Political Promise

Scandal at “Insane” 10:10 Climate Change Group

In Michael Pickles on October 8, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Michael Pickles writes about the 10:10 environmental campaign’s recent controversial video.

A short video recently released by an environmental advocacy called 10:10 to highlight climate change provoked mixed reactions. The short video involved people both children and adults being blown up because they chose not to commit themselves to cutting carbon emissions. The prevailing reason for those who thought the video was acceptable was based on its humour (“I think it’s funny”). Those who objected to the video said it was disturbing.

Those who object are correct to do so. The short video by 10:10 is not only disturbing, but an offense to people who are serious about environmental issues. Probably two kinds of people would find this morally bankrupt short video funny or acceptable in terms of sending a “message”, the criminally insane (the Joker comes to mind) and terrorist groups. The blowing up of people (especially children) basically means we will kill you if you do not agree with us or do what we want you to do.

To take that kind of position, which is what people at 10:10 are doing, must be condemned if we have any sense of morality. Since I do not know the people at 10:10 (thankfully) I will give them the benefit of the doubt that they are not criminally insane. However, to offer people the prospect of being killed as the alternative if they do not agree with 10:10 political and social demands is one of the hallmarks of terrorism – to operate outside the law and to use terror as a method to bring change.

It will be down to things like 10:10 (a recent addition to environmental advocacy) and their grotesque media stunt that will be the greatest saboteurs on efforts by serious people trying to engage the wider public and citizenry with environmental issues. The backlash towards the video was expected. Most people probably believe we should not kill others if they disagree with us. To find the video funny means any discernable message on climate change is lost since the viewings is just for comedy.

The environmental advocacy is clearly divided into two camps; those who wish to invoke change through the current political process, and those who want to see change on the political process and people happen first and fast so that environmental agenda could be processed fast. People of the latter produced ideas such as removing democracy for an “enlightened” dictatorship of some kind so that environmental issues could be pursued faster. Killing people appears to be another fast method.

10:10 withdrew the video clip and claimed they have “learned and moved on.” That is unacceptable. They need to be held accountable and scrutinized on what they intend to do towards the public in the future. If the “creative team” and their management at 10:10 was capable of producing something as morally objectionable and political damaging as blowing up children to make a point and retained their jobs after the scandal, then the claim of having “learned the lesson and moved on” lacks persuasion and credibility. A public apology is in order and a rethinking of strategy is a must if 10:10 wants to be taken seriously as a legitimate environmental advocacy.

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