February 28th, 2013
Pro-nuker Rod Adams correctly pointed out that I know nuttin’ when it comes to the issue of nuclear power today, but more importantly, he offered up a simple slogan (Fission Fast!) just as I was thinking of a similar simple slogan (Curb Carbon), neither of which are much use in a world so fractious and leaderless that nobody’s listening to any leaders. Oh, well.
NUKE THIS! From an anti-nuclear rally last year in Tokyo, more than 30 years after the No Nukes rallies in the U.S., showing the staying power of a good slogan.
SUPER SLOGAN SOON!
I don’t know nuclear supporter Rod Adams, but he posted a nice discussion on his blog, ATOMIC INSIGHTS, addressing the point of my last post. He agreed with the basic need for simple, unifying slogans that are short, punchy and ideally either rhyming or alliterative. He offered up a pro-nuclear slogan of, “Fission Fast!”
I’m kinda opinion-free when it comes to nuclear power, having not delved into the topic deeply enough to have strong thoughts on either side. I know the potential risks are nightmarish, but the fears have often been over-blown. Such is the power of fear-based communication. In my book, I mentioned my German editor, whose father is a nuclear engineer, who simply can’t understand why the facts failed to win out in Germany when it comes to nuclear power.
Anyhow, yes, “Fission Fast!” works. I was also going to ask why the climate movement didn’t initially come up with something like, “Curb Carbon,” then hold the same sort of mass rallies that happened for, “No Nukes.”
But I’ll tell you why. The climate movement is so massively cerebrally driven (thus my complaint a while back about what I termed, “The Nerd Loop”). They are so proud of their endless, endless studies of polling data and framing and message boxing and semantics and semiotics and … yet … in the end, they can’t communicate their way out of a box. And thus they allowed their entire message and movement to be co-opted by a group of Hollywood producers who shoved out on the world stage a nice guy who had lost his Presidential bid and taken to giving humble Powerpoint talks. All of which drove the entire movement into the ditch in which it now sits, smoldering, directionless and leaderless.
I don’t know how you fix this. Maybe you hold separate rallies within the movement that say, “Stop Being So Cerebral!” It’s the source of the problem. Heavily cerebral types have a hard time unifying. Lynch mobs tend to not be very deep thinkers. Not that you want a lynch mob. I’m just talking about the core dilemma.
I think (there I go, being cerebral myself) it’s the undoing of the climate movement. Too much thought. Too analytical. Too many people parsing every thought and suggested slogan.
CLIMATE ACTIVIST: “Let’s CURB CARBON … only I wouldn’t say that CARBON by itself is necessarily the problem because when you look at …”
Oh, don’t be such a scientist.
Good luck unifying so many independent thinkers in an age of corporate culture. How’s that for a pretty grim assessment? As I get ready to spend tomorrow serving on a committee with the American Institute of Physics which should be a fascinating look into yet another culture that I have no experience with. Yeeha!