(A response to the “No Pressure” Video)
Bill McKibben “” some-time guest blogger and the author most recently of the must-read book Eaarth — has asked me to post this response to a noxious video that some irresponsible folks in the UK put together.
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 stories by climate deniers assailing it as the latest example of eco-fascism.
The climate skeptics can crow. It’s the kind of stupidity that 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 and out of touch — not to mention off the wall, 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 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 shadow, for a time, 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.
— Bill McKibben
JR: The video is beyond tasteless and should be widely condemned. Individual anti-science, pro-pollution disinformers, of course, routinely promote hate speech but you rarely see anyone on their side denounces them. I’m speaking of people like Anthony Watts, with his utterly offensive comments on the Purported eco-terrorist who was shot and killed by police. And of course there’s the Swift Boat smearer (see “UK Guardian slams Morano for cyber-bullying and for urging violence against climate scientists“). And the worst of all is Lord Monckton (see Monckton repeats and expands on his charge that those who embrace climate science are “Hitler youth” and fascists).
None of this excuses that disgusting video. But the difference is that those who are trying to preserve a livable climate and hence the health and well-being of our children and billions of people this century quickly denounce the few offensive over-reaches of those who claim to share our goals — but those trying to destroy a livable climate, well, for them lies and hate speech are the modus operandi, so such behavior is not only tolerated, but encouraged.
Please keep the comments civil. And no, I’m not linking to the video. You can find it only if you want.