The world was baffled. What were they thinking?
This colossal PR disaster was 20 years in the making, and it took a special set of conditions to achieve a true marketing black hole. Never before in the history of public relations has so much star-power, money and kudos been used to score such a monstrous global own-goal. The campaign to dehumanize skeptics laid the groundwork and somehow, fittingly, the eco-terrorists own name-calling has come back to bite them.
How could people with red carpet careers make a mistake so smashingly spectacularly awful that they scored negative press all round the world, lost 20% of their members, and drove away three out of four major sponsors within days?
They can’t be written off as a little side group of extremists. 10:10 was sponsored by the UK government, major corporations like Sony, and was a group of nearly 100,000 people (now only 73,000). A hundred odd people must have spent months preparing, with casting, scripting and special effects meetings, so they could capture the effect of exploding ten-year-olds without once noticing the rather invidious parallels with, say, Pol Pot. Incredibly the 10:10 death-flick mini movie was even going to be played at cinemas (light the pyre, throw good names in the fire, and invite the media…).
To avert leaping into this disaster with two feet and a jet propulsion unit, all they had to do was run one focus-group, say, on three people at a bus stop. Total cost: 2 minutes and 50 cents. So just how could the 10:10 team corner the market in PR-poison in just a four minute mini movie?
Why did they think ruthlessly killing children was funny? –
because in their heads, they weren’t killing children,
…they were killing deniers.
(And what’s a 10 year old denier? Dead meat.)
They had spent years dehumanizing, ridiculing, and denigrating anyone that disagreed. Two decades of noxious name-calling and rampant bullying had laid the groundwork for The Marketing Disaster of the Century.
This PR disaster was destined to happen sooner or later.
From the dictionary: Dehumanization — To deprive of human qualities such as individuality, compassion, or civility: slaves who had been dehumanized by their abysmal condition.
Just as Tutsis were called cockroaches, and the Jews were called vermin, when a scientist is a denier, they’re automatically a fake, and without the human ability to reason, they’re sub-human.
So somehow, fittingly, the eco-terrorists own name-calling campaign has come back to blitz them. The dehumanization program worked so well in their own heads, it didn’t occur to any of them that they were publicly fantasizing about being inhumane tyrannical murderous thugs. They had dehumanized their targets to the point that no one in a room of supposedly top brains stopped and said “maybe blowing up kids is just a bit base?”
It’s a whole new class of marketing disaster
The 10:10 video will be engraved into folklore and infamy.
The 10:10 team made seismic misjudgements
Here are three core reasons they were setting themselves up for a disaster: mostly involving a lack of research and an inability to reason. Their habit of “living in a bubble” cost them dearly.
a) Brain Snap Number One — Don’t “know thine enemy”
What did 10:10 do when they wanted to understand the average man-in-the-street? They asked another activist. It’s like asking a mirror a rhetorical question. It reflects the group-think right back, adding weight to prejudices and supporting stereotypes. “Deniers are paid by big oil” and “don’t care” (when instead those who question the Establishment opinions are the largest grassroots movement of volunteer scientists ever). It’s ignorance run amok.
The eco-bigots might pay homage to the idea of community consultation, but they didn’t do it. They live in rooms of half silvered glass: watching their reflection as they perform for the world while blind to what’s really going on outside. In the end the attitude of those bloggers and newspapers that censor dissent comes back to defeat the censors. While sceptics grow stronger with real debate, the closeted immaturity of believers leaves them vulnerable to attack: unprepared for questions they’ve never sought out, and positively primed to step into the most blindingly obvious PR traps.
b) Brain Snap Number Two — Let’s alienate most of the population
The 10:10 team didn’t just target active deniers, they attacked people who just shrugged; who had other things to do; who weren’t 100% on the crusade.
The 10:10 team think that “the unconvinced” are a minority of 2 out of 20, but polls show about 60% of the population is unwilling to spend more than a paltry $10 dollars a month. To offer just $10 a month to rebuild our entire energy infrastructure qualifies as “un-convinced” – that’s a lot of bomb targets. Hence, the 10:10 eco-terrorist-cell assumed that in cinemas most people would get the same base “thrill” as they did. Instead, most of the population identifies with the shruggers, and with the voice over artist– I thought doing the voiceover was my bit? (SPLAT!).
The eco-bigots might pay homage to the idea of community consultation, but they didn’t do it. They live in rooms of half silvered glass: watching their reflection as they perform for the world while blind to what’s really going on outside.
10:10 were reaching out to the mass population and saying in nice sickly sweet tones: “agree with us or we’ll trick you, kill you, and kill your kids too”. They thought it was funny.
c) Brain Snap Number Three — Believing it’s OK if it’s “all for a good cause”
The green supremacists are the means-to-an-ends crowd who rationalize that anything is ok if the ends is “good”, except that’s the excuse used by the Bolsheviks, Fidel Castro, Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung. They don’t “get” the unalterable truth that there is no END, only an endless rolling succession of means. If you don’t live with principles while you aim for the unreachable end, then you never live with principle.
The root problem is namecalling — “denier”
Namecalling is a technique to silence dissent. A way of “winning” an argument without reason.
It makes a mockery of a civilized conversation. The cave-man uses it to mock the particle physicist.
Leonardo DiCaprio and James Cameron are outspoken advocates. For both their highest scientific achievement is finishing high school, but that doesn’t stop DiCaprio endorsing books by the PR-smear specialists at DeSmog who are professional marketers who call professors of science “deniers” on a daily basis. Instead of being mocked for his gall, lack of respect and ignorance, DiCaprio was invited to the Scottish Parliament to talk about Climate Change. James Cameron says: ‘Anybody that is a global-warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their ass I’m not sure they could hear me.’
Those who are unconvinced include Nobel Prize winners in physics (see below for the link).
The know-nothing bully boys are being rewarded for disparaging our greatest minds, and highest achievers.
Climate Denier is an Orwellian Trick that has fooled many
Think about the literal meaning of the phrase “climate denier”. Imagine how stupid someone would have to be to deny that we have a climate… As long as newspapers, politicians and scientists propagate this mindless phrase they rubbish the English language, trash the highest scientific offices, and promote the heckling domineers who spout inanities. Any organization or individual who uses the term is a part of the attack machine that eats away the pillars of human achievement.
If the evidence is overwhelming, obvious, and even the village idiot can see that, why can’t two Nobel Physics Prize winners, four elite Astronauts, hundreds of eminent scientists, and thousands of PhD’s?
The term “denier” has to go. It’s not possible to even talk about evidence, until the bullies are sidelined.
In modern science there is no more urgent task than to shame the stone-age scientific pretenders so they get out of the way, and real scientists can have a real scientific conversation.
This is an edited shortened version of the full paper at The Science and Public Policy Institute, Mystery Solved: Why The PR hacks exploded their own credibility. Find out how a program to dehumanize scientists has backfired catastrophically on the team that resorts to ad hominem attacks.
This paper was discussed on Climate Lessons which also has this quote:
‘In Newspeak there is no word for ‘Science.’ The empirical method of thought, on which all the scientific achievements of the past were founded, is opposed to the most fundamental principles of Ingsoc.’
George Orwell, 1984.