It was good to see Joe Romm denounce the 10:10 film for the creepy propaganda piece that it is. But in his explanation, he inadvertently explains exactly the mindset that creates such disasters. He writes in part (emphasis added)
None of this excuses that disgusting video. But the difference is that those who are trying to preserve a livable climate and hence the health and well-being of our children and billions of people this century quickly denounce the few offensive over-reaches of those who claim to share our goals — but those trying to destroy a livable climate, well, for them lies and hate speech are the modus operandi, so such behavior is not only tolerated, but encouraged.
Note the statement — “for those trying to destroy a livable climate.” Does he really think anyone, including skeptics like myself or Anthony Watt (who he specifically calls out) is trying to destroy a livable climate? By using the word “trying,” he is assigning a motivation. Skeptics, to him, are not working from different assumptions or readings of the science. They say what they say because they are motivated to destroy the climate.
I suppose I could play the same game, and say that through CO2 controls Romm is trying to impoverish billions of poor people in lesser developed countries by halting development, but I don’t think that is really his motive, and it would be grossly unfair for me to write. I think poverty is an outcome of what he advocates, just as he thinks an unlivable climate is an outcome of what I advocate, but I can distinguish between motives and assumptions, but he apparently cannot.
This attitude is EXACTLY what causes unfortunate actions like the making of the 10:10 video — it is only a small step from believing, as Romm says he does, that skeptics are “trying to destroy a liveable climate” to making a movie that jokes about killing them all (or, to be frank, to feeling justified in acts of eco-terrorism). Is anyone else getting tired of this working definition that “hate speech” is any speech by people who disagree with me, because I have the best interest of humanity in mind so clearly those who oppose me hate the human race?
I encourage you to watch my climate video and decide if folks like me are trying to thoughtfully decipher nature or are engaging in hate speech.
I guess it is unsurprising that Joe Romm goes to the kindergarten argument of “he started it,” arguing that the video is just the flip side of the stuff skeptics are doing all the time. I am not sure exactly what comparable films skeptics have produced that are similar, and the only example he can cite is Anthony Watt’s blog post comments on the shooting of an eco-terrorist. I did not even go back and look at Watt’s comments, but I generally think that lots of people are too gleeful when suspected criminals, who are innocent before the law, are gunned down by police.
Never-the-less, its seems a stretch to equate the offhand comments in real time of an independent blogger with a film involving probably a hundred people (including those who commissioned it in the 10:10 organization), commissioned in an official and thoughtful act (after all this had to be months in the works), and funded in part by the British government. I say stupid things in real time that I later wish I had moderated or not said at all. That kind of communications mistake is very very different order of magnitude from a two month project involving scores of people and presumably multiple reviews by a prominent organization. (Update: Iowahawk makes this latter point about the number of people who were involved in this movie and reviewed it without a peep of protest here).