Amusing Monday: Tying gentrification to climate change with humor

“The North Pole,” a seven-part online political comedy, provides some amusing social connections between climate change and the gentrification of aging neighborhoods.

Set in North Oakland, Calif., the story revolves around close friends who have grown up in the area and find themselves struggling against landlords, corporate greed and ultimately their own social consciences. The setting could just as easily have been Seattle or any other city in which low-income housing is being displaced by condos and cute corner malls.

I suppose I should warn viewers that the show is filled with strong language and a few off-color comedic situations written for adults.

Each of the seven episodes, which was released last fall, is just 10 minutes long. I watched them straight through, and I came to like the characters and their odd mix of anger and humor.

“Laughter is the way to bring people in,” says producer and writer Josh Healey in an interview with Ivette Feliciano of PBS News Hour. “We want to acknowledge the reality of what’s going on and the pain and the anger and the sadness. Laughter is the way to deal with it and also to remind us of the joy and the humanity that we’re fighting for in the first place.”

Gentrification brings some humorous juxtapositions of different styles and personalities, but it is ultimately about economic and political power — which also appear to be the driving forces that affect how people and their governments deal with climate change.

“Gentrification and climate change are often seen as different, but they both have roots in a similar system that is about inequality, that is rooted in institutional racism, and that is rooted in disrespect and degradation of the local environment,” Healey says.

Developers swoop in during social and environmental crises to take over and reshape communities, Healey adds, “just like what they did in New Orleans after Katrina, when they tore down public housing and built up condos. So the connection there is real.”

To watch the series, one can start with the YouTube Playlist or go to the website for “The North Pole.”

The videos on this page are the official trailer for the series at the top; followed by Part 1, in which the characters are introduced as they check out the human wildlife in their neighborhood; and Part 3, which deals with drought, water and climate change.

In later parts, the story enters the realm of high-tech solutions to climate change, which turn out to be largely green-washing in this story. The characters evolve in their personal beliefs and social consciences as they each face choices for the future.

One thought on “Amusing Monday: Tying gentrification to climate change with humor

  1. I like this short movie. It is very believable and shows the nowadays’ reality. Climate change occurs on the whole planet, but some regions are more affected than others. For example, the zone of the ring of fire is distinguished by intense volcanic and seismic activity that can be watched online here
    The vast majority, 90% of earthquakes on our planet may be found here. Well, the question is…. Are people ready to help each other in a critical situation? Are they ready to share a shelter, food, clothes with a stranger? In these challenging times the humanity within each of us, mutual support and help are of essential importance. After all, nobody knowns who will become the next climate refugee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

(Not a trick question) What color is the pink house?