TCD. Best of: UN’s Environment Program Turns 50, Climate Change Marketing Guru John Marshall and His “Save Endangered Species Florida Man” PSA!

by | Jun 26, 2023 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

TCD Best of: Chesapeake Bay Paddle results, plus UN’s environment program turns 50. Climate Change marketing guru John Marshall and his “Save Endangered Species Florida Man” PSA!



About 100 people formed into 16 teams to participate in this year’s Chesapeake Bay Paddle. Event organizer Chris Hopkinson—who in 2020 became the first person to ever paddle board the entire Chesapeake Bay—has a goal of all 100 paddlers this year raising $200,000. If they do, it will surpass the $190,000 he raised last year, by himself.

The proceeds will go to both the Chesapeake Conservancy—whose goal is to have the bay recognized as a National Park, and the Oyster Recovery Project—whose goal is to repopulate the Chesapeake Bay with billions of oysters, thus cleaning the bay and restoring its natural habitat.

The event went on despite remnants of Hurricane Ida lashing the region during the 8-day trek. The Chesapeake Bay Paddle began near Havre de Grace, MD. Most of the 100 paddlers and kayakers completed the event at its official end point at Fisherman’s Island. That’s where the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet.

DEEPER DIVE: WAVY, Chesapeake Bay Paddle



Okay, here’s a weird thing. The United Nations Environment Programme turns 50 in 2022.

So what’s so weird about that?

What’s weird is the UN already started celebrating the UNEP’s 50th this year, this past summer 2021!

Nothing like getting a headstart on a milestone birthday! 

Good point. So on the one hand, people, there’s still time before celebrating the UNEP’s 50th. On the other hand, there’s plenty of good stuff online for us to check out now in celebration of the 50th. What is the UNEP and why does it matter to us?

According to its website, The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

In other words, UNEP has the environment’s back.  

Its mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations, and lives by the slogan that a healthy planet depends on us all.

Its work includes assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends; developing international and national environmental instruments; and strengthening institutions for the wise management of the environment.

The website goes on to say the work of UNEP maintains its overarching commitment to sustainability and is categorized into seven broad thematic areas: climate change, disasters and conflicts, ecosystem management, environmental governance, chemicals and waste, resource efficiency, and environment under review.  

Enjoy some of the UNEP @ 50 offerings online. Head over to and click on the links at the end of this story. 

DEEPER DIVE: UNEP@50, UN Environment Assembly



 Ask yourself. Have you ever woken up, eyeballed a glorious sunrise and said, “It’s a great day for decarbonization!”  No. And you know why? Because NOBODY talks like that. And yet, so much of how people talk about climate change sounds that nutty. Hey, I can say that because I absolutely resemble that remark. That may be why despite 100% of credible scientists acknowledging the need to combat climate change, only about 27% of Americans are highly concerned about it. What can we do?

There’s a guy out there on the internet who has figured out how to translate climate change-speak into plain English–and he deserves the Nobel prize for doing so.

He did it by putting people first instead of the issue. So instead of saying, Climate change was created by human-induced  over consumption of fossil fuels creating temperature rise due to increasing levels of carbon dioxide trapping heat in the atmosphere,” he says, “human beings created a pollution blanket around the earth that is overheating the planet.”

Instead of saying, “Should global temperatures rise above 2 degrees Celsius, polar ice melt will accelerate leading to sea level rise, AND the increased temperatures will exacerbate drought conditions,” he says, “If the planet overheats by almost 9 degrees quickly, there’ll be lots more flooding and forest fires, AND it will be very painful for you and your loved ones to live on the planet.”

Who is this guy and why do we want to give him a big ol’ hug? His name is John Marshall, founder of the Potential Energy Coalition, and he calls what he does “climate changemarketing.” I don’t do climate changemarketing justice here. Better for you to surf on over to Marshall’s March, 2021 TED talk. It’s only seven-minutes long and it’ll change your life.

DEEPER DIVE: Potential Energy Coalition



Florida man, Robby Stratton, became famous twice. Once in 2018 for carrying a live alligator into a convenience store, “playfully” harassing customers with it and possibly attempting to rob the store using the alligator as a weapon. Don’t believe me? There’s a YouTube video of it. 

The second time Florida Man Robby Stratton became famous was a year later when the brilliant John Marshall featured him in a Climate Strike 2020 PSA titled, “Save the Florida Man from Extinction.”

As Jeffrey told us in the last news item, Marshall is a huge fan of making the complex simple. And there’s nothing more complex than the way people currently try to explain climate change. His reframing technique is phenomenal. Because so many conservative Floridians choose to view climate change as a far off problem with which Arctic polar bears must contend, Marshall enlisted the help of two ad agencies to simplify the message and bring the problem a little closer to home:

Are You laughing? Millions of others were too, when this ran back in September 2019, and guess what–even Florida Mans (Men?) from all across America got the message.

Bottom line? Now even Florida Man knows about climate change, and how it will directly affect his species.

And that’s why this hilarious send up matters to us. It shows how the power of putting people first in climate change messaging can make the obstinate, the deniers, even the obtuse understand and act.

DEEPER DIVE: Save Florida Man, Joan Creative, Vimeo