Adam McKay talks climate change, look no further, Yellow Dot Studios

Adam McKay would like to bring to your attention that the world is on fire. „We live in an absurdly farcical comedy, but the consequences are real,” says the director, who turned a planet-ending comet into a metaphor in his film. Don't look up. „We can't get out of this cultural structure we're trapped in and not allow it to take over its greatness.”

Last year, McKay launched Yellow Dot Studio, which creates videos and other media with sharp humor to fuel urgency toward the climate crisis. He also sits on the board of directors of the Climate Emergency Fund, a non-profit organization that funds organizations committed to nonviolent climate action. Anti-climate groups among those groups target politicians and corporate titans who promote and profit from the fossil-fuel industries that drive global warming to dangerous levels. Last year, the group hijacked events featuring Biden executives and shut down an exhibit honoring disgraced ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods. McKay calls these kinds of developed strategies „disruptive activity.”

We caught up with McKay to talk about his activism, the upcoming election, that Margot Robbie scene, and the best (and worst) scenario on climate change.

You've praised the activist group Anti-Climate for helping expose what you see as the Democrats' inaction on protecting our environment. What do you think of the Biden administration's efforts?
I think they are very cruel and dishonest. When IRA [Inflation Reduction Act] Passed, there were big tax breaks for renewable energy, but also big carve-outs for Big Oil. I'd love to see someone do the math [whether] This management is carbon neutral, positive or negative.

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Do you see climate change as a big factor in how the upcoming election plays out?
I don't think it's on the radar of any political party. Donor money from Big Oil, the automotives, the travel industry, I think it's very volatile. Corruption is corruption, but when [it] Becomes a culture, and that's when it becomes really powerful.

The only thing I experienced that actually moved the needle was an antiquated, disruptive function. I had an aha moment when I actually got into it, because when you look at history, the key elements of every major change — whether it's civil rights, freedom, the labor movement — it's always been a disruptive process.

How does your work with Climate Emergency Funding and Climate Action help support this goal of using uncomfortable art to move public opinion?
Similarly, both approaches are human, in the sense that they are muscle-emotional approaches. I think that after the rise of neoliberalism in the last 40 years, the quote, the truth, has been sold, neutralized, parsimonious—we have to go to that sense of muscle. That's why I decided to make it Don't look up A great, farcical joke because you can't fake a laugh.

A good example is the Air Force [serviceman] A man who set himself on fire as a protest against what is happening in Gaza. You can't fake it, it's so honest, his mission statement was so clear. This is a very extreme example. But a similar dynamic occurs when youths are arrested for blocking the entrance of a bank financing oil extraction. Whether people know it or not, the question begins to arise: Why would anyone do this? Why would they be arrested? Why should they put their lives in unpleasant turmoil unless something happens? You will see that corporate media creates distractions; They will shrink, they will question their tactics – a kind of pseudo-oblivion.

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It's an incredible thing, and it's gaining momentum. It gains power. It starts to break down. Right now most of my efforts are focused on disrupting activity and getting things done with the yellow dot.

In your picture great short film, Margot Robbie explains the stock market – while in a bathtub. How do you use this comedic tool in your work and performance with Yellow Dot?
Every day, we are bombarded with advertisements, from pop-up ads to TV commercials to billboards. So we are under constant bombardment of feelings, emotional manipulation. Attractive images, angry images, quiet images – all of these are ways to trick us into buying things.… It's an opportunity to use that language as opposed to using that language normally. , to point it out, laugh, and then get real information. Times we can actually name, we get tremendous reactions

I ask this question because it's a big one Don't look up Conclusion: What is your best-case and worst-case scenario for the world?
The best thing is that the weather events are so strange and so big that it wakes people up and they come out of this fugue state they've been in. I think regular people are really caught off guard, but the big thing they're missing is urgency. Out of that, we move to World War II-style mobilization on a full-time, emergency-basis. We are developing global research projects on how to decarbonize, and how to decarbonize at the right time. We come up with emergency water schemes, food distribution schemes, ways to protect crops.

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The worse, more pessimistic view is that these weather events will be big, freakish, and destructive, and most of us will never wake up; These systems … are so entrenched in that culture of corruption that it is not a temporary condition; It's like brain damage, and they can't wake up. In this case, you will start to see small broken communities struggling to stay alive.

There will never be a triumphant moment, but we breadcrumb it. If they're out there, there might be a moment when those breadcrumbs become a kind of meal. There is a lot to do and our motto is „Constant Forward”.

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