In the Name of Climate Action, Rainn Wilson Has Changed His Name to Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson
This is not a prank. Yesterday, the Office star formerly known as Rainn Wilson announced on Twitter that he has changed his name to Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson in what he described as “a cheap little stunt to help save planet earth.” Wilson has partnered with Arctic Basecamp, an organization of climate scientists dedicated to educating the public about the tangible effects of climate change and the melting of the polar ice caps, and the name change is Wilson’s playful way of drawing attention to their very serious work.
Wilson’s name change coincides with the United Nations climate change conference COP27 that is currently underway in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The name Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson was chosen for the actor best known for his role of Dwight Schrute by the name generator on the Arctic Risk platform, a site created by Arctic Basecamp to help users quantify the effects of arctic warming using the most recent science and data available.
Apparently, changing his name to Recyclops would be too obvious.
While the subject matter itself is serious and important, Wilson’s self-admitted publicity stunt is cheerily charming. The Office actor has given himself alternative titles of “Acid Rainn Kills Trees Wilson” and “Rainnfall Heat Wave Rising Sea Levels And We Have To Do Something About It NOW Wilson.” The call-to-action of the post is pretty tongue-in-cheek, as Wilson facetiously asked us all to use the Arctic Risk “name changer which is going to be a game changer” in order to show policy makers our very serious dedication to the issue.
Wilson called on the rest of the celebrity world to match his intensity in the fight against climate change. Wilson suggested a series of celebrity name changes, including changing Cardi B to “Cardi The Arctic B Melting,” Samuel L. Jackson to “Samuel Earth’s Getting Hot As L. Jackson,” and Amy Poehler to “Amy Poehler Bears Are Endangered.”
Though the tone of the message may seem flippant considering the gravity of the issue, this is a prudent and calculated move by Wilson and Arctic Basecamp to escape the “doom and gloom” label that climate deniers and apathetic anti-science a-holes have attached to the countless climate researchers and professors who have been desperately trying to raise the alarm bells on our changing planet for decades.
Adam McKay’s satirical film Don’t Look Up skewered the way climate experts are treated in the media as apocalyptic crackpots, and the representations in the film are startlingly accurate to the way real life scientists are treated by media members who are unwilling to accept hard truths. Rebranding the climate action movement with a humorous tone is an intelligent and deliberate decision, and, hopefully, it will get more eyes on the work that Arctic Basecamp has been doing to educate the public on the global risks of arctic weather change.
“What happens in the arctic doesn’t stay in the arctic,” Dwight Schrute told his followers. “As the polar caps melt, it drives up risks throughout the world, including extreme weather events that affect all of us,” said Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson, shortly before he stepped away to take a call from Leonardo Di-Polar Ice Caprio Are Melting.