Energy & Environment

Enviro Film Fiasco

A British environmental group, 10:10, which advocates for a 10% reduction in carbon emissions, has pulled from its website, www.1010global.org, a short, gory film in which school children and adults unwilling to support the group’s carbon-reduction agenda are executed in the presence of their fellows.

Within hours of posting the film, “No Pressure,” 10:10 had received so many complaints—including from the organization’s sponsors, apparently—that it pulled the video and on October 4 offered a lengthy apology by 10:10 director Eugenie Harvey. Once pulled, the video would best have been forgotten, and it may have been except for action by the leftist, fact-bending British newspaper, The Guardian.

Not only did The Guardian publicize the video for its “friends at the 10:10 climate change campaign,” but by the tenor of its coverage, offered its support. Guardian writer Richard Curtiss describes “detonating school kids, footballers and movie stars into gory pulp for ignoring their carbon footprints” as “edgy.”

In the film, a teacher asks her students clad in white shirts and ties if they would work to reduce their carbon footprint by 10%. All but two—Phillip and Tracie—raise their hands in affirmation. “That’s fine. That’s absolutely fine. It’s your choice,” she tells the two. Then just before dismissing the class, the teacher presses a big red button on her desk and Phillip and Tracie disintegrate in firecracker-like explosions that spatter their shredded bloody bodies throughout the classroom.

The next film sequence is in a business office, where four dissenting employees are splattered one at a time during a company meeting. In yet another sequence, a soccer coach obliterates a visiting former player who said he wouldn’t participate in the carbon-reduction program. In the end, the narrator herself gets the same treatment after suggesting that doing the voiceover was her 10:10 contribution. The scene ends with her eyeballs slowly dripping down the bloody sound studio window. 

“No pressure,” three of the executioners say.

The original film posted September 30 on YouTube as of last week was viewed more than half a million times. Since then, the film has been reposted with an overlying apology from 10:10. However, the flick has now gone viral. A search on Google with the terms—”No Pressure” and “10:10″ and YouTube — returned more than 60,000 results on October 11, many of which were repostings of the “No Pressure” video. Whatever 10:10’s intentions, thanks especially to The Guardian, the video is now well beyond the control of either 10:10 or YouTube.

The video’s message is a clear one, you’re either with the carbon reduction program, or you are worthy of execution. Oh, all tongue-in-cheek, of course.

“Doing nothing about climate change is still a fairly common affliction, even in this day and age,” 10:10 founder Franny Armstrong tells her Guardian friend. “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?”—a question that merely extends her Orwellian humor.

Armstrong identifies climate change and maggots as her greatest fears in life.

“We are also sorry to our corporate sponsors, delivery partners and board members, who have been implicated in this situation despite having no involvement in the film’s production or release,” says Harvey, in her October 4 apology.

It isn’t clear which sponsor or sponsors objected to the video, but one 10:10 sponsor is The William Wates Memorial Trust, established by the family of William Wates, a 19-year-old who was murdered in Honduras in 1996 during a robbery for less than $20.

“Will was aware of his privileged background and was keen to help others—we feel the aims of the trust reflect where his interests would have been if he was alive today,” says a statement on the Trust’s Web site, http://www.wwmt.org.

10:10 bases its need for activism on a claim that 300,000 people die each year from climate change, according to The Guardian report. However, as soon as one attempts to identify the source for the number, anything looking like a fact associated with it melts way, and that is a story in its own right. On the surface, the source for the bogus number may be a report from former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Global Humanitarian Forum, established in 2007 and closed this year for lack of funding. A few Internet references cite the report, but it is no longer available on what remains of the forum’s website. 

“We have got about four years to stabilise (sic) global emissions and we are not anywhere near doing that,” Armstrong tells The Guardian. “All our lives are at threat and if that’s not worth jumping up and down about, I don’t know what is.”

We are living in “The Age of Stupid,” according to the title of one of Armstrong’s earlier films. Indeed.

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