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Joy can strengthen our resolve, help us unlock creativity, and bolster our resilience. In Fix’s Joy Issue, we explore the importance and power of finding joy in the face of grief, anger, and a changing climate.

I recently attended a comedy show at a small club in Brooklyn. The final performer asked the crowd to toss out a topic for his closing joke. I enthusiastically shouted, “Climate change!” — which he promptly shot down: “No one wants to hear jokes about climate change, it isn’t funny.” 

He had a point. The climate crisis, its deadly impacts, and the chronic injustices that underpin it aren’t inherently chortle-worthy. But for some, that’s exactly why comedy can be a powerful tool in how we deal with it. 

“I think you have to have a little bit of a grounding in absurdity to do this work,” says Bora Chang, an adjunct lecturer in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at the Columbia Climate School. “Nothing about this is funny. And yet it is so absurd that you kind of have to laugh.”

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