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A satirical cartoon about sea level rise.

References to climate change in popular culture have existed since the late 20th century and increased in the 21st century. Climate change, its impacts, and related human-environment interactions have been featured in nonfiction books and documentaries, but also literature, film, music, television shows and video games.

Science historian Naomi Oreskes noted in 2005 "a huge disconnect between what professional scientists have studied and learned in the last 30 years, and what is out there in the popular culture."[1] An academic study in 2000 contrasted the relatively rapid acceptance of ozone depletion as reflected in popular culture with the much slower acceptance of the scientific consensus on climate change.[2] Cultural responses have been posited as an important part of communicating climate change, but commentators have noted covering the topic has posed challenges due to its abstract nature.[3][4] The prominence of climate change in popular culture increased during the 2010s, influenced by the climate movement, shifts in public opinion and changes in media coverage.[5][6]


     Omnipresent and relevant, yet abstract and statistical by nature, as well as invisible for the naked eye – climate change is a subject matter in need for perception and cognition support par excellence.[7]

Climate change art is art inspired by climate change and global warming, generally intended to overcome humans' hardwired tendency to value personal experience over data and to disengage from data-based representations by making the data "vivid and accessible". One of the goal of climate change art is to "raise awareness of the crisis",[8] as well as engage viewers politically and environmentally.[9]

Some climate change art involves community involvement with the environment.[8] Other approaches involve revealing socio-political concerns through their various artistic forms,[10] such as painting, video, photography, sound and films. These works are intended to encourage viewers to reflect on their daily actions "in a socially responsible manner to preserve and protect the planet".[10]

Climate change art is created both by scientists and by non-scientist artists. The field overlaps with data art.


Further information: Category:Climate change films

Fictional films

Climate change has been an occasional topic in fictional cinema.[11] Nicholas Barber opined in BBC Culture that Hollywood films seldom feature climate change mechanisms due to the difficulty of tying the topic to individual characters, and due to fears of alienating audiences; instead, impacts of climate change have been more frequently depicted as a consequence of nuclear or geoengineering accidents.[4]

Documentary films

Further information: Category:Documentary films about global warming


Further information: List of climate change books


See also: Category:Climate change books

Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature.

This refers to the classification non-fiction, without regard to whether the books are accurate or intended to be accurate.


See also: Category:Climate change novels

Climate fiction (sometimes shortened to cli-fi) is literature that deals with climate change.[30] Generally speculative in nature but inspired by climate science, works of climate fiction may take place in the world as we know it, in the near future, or in fictional worlds experiencing climate change. The genre frequently includes science fiction and dystopian or utopian themes, imagining the potential futures based on how humanity responds to the impacts of climate change. Climate fiction typically involves anthropogenic climate change and other environmental issues as opposed to weather and disaster more generally. Technologies such as climate engineering or climate adaptation practices often feature prominently in works exploring their impacts on society.

The term "cli-fi" is generally credited to freelance news reporter and climate activist Dan Bloom, who coined it in either 2007 or 2008.[30][31] References to "climate fiction" appear to have begun in the 2010s, although the term has also been retroactively applied to a number of works.[32][33] Pioneering 20th century authors of climate fiction include J. G. Ballard and Octavia E. Butler, while dystopian fiction from Margaret Atwood is often cited as an immediate precursor to the genre's emergence. Since 2010, prominent cli-fi authors include Kim Stanley Robinson, Richard Powers, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Barbara Kingsolver. The publication of Robinson's The Ministry for the Future in 2020 helped cement the genre's emergence; the work generated presidential and United Nations mentions and an invitation for Robinson to meet planners at the Pentagon.[34]

University courses on literature and environmental issues may include climate change fiction in their syllabi.[35] This body of literature has been discussed by a variety of publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and Dissent magazine, among other international media outlets.[36] Lists of climate fiction have been compiled by organizations including Grist, Outside Magazine, and the New York Public Library.[37] Academics and critics study the potential impact of fiction on the broader field of climate change communication.


Further information: Environmentalism in music

Climate change has been a topic of some popular music, particularly during the 2010s.[5][38][39] The topic has been discussed in various genres, including pop, folk, electronic music and heavy metal.[6] The New York Times found 192 references to climate change in English-language songs that entered the Billboard charts between 1999 and 2019, with around half of those (87 songs) between 2015 and 2019.[5]

American rock band Smash Mouth performing in 2011. The New York Times listed their 1999 song "All Star" #1 on their list of top 10 climate change songs.[5]


Still from a 2010 performance of The Climate Monologues.


Television documentaries

Fictional television

Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of adult animated comedy series South Park. South Park has parodied climate change on several occasions, particularly focusing on the environmental activism of politician Al Gore.

Late-night television

Comic books

Video games

See also: List of climate change video games

Stand-up comedy


See also



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