Skip to main content

Greenpeace's Angry Kid Backfires

We all know that Greenpeace is a natural when it comes to needless fear mongering, but this latest "public service" video on energy and global warming has to take the cake:



If you slide over to YouTube, reading some of the comments there is pretty instructive:
God, this video convinces me, I really do hate GREENPEACE. Even their name is a misnomer!!

I'm definitely voting AGAINST his future.

I'm an enemy, kid. Definitely an enemy. If the world is going to be left in your hands, I say let's destroy it now. This ad makes me want to start my car and let it idle in the driveway all night. Every night.
As I've written before, I'm sympathetic to the aims of many environmentalists. But time and time again, groups like Greenpeace lower the level of public debate, and actually make it harder to implement real solutions.

Comments

gunter said…
Don't be ridiculous, Eric.

You think YouTube comments are a fair enough assessment to call this ad a "backfire." It's this kind of spinmeistering that the kid is coming after.

In the lexicon of my g-g-g-generation, "Right on, kid."
Occupy the construction site if need be.

NEI and its monied interest lot plan to sell your future with more and more orphaned nuclear waste for your children's children to deal with... without a single watt of benefit from today's reactors.

gunter, nirs
Anonymous said…
All manner of causes use children to promote their agenda. Even NEI has featured cute kids running through green fields in its various media ads and publications. Why is it considered unfair for Greenpeace to do this, but not for others?

I know this won't make it past the moderator but it's a point worth making.
Brian Mays said…
Oh please.

Of course, using children for advertising is as old as advertising itself. Everybody does it. Some do it better than others, but that's not the point.

If Greenpeace wants to use fearmongering to influence the public (and ... oh yes, they do), then they would do well to take notes on the effective use of children in an ad, such as the "Daisy" ad from the Johnson presidential campaign of 1964 (perhaps people of your g-g-g-generation might remember that one, Mr. Gunter). That was a brilliant ad.

The Greenpeace spot, however, is pathetic. I just can't see how a bratty-looking kid, who sounds like he's pissed off because his parents didn't buy him a new skateboard, is supposed to influence anybody's opinion on anything. It doesn't even do the fearmongering well. What is this kid going to do? Toilet-paper your house? Vandalize your mailbox? Am I missing something here?

Frankly, I'm disappointed. For the amount of money that Greenpeace takes in, you would think that they could do better stuff than this.
I don't see what really backfired, although I didn't think there were that many crazed right-wingers total to write that many comments.

Face it. While it might be a bit goofy, that video represents mainstream environmental opinion and probably mainstream American opinion. Whole Ecology--the idea that humans are a part of the environment and not distinct from it--does not in any way imply the opinions expressed in the YouTube comments, but normal people are getting associated with them nonetheless. Unfortunately, scientific thought is a rarity in this debate: We. Are. Going. To. Lose. The only thing we can do is complain as loudly as possible.

One other thing: global warming is caused by the emission of insulating gases into the atmosphere. The greenhouse effect refers to a precise process which does not include nuclear waste (or anything else the mainstream of the environmental movement has decided to dislike) at any point. People who try to associate every single thing they don't like with global warming are doing a massive disservice to public literacy. And there might just be a few people who disagree with this notion who aren't part of a "monied interest lot."

And "gunter," to paraphrase Commissioner McGaffigan, I'm going to go off the topic because you went off the topic. I want a quote on this waste issue: it has been demonstrated fairly well that nuclear waste is actually only about 1% waste (mine to cask), that the resulting unused fuel represents not only 500 years' worth of electricity at today's consumption level but also the bulk of the long-term radiological hazard, and that reactors are capable of using the aforementioned unused fuel safely with a reprocessing process that does not extract plutonium or produce liquid waste (pyroprocessing). Now let's say the federal government caps spent fuel production, kills Yucca Mountain, and orders the industry to either manage the waste themselves in a way that reduces it to the activity of natural uranium or stop making it. What exactly is wrong with closing the cycle in that manner?
KenG said…
It's interesting that the commenters all seem to assume that the "kid" in this ad is actually talking to adults/parents. It seems to me that Greenpeace is actually aiming this at teenagers and young adults as a recruitment campaign. It's probably pretty effective in this way. And there is no reason to be burdened with facts in that kind of campaign. "Us against Them" is all that has ever been needed to mobilize youth.
Anonymous said…
Youtube's right, that kid looks like the emperor from Star Wars. What a lousy video.

No-one outside of youtube is talking about it. That's the real gauge of an ineffective ad.

That kid needs a nap, same as some of the commenters.
Brian Mays said…
"I can feel the hatred flowing in you now, give in to your anger, strike your father down for driving an SUV and take his place at my side, and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!"

I think you guys might be on to something.
Anonymous said…
It is simply part of the childish psyche to be swayed by things that look "cool" or "tough", or to be part of what is considered by one's peers to be a popular or "in" movement. Think back to when you were a child or teenager. Probably the number one thing in your life was to be accepted by a group or clique, to feel like you belonged to something, to feel like you were wanted and held in regard by those you thought were important. This appears to play on those immature emotions.

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

Innovation Fuels the Nuclear Legacy: Southern Nuclear Employees Share Their Stories

Blake Bolt and Sharimar Colon are excited about nuclear energy. Each works at Southern Nuclear Co. and sees firsthand how their ingenuity powers the nation’s largest supply of clean energy. For Powered by Our People, they shared their stories of advocacy, innovation in the workplace and efforts to promote efficiency. Their passion for nuclear energy casts a bright future for the industry.

Blake Bolt has worked in the nuclear industry for six years and is currently the work week manager at Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia. He takes pride in an industry he might one day pass on to his children.

What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
As a Work Week Manager at Plant Hatch, my primary responsibility is to ensure nuclear safety and manage the risk associated with work by planning, scheduling, preparing and executing work to maximize the availability and reliability of station equipment and systems. I love my job because it enables me to work directly with every department on the plant…