Will Climate Activists Find Success by Targeting Artwork?

Climate activists have thrown food and glued themselves to famous paintings. Will their actions inspire people or divide them?



Which painting do you most want to touch?

There have been a string of stunts recently with climate activists targeting artwork, from Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” painting to Monet’s “Grainstacks” painting to Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” painting last week. These protests have reinvigorated conversations about the “3.5% rule,” which suggests a movement needs only 3.5% of the population involved to be successful. Or, at least that’s what some climate activists have claimed. Ethan argues why the 3.5% rule might not be applicable to climate advocacy and why leading with the goal of inspiring as many people as possible could produce more success in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.”

The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise.

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Writers: Ethan Brown, Madeleine Salman, Maddy Schmidt

Fact Checker: Ysabel Wulfing

Editor: Megan Antone

Producers: Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt

Ad Voiceover: Sabrina Rollings

Music: Brett Sawka

The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.

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The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


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