This long time Marvel Comics true believer is finding Joss Whedon’s new TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a deal breaker after decades of love and devotion to Marvel Comics and Whedon’s fantasy world that’s given us Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But now, the other true love of my life, Rising Tide North America, is under attack by the real corporate super villains, Disney and ABC Studios, seeking to co-opt our name and brand for some ratings and commercial air time with Whedon’s new show.
Rising Tide vs. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Whedon’s new television series, premiering tonight on ABC, depicts a secret NSA/Dept. of Homeland Security style agency confronting a “looming new threat” called “The Rising Tide.” In this spinoff of the popular Avengers movie series, Rising Tide is a shadowy cyber-terror group similar to Anonymous. Their role in the show is to expose super humans, like the Hulk and Thor, and secret government agencies like S.H.I.E.L.D.
In our estimation, exposing governmental secrets and lies is a most worthy pastime and similar to what groups like WikiLeaks and Anonymous have done in real world. Unfortunately, the series plays to our mainstream culture’s fears around anarchists and radicals, and portrays the group as a threat to national security. Some reviews call the group “cyber-terrorists.” This is par for the course in a Hollywood that uses pop culture to turn government agents into heroes and seekers of truth, justice and ecological sanity into evildoers.
Some may say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the big problem for Rising Tide North America is that Whedon’s show uses our name and a very similar logo to ours for his villains. In a most humiliating blow, at the end of the first episode, the lead Rising Tider, Skye, actually joins S.H.I.E.L.D. as an asset. So not only are we depicted as terrorists, but one of our own actually switches sides and joins the police state.
Rising Tide is an all-volunteer international climate justice network challenging the root causes climate change.
Rising Tide originated in 2000 at the sixth United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) meeting at the Hague. It formed as direct action network forming an opposition to the talks were deeply influenced by corporate lobbyists, marginalizing representatives in the Global South and pushing carbon markets as a (false) solution to the climate crisis. Over 300 groups from both the Global South and Global North signed the Rising Tide statement in 2000. Since then Rising Tide network have grown and spread throughout the United Kingdom, Australia and North America.
In North America, we have over 50 active chapters, local contacts and allies in our network. Rising Tide North America formed in 2006 in the heart of Appalachia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, when climate and anti-extraction fighters with Mountain Justice and Earth First! decided it was time to make climate change an issue relevant to more than the D.C. Green non-profit industrial complex.
Our goals remain:
- Bringing non-violent direct action into North American climate movements (something we think we’ve been successful at lately)
- Work in solidarity with frontline communities directly impacted by fossil fuel extraction and climate change.
- Challenge the false solutions to climate change. This includes “clean coal,” nuclear power, natural gas, overly-compromised non-profits based in Washington D.C. as well as market based mechanisms like carbon trading.
Currently, our network is waging campaigns from the coalfields of Alaska to Ed Abbey’s redrock wilderness in southern Utah to up and down the Keystone XL Pipeline route to Appalachia’s devastated mountains.
In effect, we are everywhere. And we are the real Rising Tide.