Jack Black, as a dinosaur, calls for urgent climate action in UN video

You read that right.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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Abrar Al-Heeti
2 min read
CGI dinosaur speaks at the podium in a UN video

This guy knows what he's talking about.

Screenshot by Abrar Al-Heeti/CNET

You know what'll finally get people to take climate change more seriously? Being scolded by a dinosaur. 

That's apparently what the United Nations Development Programme seems to think, based on a bizarre video the organization shared on YouTube last week. In the short film, a CGI dinosaur bursts into the General Assembly Hall amid horrified screams and bewildered gasps, taking to the podium to warn about what could come if humans don't tackle climate change.

"Listen up, people. I know a thing or two about extinction, and let me tell you -- and you'd kind of think this would be obvious -- going extinct is a bad thing," says the dinosaur, voiced by Jack Black. "And driving yourselves extinct? In 70 million years, that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. At least we had an asteroid. What's your excuse?"

People in the audience are now moved, nodding and looking at the dinosaur in admiration. (To be fair, the dino has a point.)

"Here's my wild idea," he concludes. "Don't choose extinction. Save your species, before it's too late."

This closing line earns a standing ovation, but we never learn how exactly this dinosaur stayed alive while all his friends and family were obliterated. Where has he been hanging out all this time? What's his secret?

Other versions of the clip feature different actors from around the world. The Spanish version, for instance, stars Eiza González, the Danes get Game of Thrones alum Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and the French video features Aïssa Maïga.

The video is part of the UNDP's campaign to highlight the dangers of climate change and inspire action from world leaders. Accompanying research from the organization found that, "the world spends $423 billion annually just to subsidize fossil fuels, enough to cover a COVID-19 vaccination for every person in the world or three times the annual amount needed to eradicate global extreme poverty."

World leaders are currently gathering in Glasgow, Scotland, for for COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference that's dubbed "the world's best last chance" to get control over the climate emergency. The conference runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.