This is a guest post by Byron Kennard.
Late in 2010, I read Whole Earth Discipline by Stewart Brand and, frankly, I almost wish I hadn’t. Reading Brand’s book convinced me that global warming is a threat that’s breathing down our necks right now. Until then, even though I am a stalwart environmentalist, it was just one of several worries that kept me awake at nights. Now it became Nightmare # 1.
But what the devil was I to do about it?
After decades in the trenches, I’d just about given up on conventional politics, especially now that “climate deniers” have managed to disable our national government’s capacity to respond to the threat – yet another reason to toss and turn all night long.
But then looking at the preposterous, anti-science claims these climate deniers are making I thought, “Gee, these guys are begging for ridicule.” And I remembered organizing guru Saul Alinsky’s observation that, “Ridicule is the most powerful weapon there is because it is almost unanswerable.”
It occurred to me that, while I personally don’t possess the political power to combat climate deniers, I do personally possess the power to ridicule them. Years spent writing, producing, and performing political satire in community theater weren’t wasted after all!
So here’s my new motto: Ridicule the Bastards! And here’s my new campaign:
Meet Rue Rylvester – the acerbic, off-the-wall star of a new series of short YouTube videos that parodies Sue Sylvester, the villainous cheerleading coach on Glee. The hit show’s vast audience of young people loves to hate Sue.
My aim is to discredit climate denial in the eyes of this vast young audience through use of ridicule and use of images – like Sue Sylvester – that are familiar to, and even beloved by them.
Still, I hope that environmentalists too will love to hate Rue. As the world’s top-ranked “climate lifestyle coach,” Rue tells clients that global warming simply isn’t happening, or – if it is – humans certainly aren’t causing it, but – well, since it is happening – the thing to do is relax and enjoy it. Yes, Rue is full of crap, but she’s funny as the dickens.
This series of short (90 sec) videos may be viewed on The Confounded Environmentalist channel on YouTube.
Enjoy! And if you do, please forward the link to your friends and colleagues. And since the videos have been prepared for a youth audience, climate activists can be especially helpful by forwarding to student groups engaged in climate advocacy.
Here’s a taste of Rue Rylvester’s coaching: