A comedian and a scientist walk into a bar…

August 31, 2022

Have you ever laughed at a moment when you shouldn’t be laughing — seeing someone trip, a work presentation, or Zoom meeting?

Laughing at a problem can help make a problem seem less intimidating, and even more approachable. Getting people to hear and talk and think more about climate is one of the necessary steps to making lifestyle and systemic changes possible; humor is a perfect way to initiate the climate conversation.

So, when we invite comedians to help us look at the climate crisis using humor, what’s possible? Together with our partners at American University’s Center for Media and Social Impact, we developed the Climate Comedy Cohort to find out.

Enter: The Climate Comedy Cohort

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The Cohort is an unprecedented network of comedians who are coming together to learn, create new comedy informed by the hottest climate science, and take their work on the road in a series of live shows and short-form video content. All of this is designed to inspire daily, meaningful choices each one of us can make to support the planet.

Co-created and directed by Generation180 and the Center for Media & Social Impact’s GoodLaugh initiative, the Climate Comedy Cohort brings together 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.

The diverse group of CCC fellows—selected from a pool of 118 applicants from 10 states and three countries—all seek to amplify climate change solutions or refocus on environmental issues in their creative work. From the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, BET, and Comedy Central, to YouTube and TikTok, these comedians are some of the best. To learn more about each of the fellows, visit the cohort website.

The Climate Comedy Cohort is 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.

Earlier this summer, our nine comedian fellows learned from climate and clean energy experts, from Niklas Hagelberg from the United Nations, clean energy journalist David Roberts, activist Layel Camargo, and more) to help inform new, funny content and shift the climate conversation to make science more accessible.

The cohort during our Think Tank session with cultural strategist, artist, and founder of Shelterwood Collective, Layel Camargo.

The cohort concludes with a live comedy show tour (with a celebrity headliner) in Los Angeles, Mason City, IL, and Atlanta, October 2022. (Psst—near any of these cities? Sign up here for updates on when tickets go live!)

The cohort also involved a pitch competition. After much deliberation, we are thrilled to be awarding the Tree Huggers $20,000 towards making their idea, a comedy tour powered by electric vehicles, a reality. 

So, why comedy?

With a daily bombardment of doomsday headlines, it can be easy to feel stuck about the climate crisis. In fact, this type of global catastrophe narrative is counterproductive—it can actually feel paralyzing, resulting in no action taken at all.

70% percent of U.S. adults want to take action on climate change, but don’t know where to start. Studies show that narratives that rely heavily on scientific language and facts have failed to engage large audiences, and that gloomy interpretations actually prevent action. As more communities across the U.S. experience first-hand the extreme effects of the climate crisis, we need creative approaches to empower everyone to feel that their personal action makes an impact. Bringing humor into the conversation is exactly what we need right now to help shift hearts and minds. Comedy has a unique opportunity to play a role it has not yet played in the climate crisis: for hope and optimism and positive engagement, not scary messages.

Humor isn’t simply a way to temporarily distract us from reality. It has the power to effectively connect people, information, ideas, and new ways of thinking/acting—that’s why we stepped in. 

And you can, too.

Interested in more climate humor? Sign up for a weekly dose of climate humor in your inbox.


How to cope with eco-anxiety

August 24, 2022

Gen180’s Designer, Bri Graves, wrote this piece for us to share her strategies for coping with the stress of climate change.

My little sister and I are 17 years apart in age. I’m like the cool aunt that swings by with gifts and games, while my parents take on the daily tasks of raising her. That being said, we as adults all share the burden of thinking about her future. Having her in my life has made me think of the future of our home—earth—in a deeply personal and emotional way.

In some ways, I feel a sense of relief now that the most prominent piece of climate legislation in a generation isn’t just being talked about, but finally becoming action. The Inflation Reduction Act is a 10-year investment in averting the worst of what we anticipate climate change to look like. However, anticipating the worst is a strange outlook to have and I know millions of other Millennials feel the same. 

Facing climate change is just one of many global (and personal) crises we are all navigating while attempting to fully live every day.

“Eco-anxiety” is the new term for this widespread fear of the planet’s future, and it can be debilitating. The problem isn’t going away tomorrow, so I rounded up some tools and strategies to cope with it.

What is eco-anxiety, and who does it affect?

The American Psychological Association defines it as a “chronic fear of environmental doom.”

A Gallup poll showed that 70% of 18 to 34 year-olds “worry a great deal/fair amount about global warming,” while just 56% of those 55 and older had the same level of worry. A similar poll, which surveyed 10,000 young people in 10 different countries, found that nearly half of respondents believe “their feelings about climate change negatively affected their daily life and functioning.”

Many of these anxious young people (AKA me), are resorting to therapy for relief.

Dr. Thomas Doherty, a psychologist who specializes in climate, was one of the few therapists who recognized how a bleak environmental future could negatively affect people’s psyches. His area of expertise is in such high demand that he’s built his own practice to help those suffering from eco-anxiety. Many of his clients report frustrations with other therapists who dismiss their climate worries and advise them to focus on themselves instead.

Besides a pervasive sense of “environmental doom,” there are big life questions that people are struggling to answer in the face of an uncertain future.

Am I complicit in climate change if I travel by car or plane? Should I avoid living in coastal cities due to flood risks?

A common ingredient in the eco-anxiety stew is a healthy dose of guilt. Many recognize that everyday activities like driving to work or eating red meat are worsening the problem, and feel shame for not being able to fully eliminate their carbon footprints.

It’s actually fossil fuel conglomerates that triggered the shift in blame from companies to consumers. British Petroleum (BP), one of the biggest oil companies in the world, hired a PR firm in the 2000s to promote the idea that individuals are to be blamed for climate change, not big oil companies. Thus, the concept of a “carbon footprint” was born, and the company set up a footprint calculator so consumers could see just how much damage they were responsible for.

I’m not trying to say here that the idea of a carbon footprint should be thrown out the window, but you shouldn’t have to entirely give up traveling while fossil fuel companies continue to make billions with far greater planetary impacts. Making more informed travel decisions (ie., fly less, take the train or bus over flying, carpool) is a great place to start.

The decision of where to live in a changing climate also is a tricky one. The University of Maryland has a website that estimates what the climate of various cities will look like in 60 years. Unfortunately, cities like Miami are at high risk for frequent flooding in the future and I worry about my loved ones there. I think about where my parents are going to retire with climate projections and longevity in mind.

What about having kids? I always thought that skipping this step was the most impactful climate decision I could make.

My generation is having second thoughts about bringing more people into a rapidly-worsening environment. Eleven percent of childless adults point to climate change as a “major reason” for why they don’t currently have children. More people means more emissions, the logic goes.

But is that really the case? Scientist Kimberly Nicholas doesn’t think so. She doesn’t deny that having fewer kids could reduce our collective carbon footprint, but thinks that couples that want to start a family shouldn’t hesitate to do so.

We only have a few more years to avert the worst impacts of climate change, and the timeframe for when babies will become significant carbon emitters is much longer than this. Many studies show astronomical climate impacts from having children, but these studies largely ignore changes in government policy in the future, which are highly likely.

Plus, children raised in an environmentally-conscious household could grow up to be government leaders, or entrepreneurs, or breakthrough scientists. So, if you want to start a family, do it! But if the feeling still nags at you, and if adoption is on the table, there already are lots of children that need a home.

Strategies for coping

There are several strategies that therapists like Dr. Doherty recommend to cope with eco-anxiety:

  • Focus on resilience. When anxiety has us in its vice grip, focusing that energy on growing more resilient can be a relief. As medical and mental health practitioners Cook-Shonkoff and Tummala explain:

“Think about personal resilience like a rubber band: If you stretch it a reasonable amount, it naturally springs back to its original form when released. But if you keep stretching, it will snap. With the climate crisis here, we must choose to stretch ourselves, pulling on our resilience as much as we can.”

  • Look to groups like the Climate Psychology Alliance and the Good Grief Network for support. They focus on alleviating eco-distress. Connecting with others who have similar feelings can be comforting.
  • Acknowledge difficult emotions, and give them space to breathe. Emotions can be like whack-a-mole—if you try to keep pushing them down, they’ll just reappear later. Meditation has gone mainstream and is a wonderful way to clear and open your mind. If sitting in Lotus position for long periods of time isn’t for you, a simple walk around the block or a 10 minute journaling session works, too. Try these exercises, track what works for you, and develop your catered-to-you routine.
  • Schedule a “worry break” into your day. During this time, give yourself space to identify your fears of the future, and feel them fully—accepting emotions and can actually help you process them, especially painful emotions like fear and anger, more quickly.

Acknowledging how eco-anxiety affects us isn’t a sign of defeat for yourself or the planet. Remember what flight attendants tell us before takeoff—be sure to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs.

One of the best ways to combat anxiety is to take direct action.  Joining Generation180 has alleviated much of my climate-anxiety by giving me purpose and a voice in the movement. Check out the many ways you can help accelerate the transition to clean energy—trust me, it will help.


The ten best things about being an EV owner

August 17, 2022

It’s no secret that the most effective messengers and advocates for electric cars are electric vehicle owners themselves. They drive awareness and adoption in their neighborhoods, communities, and networks. If you’re curious about making the switch to an EV, get inspired by an existing EV owner!

As we eagerly await the best week for EVs of the year—just 26 days left until National Drive Electric Week— we conducted an informal survey of EV owners to ask them their favorite part about owning and driving an EV. Check out their answers below and learn about the multitude of benefits of EV ownership.

Some of the answers may surprise you—they surprised us, too!

EVs consume about one third the energy as a similar ICE vehicle, and depending on the energy mix from the electric COOP, about half of that energy is from non-fossil fuel sources.  In the future, EVs will become even cleaner.  You can make your own power at home with solar, and reduce the fossil fuel component to zero. Of the many advantages of EV driving, that’s my favorite.

Mark B., Clinton, TN

The joy of driving an EV is well documented but one of my favorite aspects is talking to strangers who have dozens of questions and are genuinely interested in how “this new technology” works in day to day life. I meet a lot of nice people and have fun telling them and also pulling pranks on them. Pranks such as “do you want to see the engine?” …and then opening the front trunk to reveal only another storage area!

Roger V., Charlottesville, VA

The best thing about my EV is that it runs on the sun.  We have solar at our home so I charge up on sunny days and have the benefit of knowing that my car is powered by 100% clean energy.

Sara R., Amherst, MA

The best thing about owning an EV is “filling up” each night for the equivalent of $1/gallon and starting each day with a “full tank”.

Dan H., Birchwood, WI

When passing gas stations, feeling good about independence and freedom from excess profits going to oil companies and their expansions thwarting mitigation of climate change.

George R., Boston, MA

The best thing about driving an EV is how fun it is to drive.  I bought a used 2015 Ford Focus Electric and it’s the best driving car I’ve ever owned.  I look forward to driving it every time I need to go somewhere.

Alexis S., Falls Church, VA

When you have an electric car, the best thing is to have a charger at home, because every time when you go home, you just plug it in and every time when you leave the house, you are fully charged and it only costs a few dollars.

Julian C., New York, NY

There are several things I enjoy about driving an EV. First, they are incredibly quiet; the only noise is from the tires on the road. Second, the acceleration is incredible. You feel like you truly have command of the vehicle and can adapt to any traffic conditions. I also enjoy the savings realized from not burning gasoline now that prices have shot up. It is also a pleasure refueling in my own garage and not having to visit a gasoline station. Finally, just knowing that I can travel without adding pollution to the air provides a deep feeling of satisfaction.

Warren R., Mishawaka, IN

There are so many great things about owning an EV! When I looked at all the new cars on the market, the new EVs just looked cooler than the others. I can tell this is the car of the future, so why buy something that will be outdated soon? I am one of those people who always forgets how long it’s been since I’ve changed my oil. PROBLEM SOLVED. I don’t have oil. Or any other pesky maintenance issues with an EV. Plus, plugging in at home is so easy and inexpensive. Everyone is complaining about gas prices but I’m all set with inexpensive and easy fueling.

Brooke B., Richmond, VA

In 2017, I bought my first electric vehicle after experiencing my grandparents’ Nissan LEAF who are very conscientious about their environmental impact and were my inspiration. Today, everyone in my family drives one—we are three generations old with six EVs. Both my sisters’ first cars were plug-in vehicles, and any of our childrens’ certainly will be, too.

Leah T., New Orleans, LA

Fun to drive, supporting energy independence, saving money on maintenance, meeting new people—the list goes on and on. There are so many great reasons to make your next car an EV.

Ready to take the pledge? Head here!

Still have questions? Find out when you should buy an EV, check out our EV resource library, or learn the first steps to take if you’re ready to buy an EV.


Battery storage is a key pillar of our clean energy future

August 10, 2022

ICYMI, batteries are the new black when it comes to clean energy. Power grids across the country are stressed by summer heat waves that are baking most American cities. What’s cushioning against rolling blackouts and keeping the AC humming is battery storage. No, not the Duracel kind, but the kind that sits under the hood of your nearest Chevy Bolt or is standing by to power your home or local hospital in the event of a blackout.

By 2025, 13 battery factories are expected to be in operation across the U.S. Global battery storage brands like Panasonic Energy, Samsung, and LG Energy Solutions are choosing to build new gigafactories in Nevada, Tennessee, and Kansas, with more factory announcements on deck. Additionally, U.S. car makers are building battery plants largely located in the American Southeast to meet the anticipated 22 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2030. EVs may be the popular focus for sourcing and building batteries in the U.S., but there are many other ways batteries are ushering in our clean energy future. 

Solar installations are climbing in number throughout the United States and increasingly reliant on battery storage. When the sun beams down on a home, business, or other solar installation, a large amount of energy is generated. Some of that juice might get used immediately, but without an efficient storage system in place, any surplus power tends to be wasted. 

On a local scale, excess power can now be stored in power banks built into a home or business. Any energy that isn’t immediately used is funneled into batteries that hold the charge until it is needed. Some systems are designed to provide power uniformly, day and night, while others have added backup capabilities that save energy for emergency situations. 

For a single-family home or small business, a solar + storage system eliminates the need for a gas-powered generator for backup power. A home or business could become independent of the energy grid entirely, given adequate solar power generation and sufficient battery storage solutions. 

Energy Resilience is Contagious

Clean energy is contagious (no mask required)

What if instead of a single home benefiting from battery storage, an entire community could reap the rewards? It’s already happening across the United States and abroad, with schools and hospitals being the first to embrace solar power storage on a scale that can make a real difference. 

In some cases, these institutions act as emergency centers in their communities, providing power and stability during outages and other disruptions. This largely reduces their reliance on fossil fuels to provide backup power via generators, which is a big win for both their wallets and the planet. 

Tesla powerwalls are being used in California during wildfire-caused blackouts. The new Ford F-150 Lightning is touted to power your home during a power shutoff and large U.S. cities like Miami and Los Angeles are reaping the double rewards of an electric bus fleet that runs on clean energy, doesn’t emit pollution, and is designed to support climate resiliency risks. Essential public services, like schools and hospitals across the country, are using batteries to provide safe, resilient community spaces when needed.

At Hopewell Valley Central High school in New Jersey, a large rooftop solar array and a larger parking lot solar canopy generate 876 kilowatts of power, meeting the school’s energy needs and charging a one-megawatt, 500kWh lithium-ion battery system. In the event of a widespread power outage, the school becomes a climate-controlled lifeline for the community, with full lighting and food refrigeration. 

In places like Santa Barbara, California, schools are becoming the centerpiece of energy resilient communities, with solar + storage microgrids at a half dozen locations, for a combined 6 MWh of energy storage. These new projects are especially important in places like California that, in recent years, have dealt with the devastating effects of wildfires. By placing energy storage in areas with a low risk of fire spread, they can serve as safe havens and community shelters as extreme weather events continue. 

An even more impressive project is underway in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Atrisco Heritage Academy High School is getting a massive solar makeover, with over 2,200 solar panels and a Tesla Megapack two battery storage system with a capacity of 2,884 kWh. The school, which is the largest in the state, will be well-equipped as a regional power shelter, making it the go-to for community care in a future emergency. 

Hospitals are another place where solar + storage is a gamechanger. In Hawaii, Kona Community Hospital is using battery storage to keep its lights on and doors open to those in need during hurricanes and other natural disasters. The next time a severe storm rolls through and wipes out their power, their battery storage system provide backup power, ensuring that they can continue to offer vital services to their patients. 

Better Technology, Lower Costs

The trend toward battery storage is being driven by a number of factors. First, the cost of high-capacity batteries has dropped dramatically in recent years, making them more affordable for both businesses and homeowners. Battery storage costs are expected to keep declining rapidly for the next decade before leveling out, according to a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 

Projects that were once cost-prohibitive are now being funded more easily by public and private investment. In some cases, schools and hospitals can be equipped with solar+storage with no upfront cost by leveraging third-party financing, such as through a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a local energy company. Batteries have also become much more efficient. Simply transitioning to a lithium-ion battery that converts electrical energy into chemical energy allows more energy storage than a traditional lead acid battery.

Powering the Future

While solar has seen exponential growth for over a decade, new battery storage installations are expected to spike beginning in 2022. Overall, 60 percent of the estimated 85 gigawatt increase in U.S. power grid capacity in 2022 and 2023 is expected to come from new solar and battery storage projects, with wind power contributing a further 18 percent and fossil fuels making up the remainder. 

As the electric grid becomes more decentralized, with more schools, communities, and homeowners turning to clean power, the need for energy storage will only increase. The energy storage industry is preparing to meet this demand as it  grows in both size and lobbying power

With falling prices, increasing efficiency, and advances in technology, more businesses and homeowners are pairing solar with battery storage.  This pairing is the perfect match to deliver the reliability and stability that the grid of a clean energy future demands.


The top five clean energy playlists and podcasts for your summer road trip

August 3, 2022

It’s August. We’re in the dog days of summer. This is the month Europeans take their vacations, so why not embrace that energy while you finally take that long road trip you’ve been putting off (because flight cancellations, snafus, and delays are very real). Keep your eyes on the road and head brimming full of clean energy and climate grooves (and ideas) by cueing up our curated list of climate podcasts and playlists. 


  1. Outdoor Party Jams
  2. Clean Energy Vibes
  3. Canary Media’s Energy & Climate Compilation
  4. Cathedral Grooves Part 1 
  5. Summer 2022


How to save a planet Podcast Art

How to Save a Planet – Climate change. We know. It can feel too overwhelming. But what if there was a show about climate change that left you feeling… energized? One so filled with possibility that you actually wanted to listen? We love tuning in with journalist Alex Blumberg and a crew of climate nerds, as they deliver smart, inspiring stories about the mess we’re in and how we can get ourselves out of it.

Volts Podcast Art

Volts – It’s time to leave fossil fuels behind and Volts makes the case for doing so. Host David Roberts has been reporting on and explaining clean-energy topics for almost 20 years, and loves talking to politicians, analysts, innovators, and activists about the latest progress in the world’s most important fight for a clean energy future. 

Drilled podcast art

Drilled – Are you a true-crime junkie? Have you never missed an episode of Serial? Then here’s the podcast for you. Drilled is the perfect marriage of true-crime and climate, hosted and reported by award-winning investigative journalist Amy Westervelt.

Global Weirding Art

Global Weirding with Katherine Hayhoe – In this series, the hosts tackle climate issues head on. Why do scientists say that humans are causing climate change, while many politicians say exactly the opposite? Does fixing climate mean we have to shut down the economy? Why are the Pope and the National Association of Evangelicals piling on? Why do climate scientists get so much hate mail? Money and politics, God and global warming, every topic we avoid in polite conversation… they go there!

Broken Ground Podcast Art

Broken Ground – Just around the corner from Gen180’s HQ in Charlottesville, Virginia is our neighbor, the Southern Environmental Law Center. Their podcast digs up environmental stories across the American South. The latest season, out now, focuses on the grassroots organizing that led to the cancellation of the Byhalia Pipeline, a crude oil pipeline project that would have continued an unjust pattern of dumping disproportionate amounts of polluting infrastructure in South Memphis.

Bonus recommendation!

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our favorite climate podcast (okay fine, we might be just a tad biased). 

ComediansConquering Climate Change Podcast Art

Comedians Conquering Climate Change – The funniest, friendliest, and shortest podcast addressing today’s critical climate and clean energy topics. Laugh along with comedian, writer, and teacher Esteban Gast as he enlists the help of fellow comedians to single-handedly save the planet.