HowTheWorldWorks – Epic Green Fail – a rebuttal

Ventures Into Scepticism

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HowTheWorldWorks - Epic Green Fail - a rebuttal

Video description

An interaction between me and Lee caused him to block me when I was criticising statements he made.

Disclaimer:

Please note that I cannot verify if the following was actually said by Albert Einstein:
"Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance."
-Albert Einstein

Transcript

Right, kids. Just before you go there's a brilliant idea in the air that I'd like to run by you. Now it's called 10:10. The idea is everyone starts cutting their carbon emissions by 10 percent. Thus keeping the planet sage for everyone, eventually.

[...]

Now, no pressure at all but it would be great to get a sense of how many of you might do this. Just a rough percentage.

[almost all of the kids raise their hands]

That's fantastic! And those not?

[kids shrug]

Philip and Tracy? That's fine, that's absolutely fine. Your own choice. Okay class thank you so much for today and I'll see you all tomorrow.

Oh! Just before you go I just need to press this little button here.

[kids explode and screaming]

Now here's a PR nightmare if I ever saw one. This commercial is actually from the organisation 10:10 to promote their goal of voluntarily reducing 10% of your CO2 emissions each year.

The script for this commercial was written by Richard Curtis (writer of for example Blackadder, Four Weddings and Notting Hill). A very well known comedic writer. So the idea behind this commercial was trying to make a funny video about what they are trying to achieve.

What they were trying to go for, by the looks of it, was some self mockery and trying to explain their program. Which they actually do during the entire video. With the suggestion that joining them is best for your own interests. Not in the way of preventing someone from blowing you up, but with saving yourself from the consequences of climate change.
But missing the humour mark by miles, and so horrendously I'm at a lost for words.

Now I wouldn't even have noticed this commercial if it wasn't for Lee Doren and a few comments he made on this video. Which are:

This is the most disturbing insight into the minds of the Radical EcoFascists. Supposedly your tax dollars in the UK indirectly paid for this crap. Do what the Greens say or they'll kill you, I guess. Note that this ad is not fake. It is a real campaign. Crazy!!

And his second annotation on the video:

Yes, she just killed kids for not supporting the EcoFascist Agenda.

Radical EcoFascists? These guys are not some nationalists that want to set up an authoritarian government. It's a grass roots organisation with independent sub groups per country. They are not aiming for changing the system from above, but by creating a community of people and companies who agree with them and lead by example. And then stepping to the government saying “See, it can be done”. Or in their own words:

The idea of 10:10 is to get individuals, schools, businesses, football clubs, churches, everybody in the UK to commit to cutting their emissions 10 percent next year. And then once we got a critical mass of people and organisations to go to the government and say, look Britain is ready to cut 10 percent. The people are ready, now we need you, the government, to commit the country. Now that's a very different thing, to seriously try and cut the whole countries emissions by 10 percent. But, if Ed Miliband and the rest of the government would agree to go for that, then what it could potentially mean is that when he goes to Copenhagen in December this year he could say 'hey look the UK is going to step forward and do what's necessary.' And that could potentially break the deadlock in the international negotiations. Cause the whole history of the talks has been it's India's fault, it's China's fault, it's America's fault, and nobody has stepped forward and gone we're just going to do it.

And you also say “your tax dollars in the UK indirectly paid for this crap”. Indirectly? This is a organisation that relies on volunteers, sponsors and donations. This very commercial was done by volunteers who donated their own time and equipment.

And the “do what they say or they'll kill you remark”, that was the failed joke. But I went into that already.

However it's not the part that bugs me most. The tag ecoterrorism is the one that I find the most egregious of the two. You are now accusing the organisers and people supporting them like Peter Crouch, Gillian Anderson, Radiohead and Yann Arthus-Bertrand, who's famous for his arial environmental photography, and other organisations and companies, of terrorism. Or at the very least suggesting they support terrorism.

But it's not like they strap bombs to themselves every time they see a SUV and run towards it screaming “The Trees Are Great” and *bomb noise* blow you up.

Notation:
For those that don't understand my reference:
“Allāhu Akbar” means “God is Great”.

But the worst thing about Lee's comments is that when he posted it, 10:10 had already retracted the video. And was already apologizing via several channels that they offended people. The link Lee used in his video description even mentions this. But no word of that from Lee on the video, and very few people were actually noticing this.

So I pointed this out to Lee in a comment where I said the following:

Lee they already retracted the video from their website. They admit they missed the mark on the humour area and are sorry for it (the person who wrote the script wrote for example Blackadder, Four Weddings and Notting Hill)

So the campaign video isn't being used anymore. They are not ecofascists. Are you going to update your video or are you just going add another weak statement like in your "fake bomb" video? That was a false report, and you still say "appears to be false"
watch?v=Tz9bMgGYjPo

Now I you probably wonder what I mean with the “fake bomb” remark. It was Lee accusing a windmill company in spain of sending a fake bomb to a researcher critical of the wind energy industry. However, the fake bomb was a fuel filter, and wasn't even sent by them. I pointed this out to Lee but 3 months later he still hasn't really corrected the video. I've added the link in the description if you're interested in the details.

Lee's reaction to this comment was to delete it. So I posted a new comment with the added question “why did you delete my comment?”. And it to was removed. He responded by placing the following message on my channel:

I linked to their website in the comments genius. Stop posting the same link over and over and over.

Now I only had posted two similar comments and this seemed to look like it was getting out of hand. So I sent a message to Lee to clarify my position and to see if I could calm things down. When I didn't get a response from him, I posted another comment, a summary of what was in the email. And I noticed he blocked me. When I checked my sent messages I could verify he blocked me when he removed my second comment. As a PM will not be shown in the sent messages if it's sent to a user who blocked you. Although it looks like it was sent when you send it.

My language was strong, but I was civil. And I didn't get any warning from Lee before he blocked me. So I had no chance of rectifying the situation. And lee has still the video up without any changes.

Lee's comments and responses to me look like someone who is reading more into something than there is. Judging by his responses towards me I have the suspicion he at the very least knows he's reaching, and also has trouble dealing with criticism on the statements he makes. And subsequently lashes out to such voices on his channel, which he has done before.

Now he has succeeded in preventing me from communicating with him. But...
He has now made sure my only way of communicating with him is via public videos. And I can still subscribe to him. So Lee, I'll still be here fact checking you.

Sources

  1. Video retraction page
  2. News item with apology
  3. Interview with the people involved on the Guardian website
  4. Example of Lee lashing out

Media resources

  1. 10:10 Guardian interview
  2. HowTheWorldWorks video
  3. Intro: Mindthings -- Our Eyes Are Blue (Album Above Everything)
  4. Outtro: Mindthings -- Exponential Tears (Album Life's Path)

Ventures Into Scepticism