As I was rushing to work (running late) on Friday morning, I nearly got knocked over by a bunch of protesters blowing whistles and wearing white chemical protection suits as I entered Central Station. Putting aside my wave of commuter-rage (how dare people get in my way, I am trying to get to work, ferchrissakes!), I checked out one of their placards, and saw “Stop Bluebird”, then realised they had it on their T-shirts, and were shouting it too.
Always one to be a part of a “Stop …” anything kind of campaign, I did a Google web search at my earliest opportunity, and was directed to a site called “Dreams of Anthropocene” at http://www.lulurich.com.au/ (everything I saw pointed towards stopbluebird.com, a URL that doesn’t seem to exist, instead re-directing to this one).
Interesting fact: according to Wikipedia, the term The term “Anthropocene” is used by some scientists to describe the current period in the Earth’s history when human activities have had a significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystems.
I have now discovered that Bluebird is a “rogue geoengineering project created by eco-billionaire Harrison Wyld”, and that a former employee, Kyle Vandercamp has leaked details of the project online, with the hope of putting a stop to their (presumably) nefarious dealings.
I also discovered that there is a heavy use of social media tools, including blogs (Kyle Vandercamp’s Climatron, Juanita Monte’s Now I Can Change the World), a Twitter feed and a YouTube channel. There was even a couple of Wordle clouds (who doesn’t like a Wordle cloud?), and details of an organisation called the Dashboard Collective, a wiki “for us all to get on board with unlocking the Bluebird Intranet files”.
By now I have realised what is going on (Bluebird AR is an “alternate reality drama” created by the ABC), but I am still amazed at the effort that has gone in to creating a truly engaging online environment (I love that they have even created a pro-Bluebird site, Go Bluebird which includes links to Guardian and New Scientist articles on geoengineering, and has its own Twitter feed).
At the moment it remains unclear how successful this will be, after all, I only found out about this thanks to a chance meeting with some red gumboot-wearing ne’r-do-wells outside Central. To date, there has apparently been very little coverage – a Google News search only throws up articles on Kotaku Australia and io9 (which are both Gawker sites, coincidentally).
Although the subject matter is not for everyone, sounding like a mix of comic book and video game fantasy, the world that has been created to support it is impressive. I hope it ends up being enough to stop the dastardly eco-billionaire and his evil posse of geo-engineers.