Bard College Prof: Artists Cannot Confront Climate Change Because the Science Keeps Changing

Climate change activists, both young and old, take part in the international Strike for Climate protest in Los Angeles, California on May 24, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Bard College Professor Madeleine George told students at the University of Pennsylvania this week that she finds it very difficult to write plays about climate change. By the time one of her climate change plays reached the stage, the science had changed to the point that the play was outdated.

According to a report by The Daily Pennsylvanian, Bard College Drama Professor Madeleine George argued recently that it is very difficult for artists to create art that reflects on issues presented by climate change.

Why exactly is it difficult? During a lecture event at the University of Pennsylvania, George explained his attempt to write such a play in 2010. George claimed that it is difficult to write a play about climate change because “the language concerning climate change” changes so frequently.

George said she began working on her play, “Hurricane Diane” in 2010, but during the play’s theatrical production in 2019, the language concerning climate change was already outdated. The main character gives a monologue in which she claims the “glaciers are going to melt,” using the future tense. George said the language became inaccurate, because rising temperatures are already causing glaciers to melt.

George went on to claim that theater productions take too long to get off the ground, making them incompatible with contemporary, evolving political issues. “Theater is so slow,” George told the students. “It takes years if you’re very, very lucky to have your play produced. So it’s not a rapid response media.”

Breitbart News reported in October 2019 that Boston University Professor Nathan Phillips was arrested after blocking an escalator in an attempt to bring attention to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s alleged role in worsening the local climate.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.