Eco Activist Tribute/Recruiting Video Goes Viral

Stunning, high-def scenes of natural beauty fade in and out of one another, dramatic landscapes and colorful ecosystems flash past, and the beat of some sort of tribal-nouveau tuneage sets the mood. It could be the trailer for the next Avatar movie, but instead, it seems more like a modern-day, all-purpose recruitment video for environmental activists. What do you think -- is this effective? The editing is well done, and the wildlife and satellite shots are indeed captivating, as is the bit about consumption, resource depletion, and human expansion. The last third or so is dedicated to environmental martyrs like Chico Mendes.

It's a curious thing: I can't tell whether it's primarily intended as a call to action, a celebration of activism, or just a reason to roll out some badass nature footage. It's exciting, even if it is tonally overwrought and kind of vague. The video's creator's describe it thusly:

"This is a non-commercial attempt to highlight the fact that world leaders, irresponsible corporates and mindless 'consumers' are combining to destroy life on earth. It is dedicated to all who died fighting for the planet and those whose lives are on the line today. The cut was put together by Vivek Chauhan, a young film maker, together with naturalists working with the Sanctuary Asia network."

Whatever it is, it's getting some attention -- it's already gotten over 120,000 views in the few weeks that it's been out, and made the rounds on internet aggregator Reddit earlier today.

So again, the question is: We're clearly at a crossroads when it comes to environmental activism, especially in the United States. A focus on "conscious consumerism" and inside-the-beltway activism has obscured more lively, visceral, or radical approaches (though Greenpeace is still alive and kicking). Is it time to rally the troops for more trenchant action? If so, are slick YouTube videos an important part of the recruitment toolkit?

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