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Frozen and the State Department: How Elsa Could Fight Climate Change

Elsa, Anna, Sven and Olaf from Disney’s Frozen could succeed in fighting climate change where others have failed. (Joe Seer/

Could Frozen’s Elsa, Anna, Sven and Olaf help stymie the global rise in temperature that the Earth is faced with today? Well, maybe.

While an idealist would love nothing more than the ability to control ice and snow as Elsa could in Disney’s 2013 movie Frozen, in the real world we’re not allowed to have superpowers. Not to mention, it’s unclear whether pumping freezing temperatures into the atmosphere would do more to hurt or help an already aching planet (scientists, you want to look into that for us?).

None-the-less, it appears that there’s a chance the cast of this hit animated movie might be doing their part to slow the progression of climate change, according to Adm. Robert Papp, U.S. Special Representative to the Arctic.

Speaking to audiences at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Norway this last January, Papp said he had been in discussions with a representative from Disney to gain the rights to use the characters to promote awareness of global warming. Unfortunately, the talks don’t seem to be showing much progress.

"As I continued to talk, I could see the executive getting more and more perplexed, and he said: 'Admiral, you might not understand: Here at Disney, it's in our culture to tell stories that project optimism and have happy endings,'" Papp said at the conference, according to National Journal.

It may be telling that the general consensus on climate change is bleak enough that Disney executives would allegedly pan the idea on the basis that it was too pessimistic—or ultimately depressing and horrifying.

Never-the-less, Papp presses on, telling audiences on March 12 at an event hosted by the Brookings Institute in Washington that conversations with Disney were ongoing and that he was hopeful they would be able to reach an agreement, according to National Journal.

Though somewhat discomforting that fictional, animated characters could in theory be able to succeed in rallying support to tackle the issue where a steady stream of scientists have failed, it’s intriguing all the same to think of the impact such a move would have with the youngest generation—the generation that will arguably suffer the most from the long-term implications of sustained carbon dioxide pollution.

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