions. We need to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their actions, but it turns out that individuals can have an outsized impact in being part of the solution.

Our hidden human potential

A quick glance at the data reveals what’s at stake here. Studies show that around two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions are linked to household consumption – by our rapacious demand for everything from energy to the latest iPhone, from burgers to… all the rest. So while we unquestionably need to adopt new clean tech that will enable us to keep fossil fuels in the ground, changing how we live (i.e., our behavior) is also crucial. What we eat, where we live, how we travel, and what we do for fun all have an impact on our planet. And all of these individual choices add up — far more than we think. According to the United Nations, to achieve the goal of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, each person on Earth, on average, would need to be emitting around 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide a year by 2030, and only 0.7 tons by 2050. For comparison, the average American emits 16 tons annually, one of the highest rates in the world. Getting to a climate-compatible future would require reducing U.S. lifestyle emissions more than 90 percent.

Getting to a climate-compatible future would require reducing U.S. lifestyle emissions more than 90 percent.

Fortunately, our daily activities and choices are also our secret emissions-fighting weapon. Studies show that, individually, we can make the biggest difference on climate by cutting our emissions in food, housing, and transport – transitioning to plant-based diets, adopting clean energy by installing solar or participating in community solar programs, and choosing alternatives to personal car use and frequent flying. As individuals – and collectively, as families, neighborhoods, and societies — we can make decisions overnight to change our behavior – for example, to stop eating beef or to take a bus or train instead of a plane. Often, this can have quicker results than, say, waiting for our local electricity system to transition to renewables (which of course also needs to happen). 

Shifting the narrative

In taking climate action, we need to operate on multiple fronts, recognizing that while we have impacts as individuals, our decisions are also constrained by the systems that surround us. That’s why we need all hands on deck: we’ll have to shift our lifestyles as well as the systems that normalize how we live. But advocating for behavioral change is tricky: nobody wants to tell people what to do. So it’s no surprise that modelers, policymakers, and even environmental groups have tiptoed around lifestyle interventions as a climate solution. 

The thing is, we’ve been telling the story all wrong. Living more sustainable lives isn’t necessarily about “giving up” or “reducing” (unless you own five mega-yachts, but that’s a different story). It’s about finding opportunities for all of us to meet our needs and live healthy and happy lives, but in ways that use fewer resources and release fewer emissions. This requires thinking more broadly about our ways of living and asking: how can we enjoy many of the same pleasures and relationships, and feel the same sense of abundance, but with vastly lower carbon footprints?

The good news is that, compared to a decade ago, the narrative is already shifting. Nearly everywhere you look, people are embracing creative new approaches to living sustainably. More than 70 percent of Americans are now interested in buying electric cars (and they’re feeling good about it). This year, the UN is focusing World Environment Day (June 6) on the theme Only One Earth, highlighting the need for “transformative changes – through policies and our choices – towards cleaner, greener lifestyles.”

In even better news, a clean energy lifestyle brings a higher quality of life. The reduced pollution, cheaper prices, and better experience of clean energy all improve our lives in tangible ways.

Tweaking the models

Which brings us to why – just maybe – we can start to be more optimistic about climate modeling. Because modelers haven’t been telling the full story about the role of human behavior in shaping emissions, there’s a lot of potential for tweaking – potentially radically adjusting – our scenarios, to get to more informed (and perhaps more hopeful) outcomes. Rapid change in human behavior isn’t just possible, it can have real, measurable impacts – we only have to look back to the Covid-19 lockdowns for proof that behavior change (like driving less), at a massive scale and in a short time period, can lead to a dramatic drop in emissions. Popular lifestyle changes, like adopting an electric vehicle or rooftop solar, can go viral quickly as people influence family, friends, and peers to make the switch.


We only have to look back to the Covid-19 lockdowns for proof that behavior change (like driving less), at a massive scale and in a short time period, can lead to a dramatic drop in emissions.

Studies affirm this. For example, researchers with the University of California at Davis recently tweaked their modeling to explore how evolving social norms and behaviors could lead to potential tipping points in the uptake of clean energy, thereby accelerating emission cuts and changing the global emissions trajectory. Of the 100,000 possible futures generated in the model, nearly a third showed emissions falling rapidly due to positive feedback loops linked to human behavior, resulting in warming of only 1.8°C by 2100 – close to the targeted 1.5°C, even without the use of carbon removal technology. Overall, the study finds that by considering social factors, global warming could be around 0.5 degrees Celsius lower by 2100 compared with what was predicted following last year’s UN climate summit.

Encouragingly, the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released in early April, gives unprecedented coverage to the role of cultural and lifestyle change in reducing emissions, noting that incorporating human behavior into climate models “will expand and improve long-term mitigation scenarios.” The IPCC report highlights the value of modeling “low energy demand” scenarios that factor in more efficient resource use and adjustments in people’s consumption patterns, such as shorter showers, lower heating settings, reduced appliance use, teleworking, avoiding travel, shifts to public transit, uptake of less meat-intensive diets, and reducing food waste. Such interventions could result in additional gigaton-scale emission savings – “beyond the savings achieved in traditional technology-centric mitigation scenarios” – and at lower overall costs. 

Given the IPCC findings that lifestyle choices — when adopted at large — can make significant impact in reducing global emissions, and the UC Davis findings that individuals — when acting communally — can instate positive feedback loops that convince others to adopt these lifestyle changes, it is clear that individual actions matter — a lot. Your sphere of influence is larger than you think it is, and when your actions help inspire collective action, bigger pieces fall into place—both politically and in your local community. Alice Larkin of the University of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research says “while governments do need to take tough action, they derive their courage to do so from the conduct of citizens.”

Lifestyle interventions aren’t just “another area to consider” in addressing the climate crisis. They’re critical to advancing our climate and sustainability goals — here’s the kicker: in combination with structural changes and political action that enable us to make low-carbon choices. 

So yes, there is a (really big) role for individuals to play in the climate and clean energy movement. In fact we need individuals to adopt a lifestyle that aligns with their values and then talk about it — to their friends, families, employers, and legislators. We need a secret weapon in the fight against climate change, and it turns out it’s the person reading this.


EVs: Won’t the market take it from here?

April 13, 2022

Electric vehicles seem to be having their moment. Seven out of nine star-studded car commercials during this year’s Super Bowl advertised EVs. Sales of EVs in 2021 soared even as the auto industry struggled to produce gas-powered cars. And major automakers have committed to adding more EVs to their fleets over the next decade.  

These are promising signs. The Biden Administration set a goal to ensure that half of all new cars sold in 2030 are zero-emissions cars. The Rocky Mountain Institute estimates that the total EVs on U.S. roads will need to number 40 to 50 million by 2030 in order to align with the country’s climate goals. With all of this momentum, the market will surely take it from here and get us there, won’t it? We don’t need subsidies anymore nor do we need to keep spreading the word about why we need an EV revolution, right? 


The truth is the market will not take it from here alone. Automakers are still making and selling more gas-powered cars than they are battery-powered EVs. Electric cars make up less than 1% of the 250 million cars, SUVs, and light-duty trucks on the road today in the United States. And automakers still spend way more money advertising combustion-engine cars than they do on advertising EVs. In 2021, the auto industry spent $248 million on advertising EVs and plug-in hybrids compared to the $3.1 BILLION (with a B) it spent on traditional gas-powered cars. 

Most Americans don’t even know that some automakers make EVs. Even in California, which has the largest electric car market in the country, awareness of EVs remains low. Let’s not forget about the active push against policies that promote electric vehicles around the country. Some legislators in Virginia, for example, tried to repeal clean car standards just this year.

So while it may seem as if EV awareness and adoption are growing, it’s not growing as rapidly as we need it to.  The decisive decade is no longer a decade. The urgency of the climate crisis demands that we move away from our dependence on fossil fuels in the next eight years before the changes cause irreversible harm. We don’t have time to wait for a slow adoption of EVs.

To drive a true EV revolution, we need to overcome remaining challenges, from affordability to infrastructure. We all have unique roles to play to solve these hurdles.

The collective work ahead

According to Pew Research Center, roughly 67% of Americans say that electric cars and trucks are better for the environment compared with gas-powered vehicles. But 66% of Americans also perceive electric vehicles to be more expensive. These days with a growing number of options, the price of EVs is narrowing and comparable to the price of many gas-powered cars. 

Low-income households spend a larger percentage of their income on transportation costs and are affected disproportionately by car pollution. They stand to benefit the most from the clean air and from saving money on transportation. 

And governments at all levels – local, state, and federal – still have a major role to play in breaking down these barriers. They need to build on clean car standards and continue to offer tax credits and other incentives to make EVs accessible and affordable to more people beyond those who earn middle to high incomes.

This is how other countries around the world have gotten ahead of the United States with more EVs on their roads. Governments around the world have put in place policies and offered massive subsidies that encourage the switch to electric vehicles. 

China, for example, is planning to cut back its subsidies but is requiring carmakers to sell a certain percentage of electric vehicles or face monetary penalties. European countries, such as France and Spain, are also offering deep subsidies and tax credits to encourage people to replace their old gas-powered cars with EVs.

Governments, utilities, and power generators also need to deeply invest in building a robust charging network and modernizing the energy grid. The Biden Administration plans to use $5 billion from the infrastructure law to build a network of EV chargers. And many utility companies already offer cash rebates so that EV owners can install level 2 chargers at home. Others offer rewards programs for charging EVs during off-peak hours. This kind of support needs to continue.

Another perceived hurdle to overcome is people’s fear about running out of battery power. The truth is that almost all EV’s on the market today offer more than 250 miles of range, and the average American only drives 39 miles per day—that means you could make it through your entire work week without needing a charge. Charging an EV can be much easier than filling up a gasoline-powered car as the majority of charging happens at home. And battery technology continues to improve. The range of EVs has increased 15% over the last few years, and it’s bound to keep increasing. The auto industry plans to invest half a trillion dollars in EVs and batteries. 

This is where nonprofit advocacy organizations like us come in. We need to continue raising awareness about EVs, addressing misconceptions, and advocating for their widespread adoption through education campaigns.  

How you can help

While most Americans are very concerned about climate change, they aren’t driving like it. Personal cars make up 60% of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions – that’s one-third of all emissions contributing to climate change. Last year alone, fifteen million Americans bought a new car or truck and only 3% of those were fully electric. 

If you are serious about doing something about climate change, then switching to an electric car, especially if you were already planning to buy a new car, is something you can do today to make a difference. If you can’t purchase a car now, take the pledge to make the next car you do purchase an electric one.

If you already own an EV, share your experience with family, friends and co-workers. Word-of-mouth has the biggest impact on what vehicle people buy (yes, even more than those fancy Super Bowl ads). Tell them about which federal and state incentives you took advantage of and how much money you expect to save. Give them a lift in your EV and show them how fun and safe they are to drive. Even just riding in the passenger seat of an electric vehicle makes someone three times more likely to consider purchasing one in the future.

Importantly, tell your legislature to continue to offer incentives and pass policies that promote an EV revolution (and protect the policies that already are in place). Being a clean energy voter also means being a clean car voter.

In the end, this is still an “all-hands-on-deck” effort to get more electric vehicles on the road, and more gas-guzzling polluting cars off the road. We should capitalize on the momentum that EVs are having to propel them into a full-throated adoption nationwide.


The Climate Culture Shift

April 6, 2022

If you watched the recent Netflix release Don’t Look Up, it probably got you thinking about climate change and how we’ve been relating to it—and that’s the point. The movie is the latest example of cultural strategy at work for positive social change. 

What’s cultural strategy, you ask? Here’s one definition: “Cultural strategy is a field of practice that centers artists, storytellers, media makers and cultural influencers as agents of social change.”

This idea is why organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council are turning to Hollywood to bring real storytelling into the issue of climate change beyond apocalyptic scenarios. NRDC is doing this, its Director of Content Partnerships told Variety, because Hollywood “has tremendous power to change culture norms.” The goal: To make climate not just a plot point but a part of the conversation in daily life.

Looking up

It’s not just Hollywood, though. This awakening has been playing out in many aspects of culture in recent years. Songs like “Feels Like Summer” by Childish Gambino and several others refer to the current crisis. Climate activist Greta Thunberg has become an inspiration and a provocateur to many, sparking conversations on social media. And Pope Francis in 2015 dedicated the first encyclical to the environment.

But not everything in the push for climate awareness has to be hyperconscious and gloomy. Humor and casual conversations can be incredibly effective communication tools. Witness the hilarious “Electric for All” campaign from the nonprofit group Veloz that features Arnold Schwarzenegger going undercover as a gasoline-loving car salesman, his pitch going over like a lead balloon with unsuspecting customers. A video on YouTube with nearly a million views illustrates the scale of renewable energy with a series of bike stunts on wind turbines. Content like this can be our best shot at action, because the more people talk about climate change (and talk about it in a helpful way) the better chance we have to inspire action.

Comedians are getting in on this, too: Check out our own Comedians Conquering Climate Change podcast and look out for comedy events from groups like the Dogwood Alliance  — There’s Nothing Funny About Climate Change Comedy Tour — and Inside the Greenhouse.

Already, the number of people who deny or doubt the fact of climate change in Yale University surveys continues to go down, while a growing number of us are feeling alarmed. And online, people are seeing and talking about climate-related issues significantly more in recent years. Last fall’s COP26 conference saw 20 times more coverage than the previous summit, according to media monitoring platform NewsWhip. In 2019, NewsWhip has also noted, more articles were written about climate-related issues than any other year, and engagement with those articles on social media dwarfed previous years. 

These are signs of shifting norms, and cultural strategy can help accelerate this shift. It’s happened before. Dozens of events over the past few decades, from Ellen DeGeneres coming out and having her own wildly popular talk show to Macklemore’s hit “Same Love” have resulted in strides for marriage equality, as noted in the cultural strategy guide Making Waves. Public opinion favoring legal gay marriage went from 27% in 1996 to 53% in 2013, when the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down

Another example: Logic’s song about suicidal thoughts, “1-800-273-8255,” released in 2017, may have saved hundreds of lives, according to a study released in 2021. How? More people called the number in the song’s title, which is the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Amplify the shift

We need a shift to transform mounting cultural awareness about the climate crisis into solutions. And we still need to work on the awareness part, especially in schools: Research shows climate change education in many middle schools and high schools is severely lacking.

“We as a society can only fully address climate change when it is reflected in our deepest values about who we are and how we should live,” writes Andrew Hoffman, a professor of sustainable enterprise at Michigan University.

All of us have the opportunity to reevaluate what we value most and seek new ways to align with that—not just with words but actions. We can make changes at home, certainly, to quit fossil fuels and reduce waste. We can also support a clean energy transition driven by people power. We can be clean energy voters who also ask for change from our leaders, business, and schools.

On our own, we can also share lighthearted and thought-provoking cultural moments that reflect both awareness and hope, whether it’s a funny video, an interesting podcast, or some striking “activism.” We at Generation180 lean on storytelling with long-form illustrations, videos, and cartoons to make energy issues more accessible. Many examples of cultural strategy have an important side benefit: They transcend barriers like language and economic status.

“Imagine if, instead of PDFs and newspaper-long reads, we shared the latest science through comic books, short stories, or virtual games,” writes climate justice activist Mitzi Jonelle Tan.  “Making climate activism accessible is about making sure that everyone can understand it.”


Funny and Climate Curious? This Cohort is for you!

April 1, 2022

Building a New Network of Climate Comedians

Created by Generation180 and the Center for Media & Social Impact’s GoodLaugh Initiative

Introducing the Climate Comedy Cohort

The Climate Comedy Cohort is an unprecedented network of comedians coming together to learn, create hilarious new comedy informed by the hottest climate science, and take their humor on the road in a series of live shows, videos, and out-of-the-box content. Co-created and directed by Generation180 and the Center for Media & Social Impact’s GoodLaugh initiative, the Climate Comedy Cohort brings together diverse comedians from around the country to flip the script on the way we think about climate change. The ultimate aim: to leverage humor as a strategy to change the climate narrative from doom and gloom to “we’ve got this!”—and shift how people see their role in clean energy.

Each comedian selected will be awarded $5,000 and have the opportunity to participate in a friendly pitch competition for up to $20,000 of production funding toward a project they develop during the program. (See terms and conditions)

Apply to be a fellow now, or learn more about the program below.


How It Works

The Climate Comedy Cohort is a 6-month fellowship and comedy contest that identifies a small group of talented and diverse comedians from around the country to flip the script on the way we think about climate change. Our cohort will focus on creating original comedy and engage in conversations with climate and comedy experts and organizations, creative brainstorms and peer-to-peer ideation.

The educational program period will culminate in a friendly pitch competition where the winning team(s) or cohort member receives a production agreement and up to $20,000 towards making their project a reality. In addition, the comedians within the Climate Comedy Cohort will tour with a live comedy show (with a celebrity headliner) in select states. And finally, all cohort members will be featured in a social media takeover (or equivalent) on a high-profile distribution platform.

And to be clear, we take the comedy part really seriously. If it’s not hilarious, it doesn’t work. That’s why the Climate Comedy Cohort will be creatively led by a group of comedy writers, performers, and producers who have been all over television, popular podcasts, comedy clubs and festivals, and more. The comedy team has been in places like The Tonight Show, TruTv, VICELAND, Comedy Central, Spotify Original Podcast, Bonnaroo. We’ve worked on TV shows, feature films, web series, comedy-focused public engagement campaigns, and we’ve won stand up competitions and more.

Apply now to join the cohort.


Why Comedy and Climate Change?

Research across disciplines shows that comedy is uniquely persuasive and attention-getting when it comes to serious issues like the climate crisis. At the same time, we know there’s a fleet of diverse and passionate comedy writers and performers prepared to use their skills to improve the state of the globe. Thus far, comedy is a vastly untapped resource. It’s time to change the story.

The Challenge and Opportunity

Climate solutions and clean energy technologies are ready for mass adoption, but people are dismayed by climate gloom and doom, and widespread clean energy action isn’t happening fast enough. Should we be surprised that many of us are too freaked out to engage? Not really, especially if we know anything about the powerful role of positive emotion and simple common-sense messages for motivating action and change.

And this is where comedy comes in, to play a role it’s not yet played in the climate crisis: for hope and optimism and positive engagement, not satirical punches at climate denialism or scary messages. Here’s the big question: When we invite comedians to the crisis in a new way, what’s possible? We developed the Climate Comedy Cohort to find out.

The Team

Generation180 is a national nonprofit working to inspire and equip people to take action on clean energy. We are working to bring about a widespread cultural shift in how people get their energy, focusing on high-impact climate solutions like solar and electric vehicles. The climate comedy cohort is the newest initiative from Generation180 to use humor and creative communications to educate and inspire individuals to take action in their communities, with their shopping decisions, and at the voting booth. This includes our popular Flip The Script newsletter, original illustrations, and podcast Comedians Conquering Climate Change.

GoodLaugh is a comedy production engine and knowledge lab that brings together the most talented minds in comedy, social justice, entertainment, and philanthropy to collaborate and create comedy and research to help repair the world and build a more just, equitable future. As a program of the Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI) at American University, GoodLaugh facilitates comedy production, studies, and convenings with social justice at the core. By making new comedy, distributing new knowledge and understanding, and bringing together unlikely players to leverage humor for social good, GoodLaugh believes that “laughing in the face of injustice” can solve, well, almost anything.

The Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI), based at American University’s School of Communication, is a creative innovation lab and research center that creates, studies, and showcases media for equity, social change, and social justice. We are a “think and do” organization: In collaboration with leading social justice organizations and movement leaders, entertainment media companies, and philanthropy, we facilitate and produce research, convenings, and creative media that bolsters social change and progress around issues of racism and racial violence, environmental justice, gender equity, and other pressing societal challenges.