Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

Transition Culture has moved

After eight years of frenzied blogging at this site, Transition Culture has moved to its new home. Do come and join us, but feel free to also browse this now-archived site and use the shop. Thanks for all your support, comments and input so far, and see you soon.


4 Oct 2010

That 10:10 film… not in my name….

Oh dear, oh dear. I had seen Frannie Armstrong’s newsletters talking about a forthcoming promo film for 10:10 being made by Richard Curtis (Notting Hill, Love Actually etc), but actually got to sit down and watch it last night. I have to say I am shocked, and appalled by this, and I’m on their side! The reaction to it has been largely negative and the whole saga entirely self defeating, the very people it was presumably meant to invite to be part of 10:10 feeling understandably judged, revolted and assaulted by it. If you haven’t seen it, here it is, you’ll need to have seen it for what I am going to write to make any sense….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSTLDel-G9k

So what is this film trying to say? Is it that if you aren’t willing to get involved in 10:10 we are entitled to blow you up because you clearly don’t care about anyone else so we might as well get in there first? Or that the lives of people who don’t care about climate change are worth less than those who do? Or that people ought to feel such pressure to get involved with 10:10 that they should feel as though their lives depended on it? This film falls back into 14 year-old angry activist mode, trying to shock people into action, and it backfires horribly.  It is meant to be funny.  It isn’t.  And having discussed it with several people, I am still unable to see how it was even actually meant to be funny….

Let’s just pause that film in our heads. In the classroom, the teacher finds that two of the students are intending not to get involved in 10:10 actions at the school. Would the film not have had greater resonance, greater relevance, and been infinitely more skillful, if the teacher had, I don’t know, perhaps asked them why not? Approaches such as Carbon Conversations work in this way, creating a space in which people can reflect on why they don’t act in spite of knowing about climate change. Might it be because they are scared of change, feel they can’t afford to make any changes, feel they will be laughed at by friends and family, or that they don’t know what to do? These are common responses, even among people who are trying to do something.  It is not that such people are ‘the enemy’, they are our friends and family, our work colleagues and next door neighbours.  I find myself vastly puzzled by the logic of this message…

A film maker such as Richard Curtis, so good at capturing emotional turmoil in a way that resonates for millions of people (call me a softy but ‘Love Actually’ makes me cry everytime, although I fully accept that many people see it as syruppy schlop) could have explored that really powerfully.  Perhaps the teacher might have invited them to say why they didn’t want to engage, and they could have aired some of the very reasons that emerge in countless surveys on the subject: “I don’t trust/understand the science, I am just too busy, its for governments to do stuff not us”…. .

Perhaps David Ginola might have opened up and talked about how footballers are too macho to care about the planet, or how he is so wealthy that he feels cushioned from caring about the planet. Perhaps in the office, the people might have talked about how they fear being the laughing stock of their colleagues, how they struggled as it was to balance work and home time and something has to give. Perhaps they might have thrown it back at the boss and said “well compared to you, my lifestyle is already low carbon”.  It could have been an emotional catharsis, like in Mike Leigh’s brillliant ‘Secrets and Lies’, when Timothy Spall does his ‘secrets and lies’ speech (here, at around 5.30), where people speak their minds and reach some kind of understanding.   Certainly in our everyday lives the approach we seek is dialogue and discussion, showing what’s possible by example and so on, so why, in a short film, does exploding people become an acceptable form of engagement?  Why this retreat into puerile humour?

This sends me back to thinking about change, how it happens, and how it definitely doesn’t happen. One of the most common, and yet the most discredited, approaches to enabling change, is called the ‘information deficit model’. This assumes that people would act if only they had enough information, so therefore the way to solve this is by providing enough information. Also known as A-I-D-A (Awareness-Information-Decision-Action), this approach assumes that the more information you give people, the more likely they are to act. However, time and again this has been shown not to work, climate change being a key example of this. Some studies even show that it is an approach which leads to increases in apathy, the more information people are given, the less inclined they are to take action. In reality, the factors affecting peoples’ choices are far more complex.

In a review of the science on the subject, Maxine Holdsworth(1) suggests that “consumers are generally happy to act sustainably where it does not impinge on their key priorities and cause them inconvenience”. The more recent research indicates that the reasons why people change, or don’t change, are far more complex, influenced by a wide range of factors. This film doesn’t even get as far as A-I-D-A, it retreats to some adolescent idea of the need to shock people into action, offering no information at all. It speaks volumes of the frustration felt by some in the climate change movement after such a vital issue has been rubbished and sidelined over the past year, of how as the lines on the graph keep accelerating upwards, public interest in the issue continues to fall. But this ‘shock and awe’ approach is a spectacular own goal. The right wing press have naturally had a field day.  James Delingbole, writing in the Telegraph, wrote, “you have just released a video which has entered history as the most emetic, ugly, counterproductive eco-propaganda movie ever made”.  For once in my life (and almost certainly for the last time), I have to say I agree with him. 

10:10 is a brilliant initiative, engaging people and organisations in practical carbon reduction, in a positive and engaging way. It has engaged schools, football clubs, Councils, businesses, in taking practical steps to reduce carbon. In the build up to its 10:10:10 day of action in a few days time, this film couldn’t have been worse judged nor worse timed. Indeed, I have heard that some groups are now pulling out of the 10:10:10 day precisely because of this film, feeling unable to be associated with it.  10:10 have now withdrawn the film from their website (it has subsequently been posted all over YouTube), and issued the following ‘apology’:

Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn’t and we sincerely apologise to anybody we have offended. As a result of these concerns we’ve taken it off our website. We won’t be making any attempt to censor or remove other versions currently in circulation on the internet.

Hardly an apology, more like a lament that not everyone ‘got the joke’.  This feels to me like an in-joke between Frannie Armstrong and Richard Curtis that they should have laughed about in an early meeting and then discarded, rather than saying “you know what, I think it might work”. 

I have supported 10:10 and will continue to do so, but with regards this film I have to say, not in my name.  This does not represent the movement against climate change of which I count myself as a part.  I think that this film produces nothing of any benefit to anyone, it was spectacularly misjudged, in appalling taste, and was an own goal probably unparalleled in the history of the environmental movement.  Imagine if UKIP had made a film where people who believe that being part of the Europeean Union were blown up …. “the UK should leave the EU… no pressure”.  They would be rightly lampooned, derided and abandoned in droves. 

For me, the response to climate change needs to be based on values of respect, decency, compassion and reaching across divides.  It is a movement I am proud to contribute to which has generated much insightful thinking about how to engage people by presenting the shift to a low carbon world as a step forward, as progress, as creating a culture which better meets our needs as individuals and communities.  This moment of madness runs counter to all that.  I’ll say it again.  Not in my name. 

Reference

1. Holdsworth, M. (2003) Green Choice: what choice? Summary of NCC research into consumer attitudes to sustainable consumption.  London, National Consumer Council.

Comments are now closed on this site, please visit Rob Hopkins' blog at Transition Network to read new posts and take part in discussions.

51 Comments

Gareth Kane
4 Oct 11:32am

I couldn’t agree more. If they were trying to be tasteless, they could have at least made it funny and tasteless. An unmitigated disaster.

[...] Update: We also recommend this great response from Rob Hopkins. [...]

Cristiano Bottone
4 Oct 11:55am

As you wrote, this is an old story: shock people and they will pay attention. We know it doesn’t work, but we still fall into temptation. Very sad.

Joe Cassels
4 Oct 12:08pm

Absolutely. Not in my name either! I could almost believe that the film was made by opponents of the environmental movement but no one would make a smear that ham fisted. As cock ups go, this one’s spectacular.

cliff
4 Oct 12:17pm

Irrespective of the merits of the ‘No Pressure’ film (which I found very entertaining), is it appropriate to ask, where are the films that do ‘work’, that engage with the audience, that address climate change in a hopeful way?
Drawing attention to such films (please?) would be far more useful than joining in the chorus of criticism of 10:10′s latest.

JunkkMale
4 Oct 12:36pm

Eloquently articulated.

And it is still resonating, not least because of rather poor PR responses, that I hesitate to describe as, but do seem almost like ‘denial’.

This effort made mine a lot harder.

Francesco
4 Oct 12:56pm

But it is most probably a case of Astroturfing…
(I am sorry the article I link is just in Italian, but Ugo perhaps is writing it in English too)
Bye

Scott A Mandia
4 Oct 12:59pm

I am SHOCKED, just SHOCKED that 10:10 suggests that we blow up our children! What a dumb idea.

Instead, we should be EATING OUR CHILDREN.

http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/a-modest-carbon-proposal-by-jonathan-swifthack/

Look, we are making this a bigger story than it should be. I say poke fun at it to mnimize its importance.

Sam Far
4 Oct 1:46pm

The video provides insight into an ugly mindset, all the more scary since their hatred is based on so little of substance. Let it be noted once again that there is no evidence that CO2 has ever been, or is, a driver of our climate. Let it also be noted that computer models explicitly set to give CO2 a large role in climate, do not constitute anything other than a crude illustration of an hypothesis. One contradicted everywhere it makes contact with the real atmosphere.

Doug
4 Oct 2:25pm

10:10 UK’s “apology” was actually a horrible non-apology: an accusation disguised as an apology. It was our fault for not getting the joke.

Nevertheless, see this clarification by 10:10 Portugal (English translation by Google Translate) disavowing any connection to or approval of the video, which was produced by 10:10 UK without consulting the other participants.

Brad K.
4 Oct 2:39pm

Rob,

“known as A-I-D-A . . assumes that the more information you give people, the more likely they are to act. However, . . this has been shown not to work”

“Providing information” is a euphemism for a marketing campaign. Back in WWII, manipulative propaganda was used to guide people into responding to (necessary) war efforts. Following the conflict, commercial advertisements adapted the “media blitz” for their own ends. Environmental and other groups have an uphill battle trying to use these tools of mass manipulation.

First, all advertisers know there is a point of diminishing returns. Every campaign and message has a point of saturation – effort spent at higher levels is wasted. Remember the movie “Crazy People” (great music!) with Dudley Moore – the plot lives inside the marketing profession, and discloses some unflattering insights.

Second, I get the impression that Curtis was working for a dilettante of a producer, that he went over the top, way beyond his own appreciation of making a statement, out of pique at the childish savagery of his employers. Obviously the editing and post-production satisfied the people commissioning the film, so it isn’t just something that director Curtis did on his own.

I would point out that the film portrays 10:10 proponents as arrogant, intolerant, and actively brutal.

And I think they trampled copyrights, with the shallow copying of the Staples office supply store’s advertised “Easy” button. The “no pressure” is another transparent attempt to camp onto that Staples marketing gimmick, too.

More importantly, though, the film ties deeply into a fringe notion – unilateral depopulation as a means to reduce carbon emissions and improve food security. Any significant unilateral depopulation, in today’s world, invites local, national, and international disruption in security, economic as well as physical and military.

The film also establishes the “me first” position of 10:10 proponents. The teacher, the team lead, the manager are shown to be “the ones” to choose who will populate the world they claim as their personal fiefdom. Attila the Hun, Che Guevara, and Osama Bin Laden would (have) loved such a button. They had points to make, too.

Butchery as social discourse. How quaint.

Chris Johnstone
4 Oct 3:00pm

Failures can be instructive, which is why ‘Celebrate failure as well as success’ is one of the transition patterns. I love what you’ve written here Rob about what’s wrong with this film.

A question I ask myself when I mess things up is “how can respond to this mistake in way that brings something of value from this?”

A really important question raised here is how we work with resistance in ways other than blowing up those reluctant to do things our way. The carbon conversations work by Rosemary Randall and others is really valuable here. Rather than push harder or use force when people disagree, find out about the source of their reluctance and work to reduce that.

This is such an important work in progress. While I think the film is appalling, I hope we can learn some lessons from it, and that it can provoke us to approach conflict and resistance in new and creative ways.

Chris.

Kevin
4 Oct 4:53pm

I was browsing the net at the very moment 10:10 put this video out. I was doing so out of intetrest in the climate change debate and wished to see the arguments presented for and against by various organisations. I was extremely angry to watch a video in which an organisation I HAD NOT HEARD OF BEFORE THREATENED TO KILL ME IF i did not agree with them!! In 800 years of conflict in ireland not one single person has ever changed their opinion because they were threatened by the other side. WHAT COMPLETE JUVENILE IDIOTS believe their role is to shock people.

Well I WAS SHOCKED AT THIS NAKED FASCIST ASSAULT ON FREE SPEECH. The organisation is now being investigated by scotland yarfds anti terrorist branch who are taking the matter most seriously!!

Jeremy
4 Oct 5:12pm

I agree, I’m on their side too and my first thought was that this was a really, really bad idea.

I think I can see what they were trying to do, by playing on the idea that there’s ‘no pressure’ – ie, nobody’s going to kill you if you don’t join. But it’s a frail joke at the best of times and backfires terribly when presented in such a shocking way.

I feel sorry for 10:10 for shooting themselves in the foot so spectacularly, but you do have to wonder how no-one in the office saw it coming.

If there’s any comfort to draw from the episode, it’s that climate sceptics have been so HYSTERICALLY SHOUTY about this new ‘ecoterrorist threat’ that their use of the word ‘alarmist’ has taken on a rather ironic tone.

Dan Olner
4 Oct 6:02pm

Two points: I second Jeremy; a number of people have said that, if anything good can come of this, it’s watching the reaction of people who claim this video to be (as a commenter at Tim Lambert’s Deltoid blog said) “a secret UN plot to explode everybody.” That is, some people are genuinely arguing it shows eco-fascists want to blow up your children. It makes them appear so clearly unable to distinguish fiction from reality, or possibly just political opportunists who’ll inflate things out of all proportion to suit their agenda. (How many more “final nails in the coffin of man-made climate change” can there be…?)

But that’s not to lessen the awfulness of the film. Second point: I hang around the sidelines of a lot of climate blogs, where one can see climate scientists are trying to battle a tide of ignorance and misinformation. They find themselves up against an avalanche. TO anyone even remotely familiar with that political battle, it seems utterly impossible that an organisation like 10:10 could have got all the way to putting this film on the internet without realising it was a Very Bad Idea.

This makes me wonder: can some climate campaigners in the UK really be that insulated? Are they not picking up on e.g. Monbiot’s point that every single Republican up for senate re-election in November is a climate denier? That people like “lord” Monckton are still taken seriously?

The video I would like to have seen: various scenes involving people denying basic scientific fact. E.g. a co-pilot of a small plane turning off the engine because “the science of aerodynamics isn’t settled, and my cousin tells me there’s evidence planes will just hover in mid-air if they’re turned off…” etc.

Stephen Wilde
4 Oct 8:12pm

“the lines on the graph keep accelerating upwards,”

The lines on the graphs that I have seen show global temperatures within natural variability, resolutely refusing to go up and departing ever more from earlier expectations of rising temperatures.

What graphs are you referring to ?

We should allow increased wealth and education to move us inexorably towards voluntary population stabilisation and on the basis of current figures that should happen within the next 50 years or so. Every human society with sufficient wealth and education has been shown to reduce birthrates to replacement level or less.

In the meantime technological advances will steadily reduce the per capita demand for earth resouces to a level that is more sustainable.

Then once population growth has ceased it will begin a long slow decline on a purely voluntary basis whilst resource use efficiency increases still further and in 150 years or so a long term accommodation with nature will have been achieved without the scary scenarios promulgated by seekers of power.

We have to restrain those pessimists. They are wrong and throughout history have always been wrong. They are the threat, not population, resource depletion or pollution. Left to our own free choices we can do what is necessary without them. The whole of history shows that we can overcome the prognostications of aggressive doomsayers.

They may want large numbers of us to die. All we need is for them to get out of the way. We have the moral advantage in every way and we must now express it and move forward without them.

A new movement is needed.

Perhaps ‘ The People’s Planetary Symbiosis’ ?

Chris S
4 Oct 8:15pm

I’m a die-hard sceptic, and there are many things I take issue with.
This film was in very poor taste, granted, but the level of outrage is waaay over the top. Does anyone seriously believe that 10:10 recommend harming anyone.
Of course, if this had been a film made by sceptics, the vitriol would be off the scale, so I suppose all’s fair.

There are extremes on both sides of the debate. I’d be much happier if people got outraged about the misplaced ideology and manufactured science of the CAGW promoters.

Chuck McKinnon
4 Oct 8:46pm

First, Mr. Hopkins: thank you for distancing yourself from the 10:10 “No Pressure” film without caveats.

Dan, Jeremy: I’m surprised you think the reactions are over the top. Imagine if it was a grassroots US Tea Party campaign video asking who was going to encourage their parents to help elect the most conservative Republican candidate, and then blowing up the recalcitrants? It would be on every major news outlet worldwide.

Honestly, if someone had shown me this video without attribution I’d have thought it was from extremists on the far right, and would have deplored it as over-the-top and likely to backfire. That it came from an environmental organization is positively sinister.

That doesn’t mean I think everyone who wants me to reduce my carbon emissions is a potential executioner; I wouldn’t be here thanking Mr Hopkins for his decency in repudiating the video if that were true. But I absolutely think this video shows the ugly face of extremism – the Timothy McVeigh wannabes of the left. How can it reasonably be interpreted otherwise? This was supposed to be shown in theatres and on television, remember: not just posted on YouTube as a trial balloon.

Graham
4 Oct 9:40pm

Dan Olner: “The video I would like to have seen: various scenes involving people denying basic scientific fact…”

Ha Ha good idea! How about people talking about homeopathy saying things like “Science has been wrong before you know!” or some anti-GE protesters pulling up GE crops saying “It’s Frankenfood! All those scientists are in the pay of Big Ag!”

Or, more relevant to AGW mitigation, a discussion about how nuclear power would be worse than AGW.

Simon
4 Oct 9:50pm

Franny Armstrong responded to the uproar by saying “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”.

Someone made what I thought was a good point in a comment on The Guardian’s coverage:

If that quote had been included *in* the film, then the message would be completley different and the film would have worked: make people shocked and outraged at first to grab their attention, then hit them with a very serious point that puts it all in perspective.

Dwight Towers
4 Oct 11:35pm

Marc Roberts has produced a funny cartoon on the subject of this film.

http://www.marcrobertscartoons.com/

Personally, whoever greenlighted Richard Curtis to make this film should do the decent thing…

[...] The “No Pressure” film By dwighttowers Manchester Climate Fortnightly has an article about this “heartbreaking work of staggering… idiocy” here. Climate Safety has a better one here. Transition Culture has a good one here. [...]

lithe
4 Oct 11:46pm

Maybe it is the rabid ecology terror nazis whos should blow themselves up, then they wouldn’t have to spend their worthless, frantic lives worrying about how the rest of us live.

Shaun Chamberlin
5 Oct 1:47am

Oh, if only they’d been able to read the outstanding Common Cause report beforehand!

It came out a fortnight ago, supported by five significant environmental NGOs (but not 10:10!) and brilliantly examines the battle of values underlying mass communications, and how we can most effectively get our message across with integrity.

I was so impressed I did a blog post on it not a few days ago. I highly recommend downloading a copy if you’re interested in these issues.

Carl McPherson
5 Oct 1:53am

I have updated my article to include more videos:
http://tinyurl.com/Eco-or-Die-Updates

Michael Bailey
5 Oct 2:49am

The carbon footprint of one internet server is the same as that of a 15 MPG SUV. The more space and time we put into the internet, the more we render any of these arguments completely moot.

Brad K.
5 Oct 4:34am

@ Shaun Chamberlin,

I didn’t read the whole report, I didn’t get all the way through the summary. I couldn’t. I got too angry.

The Common Cause report you cite is a study in effective propaganda and population manipulation. This is a scholarly piece, well done and likely quite effective in it’s goals.

Me? I found the approach lacking in humanity, in starting with validating the objectives of the organization, and the relationship of those objectives and the manipulations intended with the welfare of the members of the target audience.

I do disagree with you on whether the lesson of the Common Cause report is benign. (http://www.draftresource.com/mytake/2010/10/04/tc-the-common-cause-manual-for-propaganda/). The Common Cause report, it seems to me, is merely attempting to do the same thing, only better. The underlying assumptions about changing the audience (manipulation) and lack of respect for the unchanged is still there.

In your Dark Optimism piece, I did find myself relating – positively! – to several of the references you objected to. One never presents to an audience, through any medium, without desiring a change in the audience. The actor thrives on audience reaction. If not to inform the audience, why broadcast news, or other information or message? Why would any statement or book or blog be written, if not to affect – to change – the reader?

This may be related. A friend pointed out that there is no humor without pain. Humor makes us laugh at mistakes and pain – and always requires that someone suffer pain, or humiliation, or be portrayed in ignorance or stupidity. Joy, on the other hand, seldom involves another’s pain.

Propaganda varies from other affective messages in that it disregards the welfare of the audience, in it’s intent to establish the propagandists objective. The impact of many activist messages on the audience is often benign, but the welfare of the audience is not the reason for the message. The actor, the musician, the story teller tend to expect to enrich the member of the audience (at least primarily; there is often a bit of manipulation to develop audience appreciation in the form of continued patronage – which distinguishes the amateur presentation from the professional). Comedians are a gray area for me. There is a lot of disrespect – humor – in comedy, and little joy.

Shaun Chamberlin
5 Oct 5:32am

Hi Brad,

I’m afraid I’m not too clear as to what it was that angered you so!

The Common Cause report emphasises, as you do, that all communication does in fact change the reader/viewer.

So, as you say, the distaste we feel for ‘propaganda’-type messaging is that it does so in a manipulative/deceptive way, claiming to be delivering one message when in fact reinforcing others, or hiding part of the truth about its motivations.

Common Cause thus argues that all mass communications should be careful to research and understand the values that they are reinforcing, and to be clear and honest in publishing the results of that research.

As I highlighted in my post, this honesty has the wonderful side-effects of simultaneously opening up an important debate over those values AND shining a light on the dubious morality of those doing similar work from the cover of darkness.

If, as you and I both believe, all communication transmits values, then to study how to do so effectively and honestly seems to me a valid subject for a report.

But I feel as though maybe I’ve missed something in your response, so apologies if I have.

John Mason
5 Oct 7:50am

Glad to see you commenting on this, Rob. I share your views on the matter.

Perhaps the most in-depth analysis of the fall-out from the affair is this:

http://greenwordsworkshop.org/node/17

Well worth a read.

Cheers – John

Thon Brocket
5 Oct 8:47am

Hi, folks, from a booga-booga Neanderthal Denier, who detests and despises everything about the GW fraud, and whose greatest pleasure is the vicious, merciless, tasteless mockery of the humourless busybodies who promote this tripe.

It’s the funniest thing since Ma caught her tits in the mangle. No, not the video, Emily. That’s a yawner. The hoot is in the reaction of the purse-lipped righties, particularly the Yanks; and of the bewildered leftie makers at 10:10. “How can we have done wrong when our cause is just and our hearts are pure?”

Bwahhhhhahah!!!

[...] it up, while some of the warmists are going into print to condemn the film – ill-advised and not in my name are two [...]

Vikki
5 Oct 10:15am

Despite wincing at the tastelessness of blowing up people who don’t share your views, I initially thought it was ironic – doing nothing is not an option & was the blowing-up supposed to symbolise the dire consequences of a collective failure to act? However, the more I think about it the less I like it, and found your commentary spot-on. What a missed opportunity to really engage with people, instead of alienating them.

andy brewin
5 Oct 11:41am

What bizarre, tasteless tosh.

I’m afraid nonsense like this does not warrant a particularly considered response. Richard Curtis may be a talented and funny film maker but clearly that helps disguise the fact that he is obviously a bit of a tit !

A sad little, utterly counterproductive, distraction from the important work of real projects such as TT.

Rudi
5 Oct 12:00pm

Eish, that was stupid. “You peasant, you don’t agree with us, therefore we’ll kill you”? Great! What a message! /sarcasm

Listen, I’m a “sceptic”, or a “denier” if you will, but this? This video has has done so much damage to the dialog. We’re only going to solve our problems if we sit down, discuss them, and agree on what they are and how to solve them. Not by throwing teenage temper tantrums and pretending to blow up the stupid, stupid people who won’t listen and don’t understand. What’s next … will the 10:10 campaigners get shady boyfriends, dye their hair black, and threaten to cut themselves? How juvenile and disappointing coming from what could have been a promising campaign.

Doug
5 Oct 2:53pm

I just can’t stop myself from commenting again.

The filmmakers seem to have completely misunderstood the message of their own film (yes, that is possible!). Who are the good guys in this film? Presumably, the ones who raised their hands, who volunteered to work toward making the world a better place. And what was their reaction to what transpired? Shocked horror!

If the heroes of your own film react with disgust and horror to your own message: You. Have. Failed.

Brad K.
5 Oct 3:35pm

@ Thon Brocket,

Thanks for contributing. Perhaps next time you might address the topic, and not the character of the visitors.

@ Vikki,

I think perhaps you actually pinned down the message that was meant. “doing nothing is not an option” – this is an assumption and premise of faith for many people. If we presume that the instructor/manager represent the ecology, the economy, and/or Gaia, then “the button” represents that assumption – doing nothing is not an option. The calm, uncaring, and ruthless demeanor of the buttoneer might imply that nature will roll right over those not onboard “the movement”.

The problem with this is that the message is likely aimed at those without that basic, fundamental, underlying assumption – that doing nothing is not an option. That leaves most everyone viewing the piece struggling – who are we to identify with? The buttoneer? Those that will be appalled at the loss of life and connection in our futures, the loss of security that we face (with no apparent reward except a – possibly temporary – survival) and shattered illusions about the magnitude of change we face?

Aside from the apparently unconcerned buttoneer, what is coming is expected to be appalling for everyone, and fatal for some. And all of it requires that one, basic underlying assumption and article of faith of the true believer to make sense. Which makes the piece pretty much worthless to the skeptic, the unconvinced, the doubting person that the piece is purportedly aimed at.

Besides, I think their metaphor is skewed nastily. The story that I understand is that individual efforts might have population-level impacts, not personal survival as stakes. Communities organizing have potential benefits to improve community survival as well as improve individual survival. In the video, degree of participation is related directly to personal survival, which is a surprisingly naive and inaccurate travesty on expectations.

@ Rob,

Everyone should keep in mind that the “No Pressure” video, like Thon Brocket’s contribution today, could be intended to deliberately inflame as a means of garnering views and discussion.

Unfortunately, some will surely view this film as, literally, a call to arms. I recall the spectre of anti-abortion protests here in the State, expressed with bombings and shootings. I pray this piece doesn’t similarly move the social discourse on preparation and mitigation toward violence, aggression, and intolerance.

[...] as other bloggers have asked, one big question left hanging is how the hundreds of people involved over [...]

Mike T
5 Oct 5:47pm

This is just a distraction from the main issue involved in global warming, which is that carbon dioxide concentrations do not in any significant way contribute to it. This is the fundamental warmist falsehood, and stupid films like this actually might help the warmist cause by distracting people from the fact that there is no underlying truth to their eco-religion at all. After being outraged by warmist lies for years now, more and more I find myself fighting boredom on this non-issue. Perhaps the warmist side is also getting bored, and hence this splatter-film. I don’t think it worked. Manmade global warming, because it doesn’t even exist, is still a boring subject.

[...] is anything to go on the 10:10 campaign is being accused of being either very naïve (see here, here or here to begin with) or eco-fascist. Gillian Anderson in the 10:10 video. Image: [...]

BioFreshBlog
5 Oct 6:52pm

Hi Rob

Many thanks for an interesting blog – I agree that 10:10 ‘s communication strategy has effectively backfired on what is a largely positive and constructive campaign.

On that, we’ve blogged here: http://tinyurl.com/38fhp58 on how the 10:10 video illustrates an interesting wider debate in environmental communication – whether crisis/fear based environmental messages (like the 10:10 video) are useful in changing public perceptions and behaviours; or whether subtler hope-based messages are more effective?

Leanne
5 Oct 9:26pm

My husband and I watched this short film and were appalled by it.

Blowing up children is never funny.

Now maybe I’m one of those no-sense-of-humour-greenie-loonies, but I just don’t see that this sort of take on climate change denial is going to encourage anyone to be more active towards cutting emissions, becoming more sustainable or creating stronger community links – all actions we desperately need.

Not amused. I really don’t feel I can associate myself with the 10:10 movement any more. I’ll be active in other ways, but they’ve lost our support.

Anon
5 Oct 10:23pm

I think the film was genius, but I can’t explain why, and it wasn’t for me.
The middle class side of my head is trying to tell me why it’s awful, but I’m trying to think like a transition class fourteen year old, computer games, not care too much, love, shut up, shut down, buttons, ha, ha, all that…

Thon Brocket
6 Oct 7:31am

like Thon Brocket’s contribution today, could be intended to deliberately inflame as a means of garnering views and discussion.

Ah, you old flatterer, Brad K, – you impute to me grander motives than I have. I’m just having a giggle at a bunch of self-righteous watermelon boneheads who have entertainingly stood on their collective crank, that’s all.

Unfortunately, some will surely view this film as, literally, a call to arms. I recall the spectre of anti-abortion protests here in the State, expressed with bombings and shootings. I pray this piece doesn’t similarly move the social discourse on preparation and mitigation toward violence, aggression, and intolerance.

“Violence, aggression, and intolerance” is the key message of the 10:10 video. 10:10 are the villains here, not right-wingers or sceptics or the Tea Party or whatever. For a nasty little piece of misdirection like that to work, Brad, you have to be better at it than you are.

DaftAida
8 Oct 11:58pm

Gross though the film is, it IS truthful and these days, the truth is very shocking. The climate change/global warming-cooling/carbon footprint/greenhouse gas conglomorate represent The New Global religion – ‘sustainability’ read Depopulation for starters. You’re either ‘with them’ or ‘against them’ and we can all see, can’t we children, what happens when we’re against them. That is how they see it. Simple.

John Mason
10 Oct 4:37pm

Some of the comments on here show a failure to take into account that many of us, in the TM and elsewhere, were appalled at the video and have said so. I can see people spinning it for petty political point-scoring purposes for a long time to come. Most folk will fall asleep with boredom as a consequence.

In the meantime, following the endless hounding of Mann et al, Wegman et al are now under investigation:

http://deepclimate.org/2010/10/08/wegman-under-investigation-by-george-mason-university/

I wonder where this will lead?

Cheers – John

DaftAida
10 Oct 5:32pm

The underlying reason why many TM followers are shocked by this presentation is that is screams out the true motives behind the agenda that they foolishly support. People getting blown up is the logical conclusion to the Eugenics Climate-Change Con. So for those who don’t like it; stop supporting it. Club of Rome circa 1976 conceived the ridiculous notion that the masses would be persuaded that they were the cause of all the Earth’s ills; yes there’s far too many of us and we’re CONSUMING finite resources! Today, this spurious theory is becoming as firm a belief as its precurser, Darwins’s theory of evolution. Look behind the charade of PR; follow the money on carbon taxes, green trusts, foundations and UN Agenda 21. And then maybe TM’ers will voice their support against something real before their very eyes; Chemtrails and weather modification. Yet it’s all hush hush on the reality front.

Richard Bell
11 Oct 2:22am

We need an open inquiry into how 10:10UK made the choices that led to the release of this destructive ad.

Anyone who has ever worked with persuasion communications, whether for sales or consciousness changing, knows that before one launches a video like this one, one should show the ad to a statistically meaningful sample of people to assess their reactions. I find it difficult to believe that this ad was reviewed by more than a handful of insiders before its release.

If we are going to learn anything useful from this disaster, the UK 10:10 group should agree to a completely transparent investigation of how they came to make and release this ad. The principals of 10:10 should explain on the record the entire dismal history of this ad, producing all of the emails, minutes of meetings, etc. that led up to the release of the ad.

Such a report would allow the rest of us whose cause has been so badly wounded by the ad to analyze what happened, and discuss how every organization can take steps to protect itself from ever making such a terrible mistake.

DaftAida
11 Oct 5:48am

Do you? More publicity for the agenda and I hardly agree that organisations need any more protection than they already enjoy; look at BP and the environmental catastrophe and human murder they have been protected from facing the justice and judgement on. Protected from being held accountable, imprisoned. The holding funds and all assets of BP should be frozen and the company made bankrupt through fines to fund the repair. They should be made to lead a wage free, labour intensive life sentence. It was not ‘a terrible mistake’ to release such a clearly controversial film. Look at us, we’re all at it, as per the intention. Seriously, guys, the red ink’s hit the wall on this one.

John Mason
11 Oct 12:37pm

“The underlying reason why many TM followers are shocked by this presentation is that is screams out the true motives behind the agenda that they foolishly support.”

You have made my above point for me!

I’m sure there’s a forum for cornucopian creationist conspiracy-theorists somewhere if you keep looking!

cheers – John

[...] Here’s a piece I wrote about [...]

Mo
6 Nov 11:04pm

I suspect a vast majority of us find virtue in living lightly upon the earth. Sadly divisive efforts, such as this video, pollute and politicize this issue. This video only serves to drive the wedge deeper. Too bad the talent and resources were not spent on a more unifying message.