Toward the end of the 2010s, it seemed the West was ready to pay full attention to the climate crisis. For me this was particularly highlighted in British media, which had finally sided fully with science as opposed to fossil-fuelled denial. However, the pandemic made this success incredibly short-lived as lockdown pushed most of us deep into technology. The effect was not only a fragmenting of attention and information, but also a disintegration within the environmental movement. As we are now post-pandemic, my question is whether we can regain a cultural consensus against CO2 once more, and can it be achieved  by the end of the decade?

After our Hollywood film Closure Cafe, I am teaming up with the writer A. Pandit for our debut musical on this precise topic, currently titled Snowflakes in SoCal. Our musical is inspired by an enviro-music competition (Earth 3-2-1), where two contestants from diverse US states unite to bring down the Big Tech host. These are what we see as today’s dominating corporate hypocrites, who claim to go ‘carbon neutral’ this decade whilst backing growth innovations. These include the likes of Bitcoin, VR as well as AI,  who continue to receive large scale funding no matter their exponential energy.

Working with professional actors and vocalists to bring our musical fully to life, and under the brilliant directorial eye of Constance Des Marais’, I am honored to say Oxford Climate Society (OCS) have booked a first-taste of the show! We will be performing at the Fitzhugh Auditorium on the 23rd November, before taking our work state-side. 

I would like to end this announcement with a brief consideration and response to some of the self-flagellation occurring within the climate community today. Some climate activism has turned particularly hungry for media attention, meaning a loss of sight towards targeting corporate profligacy and the energy giants who fuel them. As one Just Stop Oil protester admitted at last week’s School of Climate Change, they often disrupt whichever entertainment events “they can get tickets for”. I propose a different strategy. Climate advocates can, and should, be putting energy into art and media that can actually get the science into people’s ears. Environmental activists are not doomed to be killjoys, they can thrive as painters, writers and singers crafting anything from earthly sonnets to eco anthems, and we are very grateful to OCS for recognizing this!

So yes, please stop oil, but also please don’t stop the music!

For more information, please see: 

Laurence Warner

SnowCal on Thursday 23rd November @ Fitzhugh Auditorium, Cohen Quad, Exeter College.