Of all the stories coming out of COP27’s first week, this one might be the most unique: Rainn Wilson, who starred as Dwight Schrute in the US version of “The Office,” announced he’s changed his name to Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson, to in a bid to call attention to the urgency of climate change.
You might call it greenwashing. You might call it cringe. You might call it a silly publicity stunt. You might be right. And Wilson was the first to acknowledge as much, calling the name change a “cheap little stunt” to help save the planet by raising awareness about the risks of climate change, and more specifically to Arctic weather change.
“What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic,” says Wilson in the video. “As the polar caps melt, it drives up risks throughout the world, including extreme weather events that affect all of us.”
Wilson’s name change came via a name generator on the ArcticRisk.org website. “Cardi the Arctic B Melting” and, my personal favorite, “Amy Poehler Bears are Endangered.”
When other headlines coming out of the UN’s climate change conference are things like the World Trade Organization making moves to remove trade barriers to low-carbon transition, the US and UN aggressively targeting methane emissions, and scientists saying global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels will rise another 1% this year, Wilson’s news is clearly the silliest.
It’s also clear Rainfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson is taking climate change seriously. This isn’t even his first environmentally inspired name change … Recyclops, anyone?
“This is not a joke, I’m as serious as the melting Arctic, which amplifies global risks including extreme weather events around the globe,” Wilson said, according to Forbes. “I’m hoping this name change brings attention to this growing… er, melting issue. We need world leaders at COP27 to take notice and take action. The Arctic is melting at millions of litres per second, yet this problem can’t seem to make a name for itself, so it’s up to us to make a name for it.”
And Wilson’s far from the only celebrity to try and raise awareness about climate change. Remember in September when Jason Momoa “shaved his head” to raise awareness about plastic in the ocean?
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Ah celebrities – they’re just like us. Trying to do their part to fight extreme climate change threatening our planet. Joking … kind of.
3DS: Committed to fighting climate change
Sustainability’s something we take very seriously here at 3DS. We write often about commitments made through our Sustainability Compass, published whitepapers with Accenture about accelerating sustainability with virtual twins, and launched solutions, like Life Cycle Assessment, that help quantify the end-to-end environmental impact of products and services. Our own COP27 headlines include endorsing the Action Declaration on Climate Policy Engagement launched by Corporate Knights and the Global 100 Council.
That’s us as a company. It’s who we are. We’ve committed to sell at least 2/3 of our licenses for sustainability purposes. But what about the people who are building, marketing and selling those products?
Recently, we asked 3DS employees what they’re doing to be more sustainable in their personal lives. Buying less, biking more and eating less meat were among the most common responses. Here are a few more:
Patrick Van Beem, a principal software engineer based in the Netherlands, said his family tries to limit the consumer products they buy, repair broken items rather than buying new, and biking wherever he can instead of using his (electric) car.
“Another big impact I practice is buying fruit/vegetables from the season or growing them myself, so they’re not grown in heated greenhouses or transported by plan from all over the world,” Van Beem said. “In the Netherlands, it’s required for shops to list the country-of-origin, so I only buy food which comes from nearby countries or which can be transported with a relatively low CO2 impact per product. … And I have a bike trailer, so I also do the weekly shopping for our family of five by bike.”
While the planet’s warming up, Jasper Quak’s family is getting comfortable when their house gets cool.
“Over the past couple of winter seasons, each year we put the heating one degree C lower than the year before,” said Quak, an industry process consultant. “We put on some extra clothes, but mainly, we got used to it. I don’t know whether there is scientific evidence for it, but the impression I that you get conditioned to it.”
They’re also flying less, eating less meat, buying less and doing “the little things” to conserve energy around the house.
“A sum of minor things,” said Olivier Pedoussaut, a solution architect based in Sweden. “We’re getting rid of plastic bags and bottles, buying secondhand or refurbished products and being as minimalist as possible.”
“Within our household, our collective goal is that what we consume doesn’t exceed what we contribute,” said Tania Killeen, an industry process expert in Canada. “We’re leaving the next generation to inherit our choices, so we’re trying to make greener choices daily … and constantly educating ourselves to help support a sustainable community.”