City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Video: Rap Guide to Climate Chaos - What's Beef?


By edg - Posted on 13 August 2015

Here's a teaser for the Fringe show Rap Guide to Climate Chaos. The show's creator and performer Baba Brinkman started off on the Fringe rapping about literature with an adaptation of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Then in 2009 a biologist commissioned him to create a rap show for the Darwin Festival in Cambridge. A condition was that his lyrics be fact-checked. The show, "Rap Guide to Evolution", went on to win a Fringe First.

Now Brinkman, a thirtysomething, white Canadian bills himself as the world's first "peer-reviewed rapper". So his rhymes are cross checked for scientific accuracy.

Rap Guide to Climate Chaos couldn't be more timely with the leaders of the world meeting in Paris in December to hammer out an agreement to get the world off fossil fuels. Brinkman raps about the science but also about the politics of global warming, taking aim at entrenched denialism and the general confusion and misinformation surrounding climate change that is still ubiquitous.

What's beef?
Beef's the whole field of clima-tolo-gy.
Beef is ninety seven per cent against three.
Beef is when your world view
Pre-determines what you don't believe
And what you do.

In the course of the show he also investigates the solutions - rapping about Pope Francis's strong stance on climate action, green energy and the benefits of pricing carbon. In a piece that is often personal, he also recognises he could do with shrinking the big carbon footprint that comes with being a globe-trotting performer.

There's a succinctness to rhyme that goes beyond reportage or other speechifying, as you can see the in the above video. Brinkman gives us lines like "And if you try to tell me that climate change isn't serious" following on perfectly naturally from a line about CO2 and Svante Arrhenius (the scientist that recognised in 1886 that industrial CO2 pollution would warm the planet).

Advocates for climate change action have a hard time trying to convince people just how serious the situation is. Hopefully, Brinkman's totally fresh approach can help bridge the communication gap.

Rap Guide to Climate Chaos is at the Gilded Balloon until 31st August (not 18), 7pm.