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The goal was good: to convince people to reduce their carbon emissions by 10%. The date was great: October 10th, 2010 or 10-10-10. The sponsors were first-class consumer brands. It couldn’t go wrong...

But it went terribly wrong. It took only an outrageous video showing innocent people being executed just because they don’t want to commit. Was it ecofascism at its best? No, it was only a joke – or so they say. (Oh man, it was supposed to be funny...) With friends like these, who needs enemies?

(The video is embedded at the end of this posting)

Everyone knows that climate change denial has become a huge industry. Like Big Tobacco before, the industries most affected by curbs on carbon emissions are spending fortunes to deny the issue. Let’s call them Big Carbon. Big Carbon creates and funds Institutes to generate the “scientific knowledge” to counter attack the science of climate change. Its lobbyists spend fortunes trying to stop or water down emission-reduction legislation. Its PR agencies try to influence journalists. Its online marketing agencies have armies of people posting on Twitter, blogs, and online discussion forums disseminating false information. And so on and so forth. But like Big Tobacco before them, Big Carbon will not prevail.

"Ecofascism" has become a political epithet by Big Carbon to discredit mainstream environmentalism. True, at the fringes of the environmental movement there are some groups advocating an ecological dictatorship, able to curb economic and population growth and to punish environmental abusers. The weirdos you will always have with you. They give mainstream environmentalism a bad reputation but most people can tell the difference.

That was the situation up to this point: On the one side a serious mainstream environment protection movement fighting – and slowly winning – the good fight despite the weirdos at the fringe. On the other side Big Carbon fighting back and fighting dirty, playing down the whole thing as “ecofascism”.

Then we have what everyone thought was a mainstream organization come up with a blatant ecofascist message in a video that was supposed to be funny. Though I can’t understand what’s so funny about killing innocent children, let’s admit that the video makers really intended to be a joke. The question is: why didn’t anyone stop them? Couldn’t anyone foresee that this would just blow up in their faces? And that the explosion would damage not only theirs but also other people’s reputations?

It’s all a matter of perspective. For welfare-state children who grew up in democratic European countries violence is a hypothetical thing. They might get used to graphic depiction of murder after having watched all those action movies and having played all those violent videogames in the safety of their homes.

I grew up in a violent country under a military dictatorship. I have witnessed violence by both criminals and police. I have been on the wrong side of a gun. Therefore I found the video disgusting. And I suppose that for almost anyone else who has lived or still lives in a violent or autocratic society it’s a disgusting and scary video. It just reminds us that some people have the power to will kill us if we don’t do what they want us to do. It happens all the time all over the globe and it’s not funny.

Global warming, like its name says, is a global problem. The message is sent to a global audience and must be understood by everyone – not only by those in possession of a strange sense of humour. It’s hard enough to convince people in undeveloped and emerging countries that they will have to slow down their development in order to save the planet. They didn’t cause global warming, rich countries did, and they still have to pay the price. Now the same people who caused the problem in the first place are telling them that they will be killed if they don’t. What a great message!

Worse still is the silent “cover up” of the whole issue. A very strange logic: we can’t attack the video because doing so would play in the hands of Big Carbon, some Greens are saying. Big Carbon is already crying foul and screaming “ecofascism”, “ecofascism”. We should not become part of the chorus. We should lie down and wait until everyone forgets...

That’s wrong. Not attacking the video and pretending it never happened will do much more damage on the long run. The silence inside the mainstream movement is deafening. It makes me, and many other people, wonder – and worry.

 


 

killing innocent children to save the planet

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