Ok so 10:10 put out this film which even by now pretty much everyone must have either seen or heard about. If you haven’t you can watch it at the end of this post. It is gory.
Basically the video shows groups of people that have signed to the 10:10 campaign discussing how they are going to achieve the goal of a 10% cut in CO2 emissions with only 3 months left. Those who dissent, who say they aren’t going to take part, are then blown-up by those who are. The message: “take action or we will die”? or perhaps “take action or we’ll kill you”? I am not sure, and neither are most poeple that see the video. The overwhelming majority of comments are negative:
But I have to wonder if this is as much of an epic fail as it first appears. On the one hand this looks like a fairly desperate attempt to create a ‘power of enforcement’ that this campaign is significantly lacking. On the other hand is has started a conversation about the urgency of climate change and the urgency of the deadline for 10:10.
There are many things wrong with the 10:10 campaign (emphasis on individuals not industry, no power of enforcement, no accounting for embedded emissions) and the lack of power to enforce the 10% cut is a big one. When the year is up how will they award those who achieve it? How is it audited/judged? So it seems that this is a sudden “oh fuck!” style realisation of this. I know it is not as I remember speaking to one of the 10:10 campaigners about this issue when it launched, but that is how it comes across. The strong message of “join us or die” is very likely to put people’s backs up, it is a very confrontational message. The shocking nature of this video is not the thing that people are annoyed about, but the combination of these two elements. The film Grandma that was entered into the 1 Minute to Save the World competition is just as shocking, I might even suggest more so, but it’s message is clearer and more relevant.
If 10:10 can manage this properly (early indications are that they can’t, but lets wait and see) then they can turn this into a very clever stunt that essentially is high-risk and low-risk at the same time.
By making it shocking it will create a stir and the reaction can go either of two ways:
- Positive and they have the end result they are hoping for – people get the message and pull their socks up.
- Negative and it creates an even bigger stir but it starts two conversations, one about what NGOs should/shouldn’t be doing and one about how little time we have to sort out climate change and how little time people signed up have to achieve their 10% cut.
Both of these conversations will continue regardless of the life of the video. Arguably there is a third conversation; a slight dig at celebrity involvement in NGOs but I think that will get largely over looked.
What 10:10 need to do now is to lead the conversation and make it about urgency not about the shockingness of the video. I also think there is a responsibility on those in the online climate change community to steer this conversation. As seen with the domination of the #climatecamp trend on Twitter, the right and climate deniers have a big presence on social networks. This could be a god-send for the deniers that, if they keep trolling it, will blow up into an even bigger mess for the wider climate movement. If the online climate movement can swallow their indignation and help to steer the conversation onto urgency, rather than slamming their collective doors in the face of 10:10 we might be able to not only salvage something from this but actually make the point that we don’t have time to mess about with climate change.