Rainn Wilson, who is best known for his role as Dwight Schrute in the U.S. version of The Office and was also recently seen in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, has changed his name to ‘Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson’ to raise awareness about the environmental crisis and rapid warming of the Arctic region.
Wilson made the change to support a campaign being run by climate change awareness body Arctic Basecamp, of which he is a board member, to coincide with the United Nation’s COP 27 meeting which is currently taking place in Egypt.
“With the help of my scientist friends at Arctic Basecamp, I’ve changed my name to Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson. This is not a joke, I’m as serious as the melting Arctic, which amplifies global risks including extreme weather events around the globe,” said Wilson in a video address posted on the social networks by Arctic Basecamp.
“I’m hoping this name change brings attention to this growing… er, melting issue. We need world leaders at COP27 to take notice and take action. The Arctic is melting at millions of litres per second, yet this problem can’t seem to make a name for itself, so it’s up to us to make a name for it.”
Arctic Basecamp is led by a team of Arctic experts and scientists. The body has physically set up a real basecamp in the Arctic and uses its findings to raise awareness about the environmental crisis.
Wilson encouraged people to also modify their name to bring attention to the issue, using the Arctic Basecamp “name-changer” on website ArcticRiskName.org, and then change their social media profile with the result.
“If enough of us do this, then maybe COP27 will be where our world leaders sit up and notice Arctic risks and introduce a solution,” he said.
More than 90 heads of state and representatives of 190 countries are due to attend the latest edition of the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, running November 6 to 18 in the Egyptian Red Sea Resort of Sharm El Sheikh.
Professor Gail Whiteman, founder of Arctic Basecamp and Professor of Sustainability at the University of Exeter Business School said world leaders at COP27 needed to take notice of the implications for the world if the “Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic”.
“The Arctic is warming up to four times faster than the global average, and rapid Arctic warming exacerbates catastrophic and costly global risks including extreme weather events, threats to food and water security, sea level rise and supply chain disruption around the world,” she said.
“The Arctic is melting before our eyes, and since this global problem can’t make a name for itself, let’s all do our part – I will be changing my name today, and I encourage you to do the same!”