Reporting on how our climate is changing can get us down at times, but every once in a while, we get to publish stories that make us chuckle, especially on our radio program. Anthony Leiserowitz, the host of Yale Climate Connections and director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, has had to say some pretty funny things since the program first aired in 2014. Here are our picks of the top 10 funniest radio stories — and stories about the value of humor in climate communication — from our archive..
The octopus in the parking garage
The headline of this episode feels like the perfect title for a mystery novel — or maybe an abstract painting. It is neither of those and is actually a true story about an octopus that became a social media sensation.
British man builds poo-powered street light
No matter how old you are, a good poop story is bound to lighten the mood. This story is about one man’s vision to turn poo into energy, transforming a traditional gas lantern into something innovative and non-polluting.
Detroit zoo turns poo into electricity
Speaking of poo, at the Detroit Zoo, nothing goes to waste, including zoo animals’ poo.
This company wants you to feed insects to your dog
Don’t worry, this food won’t make your dogs chirp, but it will reduce their carbon footprint. These crickets and grubs not only take up less land and need less water than cattle and poultry, but they also consume food (and alcohol) waste.
Spin class sends electricity to the grid
Reducing one’s carbon footprint and exercising often go hand-in-hand, like biking and walking to work or school instead of driving. Going to a spin class to help electrify a grid isn’t as common, but it’s happening in California.
San Francisco restaurant turns food waste into pizza
Eating food waste doesn’t sound super appetizing, but one restaurant in San Francisco is turning unwanted food products into the most wanted food of all: pizza.
Fire lookout and TikTok star Kelsey Sims gets her audience thinking about wildfires
Who knew that talking about wildfires and how to prevent them could make you famous? For TikTokker Kelsey Sims, it has done just that. It doesn’t hurt that there are some cute doggie cameos included in her content.
How whisky waste could fuel cars
There have been a lot of wild ideas over the years when it comes to fueling cars. This one will either excite whisky drinkers or make them outraged — until they listen to the whole story and realize that it’s not exactly the whisky that they imbibe that would end up in the gas tank.
Want to reach young people? Make them laugh
Talking about extreme weather conditions and mass species extinctions isn’t always the best way to grab someone’s attention. One study showed that adding a little humor to climate change messaging can make young people more willing to listen.
NASA scientist uses comedy to teach people about global warming
We all know that NASA scientists are smart, but who knew that they could be funny as well? Some people know him as Climate Elvis, while others know him as Guy Scientist, but he is also NASA scientist, Josh Willis, who wrapped up the Oceans Melting Greenland mission (OMG) in 2021, which studied Greenland’s melting ice sheet.