Oh, There's a War?

As climate-concerned folks know, global warming hasn’t resonated with the average person in the U.S. because its impacts can’t be felt. That’s a big reason why there is no serious, sustained public debate about the issue. Most people just don’t care enough about it.

A similar disconnect explains why there is no real public conversation about the war in Afghanistan. (You ever hear it discussed at the water cooler or at your local watering hole?) What’s going on here? As David Wood recently noted:

The U.S. Army now begins its 10th continuous year in combat, the first time in its history the United States has excused the vast majority of its citizens from service and engaged in a major, decade-long conflict instead with an Army manned entirely by professional warriors.

I’m not the first person to recognize what it would take for Americans to sit up and take notice of the wars being waged in their names. In 2007, here’s how Andy Roony ended his weekly commentary:

Now comes the part of this I never thought I’d hear myself say: Whenever we, as a nation, decide to fight a war ““ in Iraq or anywhere else ““ it should be fought by average Americans who are drafted.

One year ago, as President Obama was set to announce that he was sending additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, Bill Moyers said:

Let’s share the sacrifice. Spread the suffering. Let’s bring back the draft. Yes, bring back the draft — for as long as it takes our politicians and pundits to “fix” Afghanistan to their satisfaction.

Bring back the draft, and then watch them dive for cover on Capitol Hill, in the watering holes and think tanks of the Beltway, and in the quiet little offices where editorial writers spin clever phrases justifying other people’s sacrifice. Let’s insist our governing class show the courage to make this long and dirty war our war, or the guts to end it.

Now one could argue that liberals who suddenly pine for a national draft are doing so for ulterior motives. But it seems obvious to me that the emotional and intellectual detachment of most Americans from two wars results from not having a personal stake in them. Maybe that’s reason alone to revive the draft.

On the other hand, as Fred Kaplan noted six years ago in Slate:

The prospect of compulsory military service raises fundamental questions””and agonizing dilemmas””for a free and democratic society.

Still, ten years and counting in Afghanistan, I’m surprised that the issue doesn’t come up more. It strikes me as weird that America is engaged in two wars but that most Americans don’t feel, much less think about, being at war.

35 Responses to “Oh, There's a War?”

  1. Jack Hughes says:

    Hi Keith,
    It’s the same in the UK – I ask people if they have noticed any change in the climate in their own lifetimes and they answer no.I’m the same – I’ve noticed no change at all in the English climate in my lifetime.
     
    There’s only so many times you can cry wolf before people just ignore you.

  2. Andy says:

    This famous (in military circles at least) image was taken in Iraq over three years ago.  About says it all IMO. These wars don’t really affect the American people that much which is not a good thing.
     
    Still, I would rather see a war tax than a draft.  My personal view is that a draft should only be used in a genuine existential war or in cases where sufficient manpower can’t be raised by volunteers.  A war tax, though, would share the burden, the the American people a stake in the conflict and prevent us from borrowing.
     
    Of course, a draft or a war tax are not going to happen.   Americans seem quite satisfied with the status quo unfortunately.
     
     

  3. Keith Kloor says:

    Jack,

    If I were to write a post playing off my opening sentence, I would go on to say that the worst impacts from climate change are projected to occur decades down the road. Much has already been written about how humans don’t do well with vague, future threats.

    Andy,

    Yep, I agree, that image does say it all. I think you’ve hit on the right use of the draft. However, I also think this country would do well to have a conversation about some sort of mandatory national service.

    But that, as Kaplan mentions in the Slate piece I linked to, is a whole other conversation.

  4. Hector M. says:

    Not only the wars of the past decade have been fought by professional soldiers serving in the Armed Forces, but a sizable part of the war effort has been outsourced to private security companies, i.e. to simple mercenaries, especially during the Bush years.

    Perhaps in the future a country rich enough to afford it could just outsource (or privatize) the entire business of national defense. Intellectuals would be squabbling to redefine the State in terms other than the classic concept of Max Weber based on having a  monopoly on the application of force.

  5. Keith Kloor says:

    Hector M, yes I am aware of this. There was a good PBS/Bill Moyers piece on the war contractor angle in 2007 and more recently the WaPo ran quite a large and extensive spread on the intelligence outsourcing.

  6. David44 says:

    Tsk, tsk.  Aren’t any of you guys old enough to remember Viet Nam for which we sacrificed thousands of young men and untold billions to stop the spread of communism in SE Asia?  We lost, but communism didn’t spread and is slowing dying in its last remaining bastions.  New York city wouldn’t have been attacked on 9/11 if we hadn’t had troops stationed on the Arabian peninsula to guard the oil and maintain nondemocratic governments friendly to our oil companies.  9/11 wasn’t about our support of Israel, it was about our presence on soil sacred to Wahhabi radicals (and all of Islam).
     
    I know it’s an heretical idea, but how about instead of re-instituting the draft, we just bring our troops home and keep our noses out of other countries business?  (I agree, however, that if we’re going to send troops to fight abroad, there should be a tax to pay for it – instead becoming further indebted to the Chinese communist regime.)

  7. keith kloor says:

    David44, well I’m not old enough (I was watching Lost in Space and The Brady Brunch), but I am familial with Halberstam’s classic. (Good discussion to read via that link.)
    On your latter argument, there is something to what you say, but it’s not quite that simple. See, for example, Lawrence Wright’s masterful The Looming Tower.

  8. Barry Woods says:

    There is a war allright, a nasty dirty vile CAGW pr war..
    Anyone sceptical persuaded by this short film…..?
    Watch the little short film to be shown in Cinemas
       
    if you don’t agree, your choice, press a red button and you wil explode into a bloody pulp……
     
    Quote from the Guardain:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/sep/30/10-10-no-pressure-film

    “Had a look?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UHN3zHoYA0&feature=player_embedded
    Well, I’m certain you’ll agree that detonating school kids, footballers and movie stars into gory pulp for ignoring their carbon footprints is attention-grabbing. It’s also got a decent sprinkling of stardust ““ Peter Crouch, Gillian Anderson, Radiohead and others.”

    10:10 Campaign – What on earth are they thinking!!!!
    Is that really supposed to persuade people!

  9. Barry Woods says:

    Stay with it until 1 min 10 sec, then sit back and watch a pr disaster

  10. Bob Koss says:

    I received my draft notice in late 1964. Default service would have been Army and that would in all likelihood have meant Vietnam. An older brother was drafted into the Korean conflict and advised me to volunteer for a service branch with a lower probability of combat duty. So I went in the USAF for 4 years instead of the shorter but more hazardous Army duty. Spent 18 months in Turkey and the rest stateside. Never regretted the choice. It was a maturing experience.

    The professional military we currently have is top-notch. I do have concerns that they are all professionals. They depend on each other 24/7/365 and have relatively little contact with the civilian population back home. I worry about the years of inter-dependency causing a mindset to develop where their allegiance to their organization might become stronger than their allegiance to their country. The possibility of a charismatic leader taking control could cause that to turn out very badly for the country. I’m certainly not saying it will happen, just that it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

    I see a draft as being a good thing. Maybe 40% of personnel. Having draftees mixed with the professionals would be a reminder there is a world beyond their tight-knit group. It would also be good for those drafted. Maybe it’s my age, but the number of young that just drift along aimlessly with no sense of responsibility seems to increase with passing time. Being drafted into the military would help them mature.  

  11. SimonH says:

    The view from the UK is far less sympathetic to Israel than it is in the US and, living in a significantly Islamic area of the UK and keeping my ear to the ground, I’m entirely satisfied that radicalism of muslims is inextricably linked to Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians, and very specifically our apathy towards their plight and complicity in their suffering.
     
    I was living in Chicago through 9/11 and on through to 2004, but I was horrified to discover how ill-informed about the whole situation I was and particularly the conduct of Israel when I returned to the UK, despite being glued incessantly to the TV media in the US.

  12. keith kloor says:

    SimonH,
    Ah, the Israel angle–something there, too, but again, oversimplified. U.S. coddling of autocratic Egypt and Saudi Arabia regimes hasn’t been looked upon too kindly, either, by the radical elements over there.

  13. harrywr2 says:

    “It strikes me as weird that America is engaged in two wars but that most Americans don’t feel, much less think about, being at war.”
     
    My daughter spent some time in 2004 in Beautiful Downtown Sammarra, Iraq. My son has been to Iraq once and Afghanistan twice.
    Even I don’t feel as though there is a war going on. People can serve an entire tour in Iraq or Afghanistan and not personally know anyone who has been killed.
    US fatalities in Afghanistan have never averaged more then 1/day. 1 fatality doesn’t make the national news.
     
     

  14. David44 says:

    Keith,
    I read B&B when I suppose you were still in short pants.  Haven’t read Looming Tower, but the line from the Qur’an quoted by Bin Laden alone is chilling.  For those who want to understand how people in or from strict Muslim societies like Saudi, Sudan, and Somalia view their religion and outsiders, I highly recommend “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali including Christopher Hitchens’ forward.
    Bob Koss – I’m sure military service was a maturing experience for you and many others.  For my high school and college friends who came home from Viet Nam psychologically shattered, addicted to heroin, or in a coffin, it didn’t work out so well.  Also, I can’t help but wonder for every one like you who was matured by military experience, how many were turned into killers, mercenaries, super-patriots, or otherwise psychologically stunted.
    I share your concern and that of Sec. Gates about an insular officer corps, but I don’t thing the draft or a large and continuous standing army/military are the answer.  State militias under the control of governors along with an officer corps and smaller defense forces commensurate with a non-intrusive foreign policy plus a ban on  weapons sales to foreign regimes seems more rational to me (an admitted heretic).

  15. SimonH says:

    Keith, I agree that the Israel/Palestine angle is oversimplified. In fact I think it’s essential to recognise that it is specifically its oversimplification that gives it the “grunt” it has, across (I’m fairly sure all) Islamic nations. The coddling of Egypt and Saudi Arabia similarly so, but Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi.. they all have their own disputes between each other, far more nuanced and infinitely more complex than most of us can appreciate. All of them, though, superficially rally to the battle-cry of Palestine (despite some of their own despicable history of treatment of the same).
     
    Palestine is to the Arab world, against Western interference, what William Wallace was to the disparate clans of Scotland, against the English.

  16. Ray Donahue says:

    Hi David44,  VN vets “shattered” etc, etc, etc, and so on.  Nonsense.  Period.  Look at the numbers.

  17. David44 says:

    What numbers, Ray?  What’s your point?
     
    Here are some numbers:
    1. About 19% of Viet Nam veterans experienced PTSD at some point after the war.  National Institute of Mental Health (Dohrenwend BP, Turner JB, Turse NA, Adams BG, Koen KC, Marshall R. The psychological risk of Vietnam for U.S. veterans: A revist with new data and methods. Science. 2006; 313(5789):979-982.)
     
    2.  The VA estimates that 107,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Over the course of a year, approximately twice that many experience homelessness. Only eight percent of the general population can claim veteran status, but nearly one-fifth of the homeless population are veterans.
     
    America’s homeless veterans have served in World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF), and the military’s anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America. Nearly half of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam era. Two-thirds served our country for at least three years, and one-third were stationed in a war zone. (National Coalition for Homeless Veterans)
     
    3.  Americans Killed in Action 58,267; Wounded in Action 303,644 of whom 153,303 required hospitalization; Missing in Action 1,711. (Wikipedia)

  18. kdk33 says:

    “Nearly half of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam era.”

    Though I’m too young to have experienced it, my understanding is that kids from good families went to college, got deferements, claimed choice spots in the air national guard (GWB), etc.  As Steve Earle says:  they draft the white-trash first ’round here anyways.  The homeless statistics may reflect the prior socio/economic situation of draftees as much as the debilitating effects of war. 

    Combat veterans claim (with remarkable uniformity) that they do not fight for principle, freedom, the american way, or the flag; they fight for each other.  Esprit de corps.  A draft would not be a good idea.

  19. BenSix says:

    See, for example, Lawrence Wright’s masterful The Looming Tower.

    Even by the military’s reckoning there are fewer Al Qaeda “members” in Afghanistan than there are fans of Klaus Nomi in Syria. Perhaps one reason for this disconnect is that the war doesn’t appear to be in their interests.

  20. Jack Hughes says:

    Why not use the methods of climate science to plan for future wars?
     
    We could forget historical records of real wars and use proxies. Maybe find some areas with and without bones in the ground and use novel stats techniques to extrapolate the results to cover the whole world.
     
    Then make computer simulations of how combat will be in say 30 years time. Not too close to the present day or we could look silly …

  21. harrywr2 says:

    Bob Koss Says:
    September 30th, 2010 at 4:26 pm
    “I see a draft as being a good thing. Maybe 40% of personnel.”
    No one wants conscripts, especially the Army itself. Some conscripts work out okay, but a fairly high percentage become discipline problems.
     

  22. tonylurker says:

    I take issue with this characterization that the draft will make Americans feel the war.  The same circles of people who avoid the army today will be capable of getting exemptions from the draft. Given that standard recruiting is providing enough to mostly cover the war, I suspect that the vast majority of requests for exemptions would be granted. As to whether the common American “feels the war”, Maybe people like Bill Moyer or Andy Rooney don’t “feel” the war, but those of us who have friends and neighbors who fight in the war are well aware of it.  The bigger reason that the war isn’t felt isn’t who is in the war, it is the low number of causalties relative to the US population.  a few thousand over ten years is dwarfed by far more common causes of death right here at home.
    That said, there’s a better solution than the unnecessary impressment of civilians to fight the war.  Pay for the War now, instead of by increasing the debt.  It’s one thing to rack up a debt in a big fight for survival, but for a war of choice like this one, a war tax should be instituted at the outset and should be adjusted to cover the full cost of the war.  Hitting the pocketbook will cause the public to take notice a bit more than a draft (assuming the casualty numbers stay low).
     

  23. Stu says:

    OT, but Keith- have you seen this latest 10:10 campaign yet?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSTLDel-G9k&feature=player_embedded
     
    It’s been pulled now, but the creators do seem proud of the fact that ‘many people found it extremely funny’. I’ve had a bit to say about this on WUWT, but I’ll post here my last take on this, since it connects back indirectly to one of your recent posts.

    I remember not too long ago when Anthony was called out on his “˜When Warmistas Attack’ headline. I kind of agreed that it was in poor taste. After seeing this video, I no longer think that it is. Not that I imagine AGW people are inherently violent, but for any AGWer who still thinks this is “˜extremely funny’, then they obviously simply don’t care about being connected with inhumane violence. If they don’t care, then why should I?
    When Warmistas Attack, indeed.”
    ?
     
     

     

  24. Keith Kloor says:

    Stu, that is one sick video. As I was watching, I thought it was a satire of green orthodoxy. Since it’s not, I don’t know what to make of it. But sorry, just because it’s in bad tase doesn’t excuse Anthony’s demogoguery.

    BTW, I laughted heartily at Monty Pthyon’s Holy Grail, but I don’t think that makes me uncaring about inhumane violence.

  25. Stu says:

    You know, when people can find humour in the coercion of children into silence, then there’s something extremely unsettling  going on in peoples minds. That this video was even apparently approved all along the whole chain of production, with nobody speaking up with the thought that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, is almost unbelievable to me. Perhaps all these people were feeling ‘no pressure’ as well?
    This campaign was Guardian ‘approved’. But this is nothing less than coercive propaganda at the most extreme level. The producers ‘apology’ gives no comfort that any kind of lesson was learnt here.
    This is definitely a ‘when warmista’s attack’ moment. I’m not sure how you’re going to convince me otherwise on this. 🙁 I’m actually pretty pissed off about this.
     
     

  26. Stu says:

    Here’s a post from the Guardian website…

    What struck me were the faces of the children after their friends had been blown to pulp, astonishment. As if understanding had suddenly registered to their young brains what “no pressure” really means when it comes from the mouth of an ecowarrior. If it were supposed to be light hearted and funny they would not have included those images of fear on the faces of the children who had complied to their green carbon message. This tells me this was never meant to be humour, it was a deadly serious attempt to intill a climate of fear. And then the final sequence when the girl has given her time for free, she is a supporter, but it is not enough, she must also be disposed of.
    In Cambodia they executed people for owning glasses. I think this come close to that mindset.
    This really is about inciting hatred and violence against anyone who is outside the paranoid world of extreme green politics. I hope it really causes a storm in the media, but I am not holding my breath. The Guardian actually seem to be proud of their association with the film!
    The comments in the Comment are Free section are interesting, it starts with all the greenies saying how funny it all is before a deluge of hostile comments arrives. The hostile comments have approval ratings of up to 500, the people who find it funny are left languishing with very few approval ratings. This has been a big mistake.”
     
    Yup.
     

  27. SimonH says:

    I decided to give myself the whole day to contemplate the 10:10 video. I wanted to let it settle, to see where its chips fell in my gut.
     
    Now I’m at the end of my day, I’m still no further along in understanding it. I’m still completely incapable of placing myself, mentally, in the shoes of the 10:10 people that signed this thing off.. that so proudly promoted its imminent release for weeks. I cannot for the life of me imagine what kind of group-thinking would give birth to such a “monster”, and them not at any point recognise the monster for the thing it is.
     
    And that’s the thing that’s got me utterly baffled. I know I’m a climate science sceptic, but that’s because I want the thing that I “believe in” – my cause, or raison d’être – to be above reproach. But I AM an environmentalist at heart, and a conservationist too. But I cannot find anything at all to connect me with this.. anger? Indignation?
     
    Blind hatred. Literally. That’s the only explanation I can think of which might possibly explain the guttural vindictiveness of this mini-film. It’s positively awful.
     
    I realise a large number of sceptics are themselves exploding, this time with fury, over the video. I hear much “eco-fascism!!!11” and the like. That’s not been my reaction to it, though. Mine’s been much more a loss for words. But as I ponder where to place the momentum that this video appears in every way determined to instigate, I find there are too many similarities, in the way the chin of this video is set (not least in its lack of rationality or composure), to media such as Der Angriff, of pre-war Berlin. To say the least, this is disconcerting.
     
    It transpires that there is no impetus, no traction or momentum here. The video appears to be unwelcome, with rebukes from almost all quarters. Even from some of the most acidic anti-sceptics. This would be “cheering news”, and it is in part, but I detect in the subtext, in places, that some of the face-palming from the CAGW crowd is less because the film is offensive to them and more because 10:10 have bared their chest, shown their cards and exposed an uncomfortable truth about a secretive spite that spans CAGW advocacy.

  28. Jack Hughes says:

    Keith,
    Who is Anthony ? Do Anthony’s reactions on seeing a sick video – do they excuse the video ? Or make it less sick ?
     

  29. BenSix says:

    For the benefit of non-British viewers, this was made by Richard Curtis who’s wreaked more havoc on our comedic scene than climate change could ever do upon the world.

  30. MarkB says:

    “Now one could argue that liberals who suddenly pine for a national draft are doing so for ulterior motives…”
    Occam’s Razor, corollary: When you’ve cut yourself, there’s no need to keep cutting. The same people who were against the draft are now for a draft? How convenient.
     
     

  31. Stu says:

    Hi Simon (if that IS your real name, hehe)
    Thanks for your opinion on this. Like you, I’ve been spending the past couple of days trying to process this thing, while obviously doing a fair bit of emoting as well. I feel I’ve needed it. It is, as you say- a ‘monster’.
    It’s the clarity of the thing which is the most disturbing to me. There is a kind of purity on display here, without qualification. Like a clear nightmare, or how a persons most disturbed dreams tend to be remembered as the most vivid. You wake up from it, but you can not forget it.
    Could this actually be a kind of warning from the CAGW people themselves. Are they saying to people ‘please, take this red button out of our hands?’ I have no idea.
    It will be interesting to see where this goes over the next few weeks if there is more MSM coverage of this. For now, this ‘ad’ certainly seems that it will have carved out for itself a very special position in media history.
    Horrible.
     
    PS, Here’s a couple of blog threads I’ve been a part of the last couple days…
     
    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/four-explosions-and-an-own-goal/#comment-438
    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/1010-they-just-dont-get-it/

  32. Stu, #31: “Hi Simon (if that IS your real name, hehe)”
     
    ROFL!! 😀 Yes, it is! 😀
     
    I think I’ve come to rest with the 10:10 video now. It’s, on balance I think, a reiteration of the “we be many, you be few” Greenpeace blog message. Angry, defeated and bitter. But – and this is key – out for revenge.
     
    I was never directly offended by the blood and gore of the film, though I damn near jumped out of my skin the first time I saw it, when the first kid exploded. I wasn’t expecting that, but I wasn’t actually grossed out.
     
    It’s the sinister subtext that I was concerned about, and that I remain concerned about. Mostly I’m concerned that there are direct links between 10:10 advocates and direct action insurgents; “domestic terrorism”, to use its scary term.
     
    I’m not anticipating direct threats or to find my family kidnapped and held lest I keep to a 10% carbon footprint improvement but I do perceive the carbon movement as a religiously ideological movement. In every religion there is the potential for a radicalised, fundamentalist subculture to form, particularly when that subculture develops a sense of being disenfranchised. No religion ever managed to keep sufficient control over how its doctrine was received or interpreted, and I think there’s a potential for the environmentalist movement to suffer the same problem. A loss of control over its radicalised flock.
     
    The carbon movement has lost its broad acceptance and its popular support. It’s lost all momentum and the changes to our society that it believes must be exacted will not happen with the blessing of the population. Someone, or some group, must be to blame.
     
    I think sceptics have received the 10:10 video as a personal assault on them. But those depicted in the video weren’t presented as sceptics, they were presented as apathetic, disinterested. That is to say, not the active detractors like you and I, who are anything but disinterested, but regular people who simply aren’t interested in the subject. It’s not that they believe that carbon reduction is a fallacy.. they just don’t care enough about it. This video wasn’t environmentalist versus sceptic, it was activist versus everyone else – the world. And that’s anger on a societally dangerous level.
     
    I’m still not freaked out by the video, but I’m concerned by it. Not because of its content exactly but more simply the mood that it betrays. But it hasn’t been received well by anyone. Some, I think, have seen a sickness within their own movement. Some others have found themselves embarrassed to see their own gut feelings so vividly and accurately reflected.
     
    Bizarrely, Tim Lambert thinks that the video depicts humour. He likens it to Monty Python. From that, I conclude that however Lambert perceived it, he never actually GOT Python humour. He may have thought he did, but he can’t have. You can’t GET Python humour AND think that 10:10 was in the same vein. There were some Python sketches I still don’t get, or got but didn’t think they were that funny, but I have at least the sense to know it.
     
    I read your post at Deltoid, incidentally. You posted reasonably, got labelled a “concern troll” – which was an easy way to dismiss the substance of your post – and then you got piled on. I’m familiar with that kind of behaviour on another forum where I moderate – a very tribal environment indeed 😉 – and the behaviour is invariably characteristic of adolescents. If I were you, I wouldn’t feel too sore. Consider the source.

  33. Stu says:

    “This video wasn’t environmentalist versus sceptic, it was activist versus everyone else ““ the world.”
    Yeah. It’s actually a very common feeling amongst activists, I can definitely understand it since I’ve been there myself. It can be a very lonely feeling.
    The thing is, at this point in the game, there should be no reason to feel like this if you’re a climate change activist. You have the ear of media, you have the ear of politicians, big business, the celebrity set, you have a general acceptance across society that we should be doing things to cut down on our emissions. Ads like this are completely over the top and completely counter productive. I support the general thrust and aims of 10:10 (although we will likely get nowhere without a proper technological revolution in energy production) but there must be ways to market yourself that don’t have to do with sending up the whole environmental movement as violent terrorists. Normalising this kind of radicalism in media will basically seal off any kind of mainstream acceptability of AGW goals at all. And of course there is the danger of real violence, as you point out. I always hope that people are more sensible than that, but I understand that weird things tend to happen when levels of alarm are raised high enough, beliefs become locked, and enemies labeled (activists against the world! ;)). Not exactly a good recipe for success.
    On Deltoid, well I tried. Not very hard I might add. I’ve lurked over at CP and Deltoid a bit, but this was my first (and probably only) attempt at posting at these places. I finally posted at CP (still in moderation after two days) that I am extremely disappointed in the attitudes displayed at that site. It was insane to me that right after the PR debacle that was this ad, that people could still be attacked for holding skeptical views, even though their actions might be in line with a low carbon lifestyle. I said that my experience there showed me that people were more focused on beliefs than actions, and that this is the kind of mindset that is reflected in the ad. Destroy the unbelievers in other words. I left there quite angry, and I’m not going to go back.
    They seem very paranoid as a group. I tried talking with one guy who was giving me grief, but it felt like a run in with over zealous airport security. You’re right- they may be young. And very politicised. They need to realise that people exist outside of the shallow definitions that they set for everyone.
     

  34. Stu says:

    On this last point, I can certainly see that Romm isn’t helping here.

  35. Stu says:

    “The carbon movement has lost its broad acceptance and its popular support. It’s lost all momentum and the changes to our society that it believes must be exacted will not happen with the blessing of the population. Someone, or some group, must be to blame.”
    I see that our perceptions on this might differ. Probably this is a matter of perspective. When I say there’s support, I mean through mainstream media, mainstream politics, etc. None of these channels seem to be saying that CO2 reduction is a waste of money or time. But the split is probably pretty even taking everybody into account. No way to tell for sure. The papers do seem to be incredibly out of touch with general public sentiment, if recommendations on comments are anything to go by, but there is bound to be a large difference in demographics between online commenters and those still wedded to traditional, arrive at your door media (which seems to probably be dying).Yeah, it’s hard to tell… I would probably say that environmental activists have never been in a better position of influence. That’s my general feeling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.