By Sarah Senese ’23
Despite the setbacks that life under quarantine has caused, five CC alumni have decided to put their respective expertise to the test and create something meaningful together. The culmination: The Climate Chins.
Jake Sullivan ’15, Rayna Benzeev ’15, Holly Pretzky ’16, James Dinneen ’17, and Soeren Walls ’17have been meeting weekly over Zoom to collaborate, brainstorm, and physically create the product that is The Climate Chins. The idea began with Benzeev, who as a PhD candidate at CU Boulder overheard an idea from a fellow professor in the department about a way to create a climate-themed comedy—to turn a subject that is usually filled with gloom and doom into something engaging, funny, and digestible for those who truly want to interact with ways to save the planet and reduce waste. Benzeev, knowing four other friends from CC with varying talents and knowledge, banded together the group that now comprises The Climate Chins to create improv-style, climate comedy videos that are both incredibly entertaining and unbelievably informative.
So, what really are The Climate Chins? At first, before interviewing this incredibly bubbly group of alumni, I was under the impression that “Chins” was an abbreviation for a word I hadn’t put together yet. In reality, though, The Climate Chins are truly just that—chins. Sitting upside down on their couches at home and drawing silly faces on their chins, the group films early 2000s-style YouTube videos in which their chins (with various personas) explain climate policy and doable change that their viewers can implement at home. Occasionally, the chins even interview serious climate scientists, further bringing the serious element into something that is quite simply ridiculous.
Each member of the team, through their experience at CC and after, bring something important to the project. For most, it’s having participated in TWIT, the improv group at CC, and for others, it’s the knowledge on climate change and policy that’s important to the actual content of the videos. Their combined knowledge is what makes the project so engaging and hilarious, and for Benzeev, it’s “the best way I could’ve imagined reconnecting with some really important people at a really difficult time for everyone — I’ve enjoyed every step of this project with every person in this call.”
The Climate Chins are still publishing videos and helping to educate college-aged adults on what they can do, realistically, to make change in their own lives and in the climate policy they vote for. You can watch The Climate Chins on their Facebook page, and see the expertise and hard work of five CC alumni come to life.