Rainn Wilson’s Name Change for Climate Crisis Divides Internet—’Annoying’

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The Office actor Rainn Wilson changed his name to Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson to bring attention to climate change.

He revealed the name change on a video posted to his social media where he told his followers “this is not a joke.”

Wilson explained he wanted to bring attention to the climate crisis as world leaders meet for the United Nations climate change conference COP27 in Egypt.

“Sorry to get so dark, so quick,” the actor who played Dwight Schrute on the sitcom said in the video and added, “see what happens in the Arctic, doesn’t stay in the Arctic.”

Rainn Wilson performs onstage during Creed Bratton’s benefit concert for Lide Haiti at the Regent Theater DTLA on November 30, 2016 in Los Angeles. He has changed his name to raise awareness for climate change.
Scott Dudelson/Getty Images North America

“As the polar ice caps melt it drives up risk throughout the world. Including extreme weather events that affect us all.”

Wilson, a board member of Arctic Basecamp, revealed he changed his name on a website called Arctic Risk Name Generator.

“So as a cheap little stunt to help save planet Earth, I’ve changed my name on my Twitter, Instagram and even on my fancy writing paper,” he said holding up an envelope with his name on it with handwritten changes to show his new name.

The name on the envelope read, “acid Rainn kills trees Wilson.”

It is not clear if Wilson changed his name officially on legal documents, but his social media handles remain @rainnwilson, but he has update the name section of his accounts.

He encouraged fans and other to also change their names “to help tell the world leaders and influencers that we need to act now.”

The actor also had some suggestions for other celebrities to change their names including, “Cardi the Arctic B is Melting”, “Harrison why not drive an electric Ford” and “Amy Poehler bears are endangered.”

“With the help of my scientist friends at Arctic Basecamp, I’ve changed my name to Rainnfall Heat Wave Extreme Winter Wilson,” he later said in a statement.

“This is not a joke, I’m as serious as the melting Arctic, which amplifies global risks including extreme weather events around the globe.”

Wilson added: “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.

“Go to ArcticRiskName.org and create a name that will bring attention to this problem. Then—and this is the important part—change your social media profile or display name to match your new ArcticRisk name. And 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.”

But his climate change stunt was met with mixed reviews online with some fans calling it “annoying.”

“On one hand, this is very Dwight behavior. On the other hand, more annoying than the tomato soup shit. This guy actually has more resources to do something meaningful,” wrote one fan on Twitter.

Another added: “That is truly something Dwight would do.”

And a third wrote: “Wow! This completely stupid and insane thing has really educated me in climate change! Thank you rich white people!”

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