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Pushing Buttons

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorOctober 2, 2010 6:30 PM


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The British video that explodes people (including kids) for not agreeing to reduce their carbon footprint is triggering outrage from all sides of the climate spectrum. (See, for example the threads at WUWT and Climate Progress.) At first blush, I can understand why many are offended by the video. And I can see why climate change advocates like Bill McKibben find it counterproductive. Personally, I don't think the gag works as satire, for the reasons laid out by Steve Mosher here. But it seems to me that the umbrage to the video stems less from the violence than the content it is associated with. After all, entertainment in western culture has been saturated with garish violence for decades. I watched Bugs Bunny as a child (while eating my Lucky Charms). As a teenager, I found Monthy Python hilarious. Kids today are growing up with Phineas and Ferb, which features an evil scientist and lots of destructive mayhem. And let's not forget that for a while the creators of South Park "killed" off Kenny at the end of every episode. So why all the fuss over the British video? I'm interested in hearing why it's pushing your buttons or why you think it's causing an uproar. UPDATE (10/2):

I Surveyed the landscape for some varied response. RPJ calls it "the worst climate PR stunt ever." Tim Lambert found the video to be "funny." Joe Romm calls it "offensive, idiotic" and "disgusting." Tom Fuller, in a guest post at WUWT, is equally disgusted, but he sees the video as a logical extension of Romm's rhetoric.

The Guardian, in a follow-up, reports:

The charities that backed a Richard Curtis film for the 10:10 environmental campaign said today that they were "absolutely appalled" when they saw the director's four-minute short, which was withdrawn from circulation amid a storm of protest.

The Guardian also has this quote from the film's creative team:

At 10:10 we're all about trying new and creative ways of getting people to take action on climate change. Unfortunately in this instance we missed the mark. Oh well, we live and learn.

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