Image credit: 10:10 Campaign
When I wrote about the controversial 10:10 No Pressure film, I suggested it might have been intended as a parody of 'holier-than-though' environmentalism. Clearly, having watched the outraged, disgusted or just plain unimpressed comments spread across the internet, I have to accept that I am either a genius who sees the hidden meaning in art that others do not, or alternatively that I am just plain wrong. My money is reluctantly on the latter explanation. Whatever the mistakes and miscalculations that took place over the film, the bigger question is what can be learned about communication and climate change advocacy for the future. Rob Hopkins, as usual, has some pretty important insights on this question. Rob, who founded the Transition movement (a community-focused response to peak oil and climate change), has always been an advocate for an inclusive, positive, and forward thinking approach to environmental activism. So it's no surprise that he was not a fan of the film. Declaring in no uncertain terms that the 10:10 film was not in his name.
But while some folks—myself included—were content to discuss whether it was a good or bad idea; ask what the original intent was behind the movie; or voice our own opinions on whether it was actually funny or not, Rob was as usual looking at the bigger picture. What would have happened, asks Rob, if the film makers had taken the higher road—instead of blowing up kids who dared question the validity of the 10:10 campaign, what if the teacher had explored the reasons behind their opposition? I'll let Rob take up his reasoning:
"A film maker such as Richard Curtis, so good at capturing emotional turmoil in a way that resonates for millions of people (call me a softy but 'Love Actually' makes me cry everytime, although I fully accept that many people see it as syruppy schlop) could have explored that really powerfully. Perhaps the teacher might have invited them to say why they didn't want to engage, and they could have aired some of the very reasons that emerge in countless surveys on the subject: "I don't trust/understand the science, I am just too busy, its for governments to do stuff not us"...."
Of course there is a danger of getting too cerebral about all this. The film was clearly intended as a shock-piece to get people talking, and it did just that. But I must concede that Rob has a point—given the huge amount of resources that went into making this sucker, it would have been nice to see the film makers set their sites on a more profound reaction than either gross-out humor or indignant outrage.
Better luck next time I guess.
More on the 10:10 Climate Change Campaign
Violent Climate Change Film Lands 10:10 Campaign in Trouble
Climate Campaign Turns Down Airport: Eco-snobbery or Drawing the Line?
The 10:10 Campaign: Is the Whole of Britain Cutting Its Carbon?
UK Conservatives Pledge 10% CO2 Cuts in 12 Months