Image credit: noodles91380
I've asked before whether trolls can be green, so it should have come as no surprise that my attempt at writing a tongue-in-cheek, overly hyperbolic headline about guest bedrooms as the enemy of sustainability had me labeled as an "enviro-ninny", and my "people" (whoever they are) described as an "[expletive] disease". Within that context, I'm not sure what to make of this next video. On the one hand, it picks apart some common talking points discounting the threat of peak oil, and tears into the aggressive rejection by some of any and every position that might be deemed environmentalist. The trouble is, it does so by labeling and ridiculing the folks on "the other side."
Be warned: The video below contains strong language.
I should be clear—debate and disagreement are a vital part of the environmental movement. And while I am wary of finger pointing at "eco-villains", I do think that satire, argument and even ridicule can be valuable tactics in any campaign to change minds and influence people. (They can also be good for a laugh too—which we could all do with from time-to-time.)
But the more we frame our debates—whether they are about peak oil, climate change, or any other issue—as being about "this type of person" versus "that type of person", we do danger of great harm to the movement. While those opposed to environmental action may indeed benefit from ridiculing and putting down individuals of the opposite side, it is worth remembering that their goal is simply to discredit a minority movement and prevent it from growing. Our task is a little harder—growing an environmental movement that must become a mainstream phenomenon if it has any hope of succeeding. (Remember, anti-environmentalists can love the environment too.) Last time I looked, you don't get the majority on board by calling the majority stupid.
Having said all that, I can't say I didn't laugh. i just think that from a strategic perspective, satirizing Fox News itself (not its viewers) might have been more effective.
More on Conflict, Debate and Strategy in the Environmental Movement
Anti-Environmentalists Don't All Hate the Environment
Can Trolls Be Green? The Role of Debate in the Environmental Movement, Pt II
Divided We Fall? The Role of Debate in the Green Movement
Who Are the Real Eco-Villains?