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Bob Odenkirk, Errol Morris team up for a series of cute, terrifying climate change PSAs

Screenshot: YouTube

It’s time to get creative about the climate change crisis. It’s an “all hands on deck” situation at the moment, drawing in all kinds of people to form unlikely partnerships to raise the call to action. Take, for instance, this series of cute, terrifying PSAs courtesy of comedian-actor Bob Odenkirk and legendary filmmaker Errol Morris.

In a partnership with the Institute for the Future, the acclaimed documentarian and actor teamed up for a series of absurd, amusing, and thoroughly depressing commercials advertising their Global Meltdown campaign. It’s the kind of stuff one would expect from an award-winning artist known for his explorations power, politics, and cultural absurdity, along with the guy who directed The Thin Blue Line. (We kid.)

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The first video can be found below, with another eight so far featured on the official YouTube page.

Per Errol Morris’ artist statement:

I have never had any trouble believing in climate change, global warming, or whatever you want to call it. The scientific evidence is overwhelming. Galileo famously replied to Archbishop Piccolomini (or some other Vatican prelate), “And yet it moves.” Today we could just as well say, “And yet it changes.” But what to do about it? Logic rarely convinces anybody of anything. Climate change has become yet another vehicle for political polarization. If Al Gore said the Earth was round there would be political opposition insisting that the Earth was flat. It’s all so preposterous, so contemptible.

I’ve created nineteen thirty-second spots that profile a character I created: Admiral Horatio Horntower. He’s an admiral of a fleet of one and perhaps the last man on Earth. Hopefully it captures the absurdity and the desperation of our current situation. No pie graphs, no PowerPoint—just a blithering idiot played by one of my favorite actors, Bob Odenkirk.

Here’s hoping Admiral Horntower and his stalwart director friend will finally get through to some of the jackasses on Capitol Hill, although like the cute animated polar animals in the video series, we aren’t holding our breath.

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Andrew Paul

Andrew Paul's work is recently featured by Rolling Stone, GQ, The Forward, and The Believer, as well as McSweeney's Internet Tendency and TNY's Daily Shouts.