No 6 Posted by fw, April 13, 2010
I wonder if U.S. high school physics teacher, Greg Craven, still firmly believes what he posted on his website not so very long ago:
“My fundamental reason for doing so [taking on the climate-change denialists] was my belief that every one of us in the debate–from hardened skeptic to panicked activist–essentially wants the same things: security, liberty, and meaningful relationships. And that we are all best served by bringing our beliefs about climate change closer to physical reality, through honest, rational discussion, founded on the acknowledgement that any of us might be wrong.”
The above passage was on Greg’s site, www.gregcraven.org in February of this year. That was then. This is now. And now climate-change deniers are winning the public relations battles. In a guest post, Johnny Rook, editor of Climaticide Chronicles, warns:
“Denialists have no interest in facts except as weapons in an ideological struggle. They don’t even care if ‘facts’ are correct or not since their intention is not to establish that something is true or false, but rather to win a battle in an ideological war. If they can stump you or confuse you with a lie, well that works just as well for their purposes as does the truth.”
So it is no surprise that Greg is the target of posts like this:
“i don’t think ill buy the IPCC bullshit. everytime someone founds an error from IPCC-journals they say it’s a mistake. so many happy mistakes in their journals… it makes me think it’s a well organized fraud.” (Posted as written. Link no longer accessible).
Greg, wherever you are now, were the personal sacrifices you made worth it?
In 2007, what Greg began with one short video appeal to act on climate change, subsequently led to 70 videos, which led to a book, which led to a website. To manage his extra-curricular workload, he reduced his teaching load to half time. Once launched, he became addicted to a campaign cause.
A dedicated family man, Greg was on a mission to make the world a safer place by waking people up to the potentially catastrophic threat of climate change.
Hardly a day went by that he didn’t think about climate change. He eventually decided that he wasn’t willing to bet his family’s security on the hope that he was wrong about climate change:
“Don’t panic yet,” he’d say, “but do pay attention, because the threat may be uncertain, but it is also potentially catastrophic. And it looks like there’s no time to waste. If I’m wrong, I’ll apologize . . . But what if I’m right?”
The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See, Greg’s first video, turned out to be “terrifying” in more ways than one. It became a YouTube sensation attracting more than four million hits in the first six months. (At last count it had received over 7,200,000 views). But celebrity status is a double-edged sword: Craven admits now that the two years since posting this video were “very difficult with all that obsessive running around.” He confides:
“I haven’t quit because–with the viral success of that single online video of me at a whiteboard–I realized that I had struck a nerve, that perhaps my silly little grid, spread through the viral networks of online communications, might actually be able to make a difference in the debate.”
Watch Greg’s Terrifying 9:33-minute video here —
Has Greg achieved his goal? Has he made the world a safer place by waking people up to the potentially catastrophic threat of climate change? Has he won over any hard-core denialists?
Who knows? Who cares? What’s important, says visionary environmental activist, Paul Hawkens:
“Civilization needs a new operating system . . . . and we need it within a few decades. . . . And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.”
Greg certainly did what he needed to do. What more can we ask of anyone?
What more can we ask of ourselves?