“Emissions, like perreo: to the ground”, is one of the mottos of clima bar, an eco-conscious couple. Carmen Huidobro and Belén Hinojar, 27-year-olds from Madrid, have known each other since kindergarten and in the worst of the pandemic, one in ERTE and the other unemployed, decided to launch a project to spread the climate crisis with videos on networks. But with a beer in hand, in a good mood and without ashy messages. Huidobro, trained in science and environmental policy, and Hinojar, creative, had given birth to a new way of finding out about the planetary emergency: “It is clear that a change in narrative is needed, that we mix the two worlds and do something different. And so we began to test with Climabar”.
Ask. Is disclosure still needed? It seems that in your generation you have it more internalized.
Carmen Huidobro. Not so much, huh? Compared to other generations, there is indeed more awareness and at least a basic understanding of certain issues. But I think that what is still missing are references and a different way of communicating it. Climate change is an issue that continues to be polarized by political ideologies, when it is science. It must be approached like any advertising campaign. marketing: what is your audience, what message do you want to launch and how are you going to do it. You cannot send the same one to everyone, which was normally done in awareness campaigns. For example, when the Pope spoke about climate change, many Christian people suddenly opened up to this world.
Bethlehem Hinojar. Damn, my grandmother, my grandmother, I’ve been doing this for two years and she didn’t care, the Pope says so and suddenly the lady is interested. Very good very good [ríen].
P. And what kind of response does this way of communicating have?
BH we have very few hatersalthough of course, we are two aunts talking about the climate crisis with alcohol, that is, I think we are meat for what we have a lot: mansplaining. A lot of gentlemen explaining things to us, that freaks them out. More than hater, simply that. And then they infantilize us a lot, like look at the girls, how funny they are at the bar.
CH Within the echo community of disseminators and some journalists, even, we have been much infantilized. We talk about this topic in a very simplified way, as has never been done before. That scares them. It bothers us when they make us mansplaining and infantilize us.
P. It has always been criticized that activists are scary and Climabar uses a radically different tone.
BH Many times they say that things are simplified too much, but it is because if not, people will not understand. In other words, are we going to be biting each other’s tail all the time? We have also included the theme of the bars, the references to Rosalía, Bad Bunny… And some of them get on their nerves, they look very out of it. But it is not my goal to talk about this topic with you, you already know what all this movement is about. Other people have to like it, so we don’t care either.
P. Is there a gap that the media does not know how to cover?
BH There are a lot of channels and sources of information, people doing very cool things. Nor is it that we are covering any gaps, because we are not journalists nor do we pretend to be, we are more a mix between knowledge and entertainment. Giving extra value: not only do I tell you this, but on top of that I’m going to put it on you with a bow.
CH I think we are doing something that traditional media do not do, which is to tell the things that are really going to hook the audience. That is, we are not only talking about the IPCC [el panel de los expertos que asesora a la ONU sobre crisis climática], but we relate everything to something that matters to you. Because you say that if the countries of Africa are going to suffer I don’t know how many droughts a year, many don’t care. But if I tell you that beer is going to be more expensive, that there is a rolling paper crisis, that your summer in Ibiza is going to be a bit affected, you’re screwed. And that’s what we try to do. When we talk about a bit dense topics, like the IPCC, we always try not only to tell it in an entertaining, fun and short way, but also to keep something that makes you care. Unfortunately, climate change is something that affects us all, but it is still very rare to transfer it to your daily life. It is something so progressive and gradual that you do not notice it.
We have a lot of ‘mansplaining’, gentlemen explaining things to us, that freaks them out
P. The media have been catastrophic and it didn’t always work.
CH There are people for whom fear has worked for them and has made them very activists. But there are others who are stopped by fear and ignore it. Having been pessimistic for so long, people now don’t care.
P. You don’t put the weight on people’s shoulders, you don’t throw the anger at those who buy T-shirts at Zara.
BH Of course, darling, I’m not going to sew them for you, that’s for sure. Many brand companies have tended to put all the pressure on the individual. For example, the whole movement of the carbon footprint: that an oil company, or a brand of soft drinks with red bottles, comes to tell you to recycle their bottles, seems very strong to me. When they impose your carbon footprint on you, you freeze. You say what the hell do I do? You can do a lot of things, don’t get overwhelmed, try what you can. There’s a lot of middle ground between being Greta and doing absolutely nothing.
CH There is an imbalance between individual messages and collective action, and that is a bit what we try to combat as well. We don’t want to criminalize people because there are already gazillions of messages: calculate your footprint, do this, do that. We don’t want to be part of that, because little is said about the fact that oil companies like Shell and Exxon covered up the climate crisis from the 1970s. And that’s what we should be talking about. Those are the real culprits. I don’t care that you have to buy at Inditex because they don’t give you the money and you have to make tapas on Sundays.
P. And how do you see the Greta Thunberg phenomenon?
BH It makes you sad that you’re dying because that girl will never be able to go to a bottle, she will never be able to do anything. Now the girl has to be a saint all her life [ríen]. To me, honestly, it seems like a bitch that all this pressure is being put on the girl, and then there is gentlemen that they are dinosaurs that have 100% of the shares of companies that are spending a million to screw up the planet, and they don’t even say a peep to them. But we are going for the girl, we are going to send her mariachis to make her bullying [ríen].
P. Is the fight against the climatic emergency a thing of heavens against gentlemen?
CH One hundred by one hundred. Greta is a clear example of “why am I going to continue with my studies, if my future is being ruined?”. It was a very cool way of making it clear that it is not the planet that is at stake, it is our future as a species. When she found out, she started it all.
Climate change is something that affects us all, but it is very rare to transfer it to your daily life
P. Does eco-anxiety really exist in your generation?
BH I ignore her a lot, like lalala [con las manos en los oídos]. But it is strong. There are people who have had a bad time, I have friends who consider not having children because of this.
CH I consider it, not because they pollute, that seems absurd to me. But what future am I going to give them? It is that if the water wars come, my genes are not prepared for my offspring to survive [ríen]. I’m going to bring them into the world so that later it has to be a kind of hunger games. Yes, that eco-anxiety exists.
P. Is it a generational problem? Of young people reproaching their elders for the world they have left them?
CH Our parents were taught that progress was synonymous with having several cars, having a house on the beach, having a big house even if you have to drive, travel, air conditioning, eat a lot of meat, because before it was a luxury. Suddenly certain things begin to be democratized, such as accumulating many goods, which did not happen during the time of our grandparents. And when you now come to our parents and tell them that everything they thought they were doing right is wrong, there is shock and rejection. Everything they have bought was for me and now I am telling them that they are doing everything horrible and that they are destroying my future.
P. Because you question the identity of the people, their way of life.
BH It’s just that it’s very violent, you can’t take someone’s way of life and start judging them. It can not. They are very personal things, each one’s choices, and you can never expose someone’s life and say, this is wrong. It is important to get them to open your mind a little to at least listen.
P. And do you really need to explain it to those who should make the decisions?
CH They know this is going to hit. We are seeing how large companies are changing their investments, they take into account the climate crisis, but they are stretching the gum to see how far they can go. It is short-termism, although it has been more than proven that the later we act, the more expensive it is going to be.
BH Always, that pessimism has never led us anywhere. It’s like shame: nothing interesting happens being sad and being ashamed.
CH Optimistic, because the solutions are there, we know what we have to do. It’s not like we have to invent a technology to save ourselves. It is done. Everything we need, we have it. It is a matter of acting.
BH Move your ass, cunt!
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