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“I was very happy to get blown up to save the world.”

September 30th, 2010 · 1 Comment

The 10:10 campaign is targeting getting nations, organizations, businesses, individuals, etc to commit to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions 10 percent per year as a path to achieve reductions, globally, in line with what looks necessary to have any serious chance of avoiding catastrophic climate chaos. As part of this, sparked in efforts with groups like 350.org and 1Sky and others, there is a Global Work Party scheduled for 10 October 2010.

As you will see, if you choose to watch it, this promotional video (film?), entitled No Pressure, takes a rather bloody tack to getting attention.

Here, by the way, is what I find to be a far more appropriate message re 10/10/10:

UPDATE:  The 10:10 video had a strong — and sometimes legitimate — angry response.  As per above, 10:10 pulled it from the web. If you wish, you can find it.  Note that this effort was not endorsed or seen by almost of those pushing the Global Work Day.  Here, for example, is the response from Bill McKibben (350.org)

Days that suck by Bill McKibben

I just climbed off an airplane at Boston’s Logan Airport. The day began in Monterrey, Mexico–and though I was tired, I was also feeling pretty good. Our big day of action on October 10th has been building to a crescendo: we yesterday broke our record from last year, registering more than 5500 actions for the big Global Work Party.

But I’d barely turned on my computer when that good feeling turned to a kind of quiet nausea. There were emails from people all saying the same thing: Have you seen this? This was a gross video making its way around Youtube, purporting to show people being blown up for not believing in climate change. It’s been “pulled” from Youtube by its creators, the British climate group 10:10, but of course nothing is ever really “pulled” from Youtube. If you want to watch it bad enough, I’m pretty sure you can find it. Or you can look at the story at climate denier Marc Morano’s Climate Depot website assailing it as the latest example of eco-fascism.

Morano, and other climate skeptics, are right to crow. It’s the kind of stupidity that really hurts our side, reinforcing in people’s minds a series of preconceived notions, not the least of which is that we’re out-of-control elitists. Not to mention crazy, and also with completely misplaced sense of humor.

We put out a statement at 350.org saying we had nothing to do with it– we didn’t see it till it had made its way around the web, and as soon as we did we let people know we thought it was disgusting.  We’ve known the creators for years–they put out a statement apologizing for their lapse. But it’s the kind of mistake that will haunt and hurt efforts. What makes it so depressing is that it’s the precise opposite of what the people organizing around the world for October 10 are all
about. In the first place, they’re as responsible as it’s possible to be: they’ll spend the day putting up windmills and solar panels, laying out bike paths and digging community gardens. And in the second place, they’re doing it because they realize kids are already dying from climate change, and that many many more are at risk as the century winds on. Killing people is, literally, the last thing we want.

There’s no question that crap like this will cast a long shadow over our efforts, and everyone else who’s working on global warming. We’re hard at work, as always, but we’re doing it today with a sunk and sad feeling.

Now that you’ve watched it, the question: is this a legitimate and effective messaging for promoting climate change mitigation action? Honestly, I am not sure how to take this.

Jamie Glover, the child-actor who plays the part of Philip and gets blown up, has similarly few qualms: “I was very happy to get blown up to save the world.”

The question is, truly, whether the bloody ‘if you don’t act with us, you’re dead’ is the right path toward convincing people to join with an effort to create a mass movement to help drive actual and, well, political change.  This might be more effective in the United Kingdom (where it was produced and is targeted) than, for example, in the United States. (For a more effective, imo, advertisement for the U.S. discussion, see here.)

We are, clearly, killing ourselves through our fossil-foolish energy practices. It is becoming clearer, with each passing day, that those using deceit and falsehoods to undermine movement toward a more sustainable energy are culpable (accomplices, if not direct actors) in the damages that are occurring from climate change and are going to get worse with mounting climate chaos — damages that include loss of life.

The film’s producer commented,

“We ‘killed’ five people to make No Pressure – a mere blip compared to the 300,000 real people who now die each year from climate change,”

It is a stark contrast that leads to a simple question: Which should generate more outrage and discussion? Five cinematographic explosive uses of fake blood or the real-world deaths of 100,000s per year?

This clip, in a far bloodier fashion, asks the question:

Where will you be on the 10th minute of the 10th hour of the 10th day of the 10th month of the 10th year?

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Brian Gillin // Oct 1, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Absolutely despicable.

    Not sure that “despicable” is an appropriate term for what is, after all, quite clearly actors and not hinting, in any way, at actual action.

    I can use this as an example of how tone-deaf some people can be with regard to message.

    Writ large, as your comment, I find it, as suggested in the post, to be tone-deaf for, at least, U.S. society. I don’t know about the UK.

    Seriously, I don’t see how the explosions add anything and, well, are likely negative.

    If the AGW crowd really believes that a “funny” movie in which activists blow up AGW skeptics

    Hmmm …. note that this isn’t necessarily “skeptics” being blown up. Isn’t it really people who aren’t participating in the 10 percent as with all the people around them, that aren’t holding up their part of a social responsibility?

    In any event, use of “AGW” is, of course, part of a messaging effort to undermine science through language.

    Do you deny that the Earth is warming?

    Do you deny that scientific examination cannot explain this warming without including human activity?

    (replete with full gore) will attract people to their message, then it’s less in touch with reality than we thought.

    Well, “crowd” and “it” implies (assumes/asserts) that every single person concerned about global warming and acting to mitigating it is all part of a lock-step universal effort. That is, as well, a talking point item that is utterly divorced from the real world.

    In any event, your type of reaction is the obvious downside of this approach — the question, for those seeking to address climate change, is whether the ‘buzz’ due to this add is net positive after considering the downside.

    As commented in the diary, Nissan’s Leaf ad is, imo, more effective: