24 April 2006

Fear Watch Continues

This is a melt-lake on Greenland's ice sheet. In case you wanted to see where and how all the melting is happening. Thanks to Jason Box for his research and cool webiste, where you can see animations of melt lakes and geeky stuff like that.

Sunday's Times has a great article about the problematic nature of global warming... the marketing debacle, the dangers of fearmongering.

Kat and I were talking last night. She says she wants all the tactics, including fear-mongering, to be employed. Spare no tactic! And I see her point, but am not convinced. Conservative is the new progressive, because conservatives have cornered the market on optimistic new visions (Worse! Sham shadowpuppetry of optimistic ideals that ordinary folks are so willing to buy into that they actually vote against their own best interests...).

Liberals are left shoring up, defending, all the progress they made years ago. People hate listening to bad news, and it's too easy to just ignore it.

What the fuck is wrong with just promoting the heck out of growth industries like wind and solar power? Spinning a very powerful, positive story about the newer, cleaner roadways, the healthier children, all the money to be made doing it? My frustration is so visceral: I love New York, but I hate soot. I hate looking out over the east river and seeing that film of smog. It's nasty, I hate living in it. Why not a positive story about cleaning up the city? About being able to live near the BQE without getting asthma because suddenly everyone's buying electric cars that run on hydro-, solar-, wind-generated power?

Since when is fearmongering the only way to buck the fucked-up status quo?

Look forward to much harranguing of Al Gore if it's really true, if An Inconvenient Truth is as terrifying (reactionary) (weak) as promised.


Anonymous jec said...

Fear does work, which is why the Ad Council and Environmental Defense have released Public Service Ads that aim to scare Americans straight. http://www.fightglobalwarming.com/viewads.cfm?video=train

I haven't seen Al Gore's movie, but did have the chance to see/hear him give his global warming presentation. It is indeed terrifying, and I think this is a good thing.

24 April, 2006 20:03  
Blogger fisher6000 said...


I have never been motivated to do anything sane or smart because of fear.

Global warming is a problem to solve. Problem-solving skills are utterly hampered by fear and anxiety. Being able to really look at the problem, without any fear or anxiety, is the only way to actually get a solution.

24 April, 2006 20:17  
Anonymous jec said...

It's great that you haven't been motivated by fear. I have to admit that I have been, and Americans have proved that they often are....

Yes, global warming is a problem to solve, and a lot of level-headed people are working on ways for us to reverse the current direction. But we will need support of our representatives, who are moved mainly by constituents. If these constituents start to see global warming as an imminent threat, they will let their representatives know--at least, that's the hope.

I see Americans as generally very head-in-sand about things. They (we) are not willing to look at hard truths or complicated issuess. Fear is one way to break through that.

This is how I see it, anyway.

24 April, 2006 20:33  
Blogger fisher6000 said...

Fair assesment, jec.

I have been motivated by fear, but mostly to do really stupid stuff. I see the relationship between fear and leadership differently. I think that fear in the absence of leadership (Bush administration=bigoil) is too much, and will lead mostly to apathy or worse, demonizing the apocalyptic ecological evangelists.

(which is what all this fear stuff winds up sounding like.)

I am afraid of fear because fear is so easy to manipulate and we are living in such a manipulative public space.

More tomorrow--you bring up important points and I don't take them lightly.

24 April, 2006 20:47  

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