How NOT to Communicate on Climate: 10/10 ‘Exploding’ Video An Exercise in Disgust

It was red meat for those wanting to disparage established climate science evidence on human-caused warming.

And they pounced on the early holiday season gift — a real turkey by many accounts — perhaps further setting-back any waning national or international momentum for action on greenhouse gases.

The “it” here is an ill-conceived public relations video posted by those hoping to call attention to global 10/10 climate change demonstrations in hopes of somehow getting popular media to go beyond the marriage-day pegs most ended up highlighting in any event. In hindsight, perhaps better that they focused on the rushes down the aisle than turn attention to the “exploding children” British video widely seen as well beyond the pale.

There are some who love British humor. And some who just don’t get it. But this one was different.

An overly proper schoolmarm, teaching climate to what appear to be perhaps sixth or seventh graders, encourages them to be active participants in the carbon footprint brigade, but generously accepts those choosing not to do so. Until she unceremoniously pushes the button that … you get the picture. Leaving the other students disgustingly splattered.

Few might find it humorous by any standards, British or otherwise. The first reaction of so many committed to effective communications on what they see as a pressing societal issue was predictable: “With friends like this, no need for enemies.” There was at first a phased, and then a more full-throated, apology for the blatant mis-read. The piece was quickly removed from the site of its sponsor, but not, of course, until it was permanently enshrined on youtube.com on some radio and TV “talk shows,” and on sites of many skeptics eager to portray it as broadly representative — climate-advocates-gone-wild.

Those rejecting much of the “consensus” science and opposing controls on CO2 decried it as “eco-fascism” and more but jumped on it for its PR value to their perspective. Responsible climate science communicators, also grossed-out by the image, deplored it both for what it was and for its providing a low-hanging target for those wanting delay, delay, delay. Some analysts, largely and rightly critical of the gimmick-gone-haywire, provided more insightful comments. See here and here.

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One Response to How NOT to Communicate on Climate: 10/10 ‘Exploding’ Video An Exercise in Disgust

  1. Steve Bloom says:

    Surely no one should feel pressured to do anything about global warming. After all, it’s not as if any fatal consequences will be visited on anyone in the future as a result of our failure to act in the present, right? Besides, those deaths being in the future, we won’t be watching them.