A Misguided Message of Hate and Cherry-Picked Images from Copenhagen

It’s getting late here in Denmark, and I’m just back to my rented apartment after a long day at the Bella Center and the COP15 climate conference.

I should be working on my coverage of the day, starting with finishing the videos of the IPCC press conference early this afternoon, but I want to get something off my chest first.

Mixed Up Messages at the COP 15 Climate Conference

No doubt the media, especially the likes of Fox News, is making hay from the kerfuffle earlier this week when a group of young protestors interrupted a meeting of Americans for Prosperity in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen - the whole world is watching

Let me be clear: Any group has every right to come here and hold a meeting (as long as they pay for the meeting hall), even if it directly opposes the spirit that pervades this entire town right now. However, hijacking a meeting with disruptive tactics may not be the best tactic, no matter how good your intentions, how right your ideals are, or how noble your cause is.

With youth comes what some, who are older and more worn down by the madness of the world, might call naiveté in their zeal to make a better world. There is too easily a misunderstanding of how their actions might be perceived by a general population that too often falls prey to the Big Tobacco style of sowing doubt and confusion about an ostensibly complex topic (sorry for the cynicism – I’m one of those old farts).

Mindless Condemnation

I venture that some people now condemning these youth for their tactics often are the same ones who took to town hall meetings all across the United States earlier this year to shout down any debate about health care. Poor tactics are made even worse when motivated by fear and hate – at least the young people here in Copenhagen have a noble cause. And the fact is, as  UN Minister to the COP15 conference Connie Hedegaard said in a press briefing this evening – the spirit and drive that has taken to the streets here in Copenhagen has undoubtedly made a difference in the outcome.

So shouting down a meeting of ideological opponents might play into the hands of those with whom you oppose—just as Lord Monckton’s tireless and repeated labeling of these people as “Hitler Youth” has rightly played into the hands of those for whom he now wishes to “get even”—in a sickeningly smug manner that reeks of the close-mindedness for which he accuses others. Indicting the demonstrators, as he does, of starving the poor in the developing world because biofuel development has “doubled the price of food” is ludicrous – as if these twenty-somethings have anything at all to do with first-generation biofuel development. Somebody google Archer Daniels Midland (and if you’re unsure, google “first-generation biofuel” while you’re at it).

So what is my point? Thanks for asking.

Trolls on the Prowl, Offering Nothing But Mindless Hate

As I said earlier today, I videotaped a press conference by the chair and two leading scientists from the IPCC. The full video is about thirty minutes long. Uploading videos to YouTube requires no longer than ten minutes. After working on three draft articles in the media room at the Bella Center and finally finishing the first video upload, I decided by 9:30 it was time to head back home and finish my work here.

In the time it took to pack up my things and make one last check of my email – about three minutes – some messenger of hate left a comment on part one of the video telling me to “leave our children alone” (our children? ), calling me evil and a “self-important” communist and “evil people.” (Since I’m here on a press pass, I’m not sure exactly which group of evil people I belong to – the Hitler Youth or the Evil Press).

It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to see as a comment to a press conference from a leading scientific body discussing scientific matters, but I’m used to it. The commenter was out-trolling for places to seed this tiny-brained message of hate, so I deleted it, confident my troller could get his (or her) jollies elsewhere.

Thirty minutes later, I get “home” and fire up the laptop to get back to work. Another message of hate is waiting from the same commentator, now accusing me of the poor and starving in the third world —utterly oblivious to how his way of life might impact the rest of the world, accusing me of using screaming children to spread a message of hate  (I defy anyone to find a screaming child in the video) – telling me that I am a disgrace to humanity – accusing me of censorship. Well, okay, he got me there.

So I let his second message through and left one in reply—one of which I am not necessarily proud, but that came forth at the end of a long day. And I meant every word.

Starving for Climate Collaboration and Critical Thinking

I don’t know how this event in Copenhagen is portrayed to the rest of the world. I can tell you this. There is no message of hate here. There is only hope for the future – the likes I have not seen before in my 51 years. You might think “we” people here are “evil,” scaring the children, and starving the poor (and news flash to those who don’t get out much, we’re all a pretty diverse group and many of the most concerned come from the same parts of the world some accuse “us” of starving to death), but consider the idea your message of hate is misguided and your images of what is going on here is cherry-picked at best.

Indeed, one can begin to feel “self-important” for being here, working hard, and acting out on one’s ideals and passion.

But it just might change the world.

The messages of hate from my YouTube friend can only destroy it.

Thank you, now it is time to get to work. I just had to say that.

Image courtesy of the author, all rights reserved

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schuenemanhttps://tdsenvironmentalmedia.com
Tom is the founder and managing editor of GlobalWarmingisReal.com and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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  1. Feel your pain. It is dispiriting to be fighting this fight, when you get the nasty comments. I am much kinder to other journalists, even ones I disagree with since writing myself. I don’t know how someone hated as much as Al Gore, say, takes it.

  2. Global Warming-IS- Human / Industrial Waste!
    The best indisputable SCIENCE example that should be the #1 item on the Copenhagen Agenda would be the toxic waste dump, the size of Texas, 900 miles off of the United States and Canadian West Coast.
    That is a Big SCIENCE problem with no dedicated U.S SCIENCE and INNOVATION DEPARTMENT to address the issue. The U.S (or Canada) has not even sent out a SCIENCE research vessel to evaluate this ecological disaster; neither country wants to take the responsibility for the industrial/human pollution or even acknowledge its existence.
    No Profit-No Action!-No SCIENCE! Will the World Trade Organization and the New Industrial World Order address the issue? Where is their World SCIENCE Department?
    Can the problem be solved with SCIENCE? Probably so, Americans are very ingenious primarily because we were raised with the compliments of Freedom and Democracy and are free thinking individuals. We could probably figure a way to clean up the mess and possibly make a profit doing so.
    We can do nothing until we have a DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE that is free to address SCIENCE and to develop the advancement of SCIENCE. (Yes, for the sake of humanity; SCIENCE FIRST-PANDERING SECOND.)


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