Monday, 4 October 2010

Read this... No Pressure.

Independent journalist Johann Hari who has written an article on just about every injustice in the world today. If you want to learn about anything from Pirates to the Pope search for 'Johann Hari, Pope' and you will be taken to somewhere in the archive of the wonderful

Hari has just responded to the now infamous Richard Curtis / 10:10 'No Pressure' short film. He does not mention 10:10 in the article but this was the tweet that led me to it:

@johannhari101 The 10:10 campaign is run by good people, but I never agreed with it - here's why: - and that advert is INSANE

He is far from being the only one to react to the 'green consumerism' approach to environmentalism, Rob Hopkins has also posted an informative blog article in which he defends 10:10 but distances himself from the No Pressure video. As he puts it 'not in my name'

I posted this on Johann Hari's Facebook, thought I'd share it here too:

Re: Independent article this morning
What about encouraging people to engage in deeper systemic change? Starting with education. Our children are taught in horribly reductionist ways, they learn about the world through a very narrow frame and are not encouraged to think holistically, creatively and ethically. If we succeed in lowering our dependence on fossil fuels (or are forced to by Peak oil) we will need a new generation of young designers and doers ready to change the way we do pretty much everything....grow food, keep homes warm, travel, entertain ourselves, keep the Internet alive, generate electricity, etc, etc... That's why 10:10 frustrates me massively, they could have spent thier time and money inspiring young people and celebrating human presence on Earth. They are wasting it in exactly the ways your article describes. In environmental action/campaigning terms it is a colossal waste of funds, energy and media exposure. Mind you 10:10 might not have been blessed with so much 'support' if thier 'supporters' / colluders (I'm looking at you Guardian editor, you Prime Minister, you faceless corporation in need of Green PR) actually thought that a meaningful challenge to the status quo was on its way. You are right Johann, time is too short to pussy foot around in the margins, deep systemic change driven by unprecedented levels of creativity and ecological intelligence is required, if the mainstream green movement does not recognise and call for this what chance the powerful will?

I have a lot of respect for all the energy and commitment of the people behind 10:10 and their hearts seem to be in the right place, I hope they can take on board all the constructive criticism and stay strong in the face of all the mindless vicious criticism that does the rounds on YouTube and the like!

1 comment:

emissionary said...

Refreshing, stimulating. Why no progress on climate? Higher frequency of disasters wd have helped (Pakistan and other floods notwithstanding). Media less given to seeing all in transient terms. Attention spans expanded beyond the 36 hour limit. Note, tho, Johann H's piece dates from Feb 2008, ten months BEFORE the (much 'enhanced') Climate Change Act came into force at end-Nov 2008. Yet perhaps, as in spiral progression, we are re-approaching the same territory as then, when many of us campaigners imagined the UK CC Act wd 'sort things out.' Of course, it hasn't come close. So perhaps meaningful response demands things of us that we are just no longer prepared to face, like what is going on inside ourselves, or who exactly is it lives in there? So maybe it's a challenge to discover our deepest aspect, whatever one chooses to call that.

There are some who do explore this dimension and they see our inattention to climate change as a symptom of how through our materialism, we’ve reduced the aspects of ourselves that ARE engaged to such a miniscule part of who we truly are, that we are no longer in contact with the part capable of a response. This, they say, is bad news we just do not want to know about. Our ready remedy? Yet more materialism. Proof ? Expansionist capitalism, reliance on ‘wisdom of the market’ – and on our reptilian ‘fight-or-flight’ brain. For many, the 'cure' is more painful than the 'disease,' it seems.