Thursday, July 05, 2012

Save the humans!!

"Save the Planet" -- as a rallying cry for environmentalism -- has got to be one of the most tragic cases of mis-branding I know of.

When there's a choice between things you want or need now vs. "the planet" or "the environment", it's too easy to say "I don't care that much whether this or that species goes extinct," or "the planet can fend for itself."

The thing is, though that "the planet" isn't really in danger. It's going to keep revolving around the Sun regardless of what we do. "Life on Earth" will too. Even in the worst-case scenarios, we humans almost certainly won't manage to wipe out all life.

All human life -- all of the planet's potential to support human life -- well, that's a different story.

One of the most amazing and wonderful things about the human species is our capacity to think about the future, and to make decisions based on their consequences.

But are we good enough at it to save ourselves?


postmormongirl said...

I think if people thought it as "save the humans" there would be a lot more action going on. So maybe we should try our collective best to rebrand the campaign. :-)

Paul Sunstone said...

It sure seems it would be more difficult for the oil companies, etc, to campaign against a "Save the Humans!" position than against a "Save the Planet" position.

Unknown said...

I agree with Paul. I think that no matter which side you are on, the PR win goes to the side that frames the debate, and big companies have done a good job boxing environmentalist into a difficult position to go on the attack with.

Thanks for a good thought in the OP. I hope I make sense. :-). Most of the brain fuzziness is gone until the next meds kick in.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, even though "Save the Humans" is precise and accurate, it probably would be cast as sensationalist.

C. L. Hanson said...

It's true that it's hard for ordinary people to affect the framing of this debate. Still, I wish there were a way to make it clear that this is the point...