I watched the video.
I didn’t want to. I’d read enough about it that I had a pretty good idea of what it contained, and after watching it, I knew that I had not been misinformed. It is thoroughly as vile as everyone is saying. Now I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of carbon footprint amelioration, though I will mention that rendering live human bodies into dead splattered gobbets isn’t exactly a good way to rid the earth of excess carbon; after all, that splattered flesh will decay and give off nasty gasses, and cleaning up dead bodies from indoor environments usually involves harsh chemical cleaners. Well, it does in a sensible, normal world anyway, and the world depicted in this moment of vile film is by no means a normal one. Perhaps the world the 10:10 group wants to bring about will be one where classrooms and offices begored with the rotting remains of dissenters from consensus are considered normal.
But the hypocritical “green” propaganda (even the making of a small promotional commercial like this one has a bigger carbon footprint than, say, that of a kid who gets driven to his school instead of taking the bus or walking) and the gory special effects don’t bother me as much as the fact that the dissenters were blown up after everyone else had cheerfully acquiesced to getting involved in the carbon-footprint-lowering efforts. So you see, this was not so much a threat to those of us who may look at all this carbon-footprint AGW green nonsense as, well, nonsense — or if it was, it was merely as an afterthought. No, the main targets of this propaganda piece were the new joiners to the anti-carbon-life-forms movement themselves. And that message was: don’t even think of backing out now. In other words, it’s the same treatment totalitarian groups throughout history have meted out to their minions. I don’t know about the entire environmental movement, but this 10:10 group (many internet commenters have pointed out, BTW, that the “reduce everyone’s carbon footprint by 10%” is sure easily taken care of by the Roman practice of decimation) is yet another leftist, Marxist in method if not in philosophy, totalitarian organization.
But that’s not what worries me. What worries me is the large amount of money behind these people, and the influence their members and supporters have — which comes from the large amount of money. And they are partially subsidized by the British government too, yay — more money. And Richard Curtis is a popular, even beloved movie director and scriptwriter (among other things he wrote the Vincent and the Doctor episode for the most recent season of Doctor Who, an episode I have not yet seen and now may never see because how could I enjoy it now?). And there also many popular celebrities signed on with this and seem to think its message is a-okay, though how they plan to have a career once the New Green Regime takes over I have no idea. So we have a combination of money and popularity being used to promote conformity enforced by fear of bloody death. I have been asking myself what were they thinking and but I’m not really sure I want to know.
By the way — no, it’s not satire in the great British tradition of Monty Python or even in Curtis’ own Blackadder; those shows poked fun at authority, conformity, and stupidity. This video celebrates authority: the ones who get the red button are 1) a teacher, 2) a member of upper management if not the CEO of a company, 3) a group of footballers against one lone man, and 4) a soundman at the control booth of a studio where Gillian Andersen’s character is behind glass, vulnerable to a seat rigged with explosives. Where is the authority and the conformity being mocked? Some might say that the piece mocks the stupidity of going against such an “obvious” problem as climate change, but how is killing the supposedly “stupid” people supposed to bring them around to the “correct” viewpoint? The answer is that it isn’t; the 10:10 group isn’t interested in changing anyone’s mind, only eliminating those who aren’t on board, and if you aren’t already on board that means you have already been placed in the ranks of the unredeemable. In a way this goes beyond conventional totalitarian movements, who at least seek to bring dissenters into the fold instead of just killing them at the first sign of dissent.
(Posted everywhere because I am that appalled.)
Update, 10-4-2010: as they start shedding backers, the 10:10 people seem to be taking the critical fallout a teensy bit more seriously. Not enough to wake up and realize just what sort of totalitarian waters they’ve sailed into, though — the panic seems mostly at the idea of losing monetary support and big name influence. Too bad.