02 October 2010

The Worst Climate PR Stunt Ever

The 10:10 Campaign, an advocacy effort on climate change that receives support from the UK government and is in partnership with the Guardian, released the video above yesterday.  They have since apologized for their monumental error in judgment.  Here is an excerpt from what the Guardian reported when announcing the video:
[I]t's pretty edgy, given 10:10's aim of asking people, businesses and organisations to take positive action against global warming by cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by 10% in a year, and thereby pressuring governments to act.

"Doing nothing about climate change is still a fairly common affliction, even in this day and age. What to do with those people, who are together threatening everybody's existence on this planet? Clearly we don't really think they should be blown up, that's just a joke for the mini-movie, but maybe a little amputating would be a good place to start?" jokes 10:10 founder and Age of Stupid film maker Franny Armstrong.

But why take such a risk of upsetting or alienating people, I ask her: "Because we have got about four years to stabilise global emissions and we are not anywhere near doing that. All our lives are at threat and if that's not worth jumping up and down about, I don't know what is."

"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," she adds.

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 public reaction to the film will be fascinating . . .


  1. At this blog, we've worried about eco-authoritarianism before. Not true, they told us. And indeed, this goes beyond authoritarianism.

  2. Years ago there was an entertaining film called Silent Running. The protagonist early on kills his colleagues with a nuclear explosion to save a bunch of surplus trees. While certainly not the intent of the producers, I have always considered it the first film to warn of the dangers of environmental extremism. Many people miss that aspect of it, unsurprisingly, but it is beyond belief that anyone could miss the problems with this latest PR stunt.

  3. How will the myriad organizations who've signed on to the 10:10 Campaign respond? They are now all publicly associated with this blood & gore - including at least one community of Quakers.

    More of my thoughts on this matter are here:


    Donna Laframboise

  4. a mere blip compared to the 300,000 real people who now die each year from climate change

    Where is this figure from? While it's just possible the world's climate might be on a runaway track, it clearly isn't yet, and is many years before anywhere people live has a climate that is going to start killing them. (Unlike real environmental problems, like air and water pollution that actually do kill people in these numbers.)

    The apocalyptic mentality is the root cause of the problem IMO. The idea that we are on the cusp of disaster, so anything is justified to prevent it.

  5. Well, in today’s blogosphere there’s more than a few people who are a little trigger happy with the “fascist” label. As much as skeptics would like to hail this as the “eco-fascists” coming out party they miss what it truly is: A horribly inept and incredibly insular piece of marketing that is hilariously out of touch with the average person

  6. What I still find baffling is the fact that no-one at 10:10 or among those involved in the filming apparently realised in the slightest the sort of effect this movie would have, not least on their erstwhile supporters and allies.

    It's bizarre. These are nominally media-savvy people and yet they appear to have been caught completely unaware by the sheer scale of the negative response.

    It's as if Franny Armstrong and the rest were sleep-walking through the entire project and woke up just as the first few comments began to appear at the Guardian.

  7. The 10:10 campaign is financially backed by the government and the Guardian.

    The people who get involved in this gravy train tend to be from very weatlhy backgrounds and live in a petit bourgeois fashion bubble. Global warming is the coolest ticket in town, everyone is on board. It's a class thing, and in Britain, that doesn't play well.

    The number of over 25 British AGW believers, not directly involved in the scam in some way, is probably tending to zero.

    "a mere blip compared to the 300,000 real people who now die each year from climate change"

    The reason is (genuinely moronic)infantile undergraduate stunts like this. The argument is so weak that the propaganda has to be so blatant as to be counter productive. The Guardian environment team are utterly pathetic.

  8. Mark said " ...a mere blip compared to the 300,000 real people who now die each year from climate change...

    Where is this figure from?"

    The Human Impact Report from The Global Humanitarian Forum, headed by former UN head, Kofi Annan.
    http://www.eird.org/publicaciones/humanimpactreport.pdf 4 meg pdf.

    [quote]The findings of the report indicate that every year climate change leaves over 300,000 people
    dead, 325 million people seriously affected, and economic losses of US$125 billion.[/quote]

    estimate is derived by attributing a 40 percent proportion of the increase in the number of
    weather-related disasters from 1980 to current to climate change and a 4 percent proportion of
    the total seriously affected by environmental degradation based on negative health outcomes.[/quote]

    References are mostly other grey and advocacy literature.

  9. Roger,

    Maybe i'm wrong, but it seems to me that the clip is a satire that is aimed squarely at you? and the typical worldview of your posters (e.g. as evidenced by Tol) that advocates of climate change mitigation policies are closet eco-fascists...

    the joke is on you it seems to me. but apparently you didn't get it :)

  10. They let the mask slip. This was truly a public service.

  11. Marlowe Johnson

    Perhaps it was a subtle undermining of the relativistic, postmodern culture that allows evil, apathetic, ugly and slovenly global warming deniers to live.

    Everyone should be made to read 1984 every six months (no pressure). That was a two minute hate against unbelievers. It was meant to convey the message that only a small percentage don't believe the corporate AGW line, wheras almost no one in Britain believes the corporate AGW line.

    It is blatant trauma mind programming. Do what the boss/teacher tells you. Obey or be an outcast. Obey or die.

  12. I thought it was hilarious! Quentin Tarantino would be jealous! Have you guys been to the movies recently?

    As Marlowe Johnson suggests, you guys seem to be missing the point. Was it the blood and gore?

    This sort of campaign may work for its intented audience and it is used a lot. Three examples came to the top of my head:

    Speeding drivers have small dicks:

    "Don't be a tosser" litter and recycling campaigns, which seem to be quite global and here is a UK example:
    For the readers that dont know what "tosser" is, its meant to mean in the ad throwing rubbish on the ground, but it is also slang (in many countries) for masturbation (a wanker).

    And just about any anti-smoking campaign I have ever seen does the same.

    If you change the ad so that instead of reducing emissions but throwing a cigarette butt on the ground, you would all probably think quite differently (perhaps unless you smoke).

    Maybe critiques dont like the absolute take on reducing emissions, but 10:10 has that right and that view would seem consistent with the UK government and the Guardian.

    What is the prolem?

  13. Marlowe,
    really, really, really reaching…

  14. Marlowe's comment reminds me of that funny flow chart or whatever the heck it was with RPielke Jr. right in the middle, in a rather small circle, surrounded by other names more or less associated with the discussion about climate change flowing out from the center in a manner that defied rational explanation. What IS clear is that for some people, including Marlowe and the flow chart maker, Pielke Jr. is a formidable problem.

  15. That 300k figure was ridiculed and exposed as a complete numerological fabrication by Pielke but also by Climate Resistance a good while back. Let me see if I find the relevant post.


    and the following post


  16. @Marlowe Johnson
    You may want to compare my moderation policy at http://www.irisheconomy.ie/ to that of http://www.realclimate.org/ or http://www.climateprogress.com/

    I debate people who disagree with me. I don't cut them out. I certainly do not blow them up.

    I live in Ireland. We have people here who blow up their opponents. Nobody thinks it funny.

    I dare you to travel to Omagh and tell the people there that blowing up people is funny.

  17. This is a clip making fun of climate activists but at the same time purporting to endorse their goals. Does not work as a film for 10:10 -- might have worked as a clip to express Monty Pythonesque opposition to the 10:10 campaign. How could they get it so wrong?

  18. @Glen
    Tarantino's movies are for entertainment, rather than for political purposes.

  19. I'm with Marlowe on this. I'm not sure who this misfired bit was aimed at.

    20 years ago, a dinner guest who was a functionary in the US Park Service opined that development was the enemy of the environment and should somehow be throttled.

    The instant case was the Everglades and the miscreants, snowbird immigrants.

    I asked how much the inbound flow needed to be throttled.

    "Maybe 30%."

    I suggested that roadblocks be setup up on the interstates from the north and at the airports and a third of the "immigrants" be siphoned off, taken out and shot straight away.

    To my utter astonishment, he didn't crack a smile. I'm almost certain he thought I was serious.

    "That would be impractical and almost certainly unconstitutional."

    My take was that a solution which was practical and constitutional, no matter how outrageous might be acceptable to him.

    He might not be the only one.

  20. ferguson, believe me, my problem with this video has nothing whatsoever with the constitution and the practicality of blowing everyone who disagrees with me. And it is clear that this is not the problem of "anyone" who regurgitates while watching it.

  21. The message I, an Englishman, who knows what Pythonesque humour is and finds Achmed the Dead Terrorist to be very funny, got was.
    Comply with what we "suggest" or you're going to find your life unpleasant"
    The replies to the video on u-tube and the Guardian's website, showed just how far wrong these people were in making this.
    Even the "Greens" were up in arms about it.
    Green is the new Red.

  22. What I found shocking is the offhand manner in which they disposed of persons not conforming to their beliefs.

    "Non-believers aren't really human" was the subtext.

    The other interesting subtext was the "no pressure, no pressure" immediately followed by "splat".

    Righteous zealots.

  23. Glen said... 12

    "This sort of campaign may work for its intended audience and it is used a lot"

    Obviously you don't live in the land of tree spikers.

    The film is an own goal.

  24. Richard,

    Two points.

    1) Most of my family lives in Belfast (as have I off and on) so I know very well what it's like to live in an environment where extremists dominate the political discourse and violence is used as a form of political expression. In fact the manner in which the public in Northern Ireland reacted to the terrorism on both sides is instructive for the U.S...but i digress.

    2) You're proving to me once again that just because a person is very smart does not mean that they have a sense of humour.

    Lighten up dude. You too Roger.

  25. Glen is correct. The video was successful as a piece of mass programming. It will be watched by almost everyone because of the viral negative publicity.

    The unconscious message is 'do what you are told, believe what you are told. We are the bosses. We can punish you. You will be despised, you will be an outcast', which for a pack animal like a human being is deeply traumatic.

    It is a more extreme version of the infantile negative emotional associations of Bob Ward (Palin, Beck, Tea Party, Mike Morano for a liberal audience)

    From the people who brought you MKULTRA (CIA mind control experiments) and subliminal advertising, which was so effective, it was banned.

    Here is Bill Clinton apologising for MKULTRA


    Have you ever heard a politician apologise for anything ? It must have been really bad (the evidence was destroyed).

  26. @Marlowe
    It's easy to say such things pseudo-anonymously on the internet. Next time you're visiting your family in Belfast, do travel to Omagh and explain your position, in public, in person.

  27. Marlow,

    Let's put it another way. For years people skeptical of AGW or even people simply skeptical of the proposed solutions (i.e. Lomborg) have faced public ridicule and character assassination. This happens at the level of schools and workplaces as well as in the media. This video is not funny to people who have been on the receiving end of this abuse because it is a frightening progression of what has been going on for years.

  28. I've seen people openly advocate the suspension of democracy because of climate change, so I think some of us could be forgiven for being a bit disturbed by this.

  29. 10:10 obviously don't believe the video is bad publicity. It remains on youtube and elsewhere.


    However, 10:10 said they would not make any attempt "to censor or remove other versions currently in circulation on the internet."

  30. @ Marlowe,

    I guess I'm a denialist of the worst kind, the kind you would seem to wish that get blown up.

    I want to thank, you and the people of the 10:10 organization for converting many undecided to my side. You see, I only have to show that publicity around to convince people that alarmist are a bunch of nuts (it seems that very few people have your sense of humor).

    This is sad for people like Roger and Richard who really try to improve the situation.

  31. Commenters ere and elsewhere are comparing this video to Monty Python. There is a distinct difference. Money Python sketches are funny and imaginative. This video was neither.

    I have no idea of the politics of the Monty Python members but I can imagine what a sketch by them to support 10:10 would be like. it would be quick, fat-paced and funny. There would be none of the tedious lecturing that was found in this video.

    This video was not like Monty Python in the main by not being funny.

  32. If coal trains really are death trains, then I see no problem with the film. The logic of Jim Hansen flows directly to this. Wouldn't it be worth killing a few children to save millions? Serious question, because Hansen and his ilk are very serious people.

  33. Here is a current news story on Yahoo about mass programming through the media. It's called PSYOPS.

    Army embeds active-duty PSYOPS soldiers at local TV stations

    Fri Oct 1, 2010 4:59 pm ET

    The U.S. Army has used local television stations in the U.S. as training posts for some of its psychological-operations personnel, The Upshot has learned. Since at least 2001, both WRAL, a CBS affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., and WTOC, a CBS affiliate in Savannah, Ga., have regularly hosted active-duty soldiers from the Army's 4th Psychological Operations group as part of the Army's Training With Industry program.

    The relationship between PSYOPS, Training With Industry, and television news operations has stirred controversy in the past. In 2000, after a Dutch newspaper reported that PSYOPS troops had been placed in CNN's newsroom under the program, CNN discontinued the internships and admitted that they had been a mistake. "It was inappropriate for PSYOPS personnel to be at CNN, they are not here now, and they never again will be at CNN," a spokesperson said at the time.


    Please notice it was a Dutch station that reported it. CNN were caught.

    If you believe these methods are only used in far away places, I know a man who organises trips on real alien space ships (with air miles).

    Operation Mockingbird


  34. Satire goes post normal. What was once a modest proposal of the downtrodden against authority has been turned on its head.

    In other news, the cognoscenti tend to resent consumption lectures from multi-homed, well-healed media luvvies and so-called "creative" types. AKA hypocrites.

    Less an own goal, more a case of machine-gunning your entire team.

  35. Roger, I am having great difficulty in finding some of your old Prometheus posts. I am particuliarly interested on ones re the GHF (and hence WHO) report attributing 300,000 deaths to 'climate change' but I can't seem to get further back than June 2009 and 'GHF Responds'. That references three former posts that now go nowhere. Have you not been able to archive anything earlier.
    I am interested because I followed the links as given by Barba Rija and they referenced back to the said missing posts ie Prometheus. Any help? Thanks

  36. I especially liked the short Radiohead sound-clip close to the end of the video. These British are so sophisticated! I always asked myself what the soundtrack of climate change might be: maybe it is indeed Radiohead / In Rainbows! (Excellent video, by the way. I loved the 'no pressure' refrain!)

  37. It struck me as vaguely psychopathic. Who jokes about blowing up elementary school kids?

    And I was brought up on Monty Python.

    It honestly made me want to dump the 3 liters of waste oil I just drained from my car into the local aquifer. But, darn it, I'll probably recycle it anyway.

  38. @ Richard,

    why? and what do you take my position to be exactly?

    p.s. what's the difference between anonymous and pseudo-anonymous? isn't it an either/or thing? :)

  39. @Marlowe
    Your position is that it is acceptable, in a political broadcast, to inflict mock violence on people who disagree.

    The video is incitement to violence, which is illegal the UK.

    While you apparently post under your real name, there is no Marlowe Johnson who is an obvious expert in climate change or climate policy. There are a few people around who share my name, but none of the others share my interest in climate; and my profile is linked to me. I could be arrested or fired for the things I write.

  40. You have all been warned.


  41. Here is the Guardian article promoting their video. It looks like it badly misfired because the public attitude to AGW was too negative. It pushed its audience in the direction of defiance rather than compliance.



    Osama Bin Laden recently came out in support of Freddie Kruger and AGW. He is definitely anti establishment. That proves AGW isn't a giant banking scam. Bin Laden was speaking from his plush new office overlooking Central Park.


  42. Richard,

    "My" position is as stated in my original post (i.e. it's a satirical piece poking fun at stereotypes of AGW mitigation advocates). Obviously if that wasn't the intention of the piece written by Richard Curtis --a comedic writer -- and he was instead being literal then of course I disagree with him vigourously. Who wouldn't?

    Incidentally, I do post under a pseudonym. I agree that this may not be as obvious as my second choice 'fat bastard', so I suppose you're correct in saying that i'm only pseudo-anonymous...

  43. How the film was made.


    How the film was made.

  44. @Marlowe
    The real Marlowe Johnson will be happy to know that you speak in their name.

    You may to want look at the video again. It is an advocacy video.

    If you want to look at an entertainment video, google Achmed the Dead Terrorist.

    Can you spot the difference?

  45. This video alas confirms many of my worst assumptions and attributions about the mind-sets of climate fanatics. The Audi commercial about green police was strangely disturbing but the 10:10 video is in such grossly poor taste it almost defies description. It is so excessive and essentially juvenile that I shudder to think of what they decide not to include in this video. From such twisted minds come "final solutions".

  46. Richard,

    Is there some reason that advocacy videos can't/shouldn't use satire to advance a position?

    You don't have to find it funny, but at least recognize it for what it is. Similarly, you can find it funny but still disagree with it on a tactical level...

  47. @Not Marlowe Johnson after all (but not anonymous either)

    This is satire: http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html

  48. "We have people here who blow up their opponents. Nobody thinks it funny."

    Oh, c'mon! This just in from OBL:

    ROTCFL! Luvd th vid! Blwng up ppl who dont shar ur religin is a clvr id! Kp up th gr8 wrk!

    P.S. Since religious zealots have trouble identifying what's funny...this is funny:


    P.P.S. Pretty good too (hint to zealots...kittens and puppies are almost always funny):


    P.P.S. Also funny, but only if the black hair under the nose isn't fake:


  49. I love the familiar way they so blithely lie and smile, "no pressure"


  50. In Houstona disraught sick father went to school to visit his child. The child and his class were on the playground. Dad walked up, carrying the dynamite he had acquired. He grabbed his child, and managed to kill himself, his son, some teachers and other kids, as well crippling and maiming others.
    Friends of mine were at that school and were on the playground and were fortunate to survive.
    Somehow 10:10 is not funny to me.
    I can only imagine how much fun this 10:10 film was to Israelis who have nice friendly bombers killing them. Or Russians who have survived some of the Chechen terror attacks. Or the Pakistanis and Afghanis whose kids get murdered by extremists. Or those who survived the IRA's long enchantment with bombing.
    AGW extremists are no different from that sick father or the twisted extremists who think blowing people is a cool way to make point.

  51. Last thing.

    This South Park episode had some great satire. Real satire.


  52. Richard,

    A Modest Proposal is indeed very good satire.

  53. @Mark Myers
    Swift is the best. Almost 300 years old and still relevant. He makes you want to do the opposite of what is proposed.

    If "No pressure" were satire, it should increase emissions. Then why was it sponsored by 10:10? Or is 10:10 the new name of M4GW?

  54. I find the Islamic version of the 10:10 film very disturbing and unpleasant, I unwittingly viewed it. It really gets to me in a very negative way - equating Islamic terrorism and fanaticism to environmentalism. I fear this is what most people will remember after the initial furore eventually dies down. A bloody line has been stepped over - and it appears that there is now no way back for both sides in this debate.

    The 10:10 organisers should take full responsibility and resign, it is the least they can do.

  55. Let's remember that the violence was 100% deliberate in order to go viral. Global warming had fallen off the political radar.

    It isn't possible to determine whether the overall effect was positive (increased awareness) or negative (viewer repulsion) to the cause of carbon trading. Those who were behind the film will be gauging that right now.

  56. This came top my attention this morning. I am a writer and did my part to get the news out about this wretched 1010 propaganda. I also notified the RCMP (I am in Canada) as this, to me is child cyber bullying. http://www.suite101.com/blog/karenanne24/reducing-carbon-footprint-gone-too-far

  57. It's not like mass killing in the name of protecting the environment is a really new idea. Just one example: Terry Gilliam's 1995 film "12 Monkeys".