1. Home
  2. Asia
  3. New Zealand

From the silly to the surreal

Saving the entire planet is a serious matter. So thank goodness the Paris climate talks are also generating some things to smile about

Paris scene Jean-Pierre chambard/Flickr
COP21 comes to Paris

Saving the entire planet is a serious matter. So thank goodness the Paris climate talks are also generating some things to smile about, even if not always for the intended reasons.

Here’s a selection that left us smirking, speechless, or simply shaking our heads:


Oxfam COP21 campaign poster
Apparently, if you take a photo of your eyes, post it on Twitter, and add the hashtag #eyesonParis, you’ve done your bit to stop climate change.

And if your ocular selfie features pink-penciled brows, a sinister stare, or a pair of 70s-throwback glasses, you’re even closer to persuading world leaders to end global warming. 

Featuring snaps of celebrities and members of the public, Oxfam’s bizarre advocacy campaign aims to show politicians at COP21 that the world is watching them. But with visuals as myopic as this poster, this initiative to secure a fair climate deal could sink in a blink.


In the fine tradition of the Razzies and the Ig Noble awards, Paris has its own parody honours – the Fossils. So far, named and shamed for their wayward climate records, are Turkey, Belgium, New Zealand… and the International Maritime Organization.

Air France poster
Faux Air France poster by Brandalism at COP21

If you are a company with an enormous carbon footprint, then the climate summit is the perfect opportunity to do a bit of “greenwashing” to spruce up your climate credentials. Or it could have been, if it wasn’t for the street activists Brandalism, who are determined to poke a hole in your PR conceit.

The guerrilla artists have put up around 600 alternative public ads in Paris mocking the corporate sponsors of the climate talks – like Air France – and the “links between advertising, consumerism, fossil fuel dependency and climate change”.

The referenced media source is missing and needs to be re-embedded.


Full-bore, pedal to the metal, US climate change denialism can be a bit of a culture shock. But pro-life website LifeSiteNews.com walks you through the logic in its take on COP21. The “culture of death” (i.e. contraception) is linked to climate activism because “saving the planet is foremost an anti-human enterprise”. Absolutely.

But if you’re a bit confused, there’s a handy video that explains it all. It’s produced by the Heartland Institute, which before becoming involved with climate change, the Tea Party movement and opposing Obamacare, was hired by cigarette company Philip Morris to dispute the evidence of links between cancer and secondary smoking.


If you think the claims by LifeSiteNews.com are a head scratch, there’s also this. No one quite knows what it means.

Share this article

Hundreds of thousands of readers trust The New Humanitarian each month for quality journalism that contributes to more effective, accountable, and inclusive ways to improve the lives of people affected by crises.

Our award-winning stories inform policymakers and humanitarians, demand accountability and transparency from those meant to help people in need, and provide a platform for conversation and discussion with and among affected and marginalised people.

We’re able to continue doing this thanks to the support of our donors and readers like you who believe in the power of independent journalism. These contributions help keep our journalism free and accessible to all.

Show your support as we build the future of news media by becoming a member of The New Humanitarian. 

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.