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Why the 10:10 Video Is a Distraction

Moral outrage at the blatantly lunatic production of morally unmoored filmmakers, however justified, isn't nearly enough. It's largely a distraction from focusing on the real danger: the environmentalist middle.

by
Jeff Perren

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October 4, 2010 - 12:06 am
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The 10:10 environmental campaign recently released (then quickly pulled) a viro snuff film. In the video, teachers press a red button to explode schoolchildren reluctant to accept the green dogma of AGW (anthropogenic global warming) and other environmentalist fairy tales.

There’s no question that the film is revolting and its producers are vicious, no matter how much they try to claim it was intended as humor. Still, the pundits up in arms over it are making a tactical error.

It’s true that hard-core viros hate humans. That’s been obvious for decades, long before David Graber expressed his now-infamous wish that “until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”

It’s also true that environmentalism — or, as I term it (in order to distinguish the underlying philosophy from the political movement), viro-paganism — inevitably leads to that position.

But it’s nevertheless equally true that the vast majority of environmental-movement friendly writers do not fall into that extreme category. And therein lies the danger of focusing on their more consistent brethren.

It’s just too easy for so-called moderates to point to their own words — including words condemning the 10:10 video — that say: “See, we’re not like them! That’s not what we want. We just want clean air and water and to preserve some wilderness for future generations to enjoy.”

That type is actually much more dangerous than the open, way-out-there “deep ecology” types.

Figures like Al Gore soon expose themselves and implode. So it is, too, with the Bill McKibben types (even though he has condemned the video). McKibben quoted approvingly a well-known view of turn-of-the-century “conservationist” John Muir, who opined: “Honorable representatives of the great saurians of older creation, may you long enjoy your lilies and rushes, and be blessed now and then with a mouthful of terror-stricken man by way of a dainty.”

Their views are so obviously dedicated to human destruction, whether through enslavement by regulation or open warfare à la the Earth Firsters, that decent people dismiss them outright.

Not so with the more “respectable” sort associated with, say, the Ford Foundation, the Sierra Club, and others who actually share the same long-term goals. Their masks are firmly in place, welded on so tightly that sometimes even they aren’t fully aware of how vicious those goals are.

The more serious danger always comes from those who successfully take on an aura of mainstream, middle-of-the-road attitudes.

Obama was able to get elected because he appeared reasonable and moderate. In the same way, free speech foe Cass Sunstein is regarded as a leading light in the academic legal community. EPA head Lisa Jackson is thought by many to be a moderate, going so far as to shed crocodile tears over having to impose CO2 caps pursuant to a 2007 Supreme Court decision.

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