“…Newly emboldened by the midterm elections, the Republicans are gearing up to put environmentalists and climate scientists on the defensive and block progress against global warming for the rest of Obama’s presidency. It’s time to turn the tables on them. The first step is to connect the cranks to the terrible consequences they have set in motion, and thereby discredit them from further influence over the nation’s climate policies.
How? Our initiative, Confront the Climate Cranks, will do just that: confront the cranks on camera and accompanied by some of the children they have put in danger. We will video all of our confrontations and then quickly make them available to the public—by posting them on YouTube and sharing them with mainstream and alternative media and the social networks of our partner organizations. (In the run-up to these confrontations, we will invite the participation of the members or readers of The Nation, Grist, Kids vs Global Warming and the other partnering organizations, polling them on which cranks to target, what questions to ask and so on. Thus we hope to build momentum before arriving in Washington, as well as generate continuing attention and activism after the confrontations.)
By no means is our initiative alone sufficient to turn the tide in the climate fight, but we believe it can make a valuable contribution, especially if others lend a hand. By naming and shaming the climate cranks, we hope to shift the political terrain of the climate fight. By highlighting the specific climate impacts that have already begun and will intensify in the coming years, we aim to shift the debate away from abstract ideology toward the actual consequences the cranks have wrought for Generation Hot. And by conveying our message through children and parents, we can reach the ordinary Americans whose support is essential to overcoming the power of money and insider status in Washington. We hope you’ll join us.”
Some may question this “foot in the door journalism”, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing this “in your style” journalism.
Like me, Hertsgaard was motivated by the birth of his daughter:
“…All of this makes my daughter an involuntary member of what I call Generation Hot. In fact, every child on earth born after June 23, 1988, belongs to Generation Hot, roughly 2 billion young people in total. I choose that date because it was the day humanity was put on notice that human activities were unwittingly raising temperatures on this planet. The warning was in NASA scientist James Hansen’s testimony to the Senate, boosted by the decision of the New York Times to publish the story on Page 1, thus making “global warming” a common phrase in newsrooms, government offices and households the world over. But Hansen’s and countless subsequent warnings have gone unheeded, largely because of stiff resistance from the carbon lobby, to borrow author Jeremy Leggett’s term—the energy and auto companies that profit from carbon dioxide emissions, the politicians and propagandists these companies sponsor and the right-wing ideologues who share their antigovernment sympathies.
My daughter and the rest of Generation Hot are fated to pay the price for this foot-dragging. One of the most unpleasant facts about climate change is that, once triggered, it cannot be turned off anytime soon. Even if humanity somehow stopped emitting carbon dioxide overnight, King told me, “temperatures will keep rising and all the impacts will keep changing for about twenty-five years.” Since it is likely to take us at least a quarter-century to leave fossil fuels behind, the reality is that we’re locked in to at least fifty more years of rising temperatures and the harsher climate impacts they bring. Thus the young people of Generation Hot are condemned to spend the rest of their lives coping with a climate that will be hotter and more volatile than ever before in our civilization’s history.”
I could not have expressed by own anger, frustration and urgent desire to “do something” any better.
We need a new movement: “Parents Against Climate Change” (PACC).